No Name Nails

No Name 1

You guys, the unthinkable *may* have happened – I’ve no pithy little title for this post, mostly because I have no idea what these nails actually are.  Pastel watermelon seeds?  A highly stylized sunset?  The visual representation of that little *PING!* noise that goes off above your head when you have a particularly inspired thought (or so movies have taught me)?  Sesame seeds?  Quarter-daisies?  I’d say this manicure is way open for interpretation.

And because I made a point of taking the photos for these nails in the sun, where the beautiful base polish I used here could really shine, I’ll give IT a name – KB Shimmer’s In Bare Form, THE perfect nude holo for folks of the ultra pale variety.

No Name 2

Build-A-Polish Workshop


I love nail polish. I love buying nail polish. I probably love buying nail polish a bit too much. However, two years and 300 plus bottles of lacquer later, I’m growing tired of shelling out my money for a tiny bottle of glittery, toxic paint that I will use perhaps twice. I’m not talking here, of course, about the cremes and holos and glitters that I use every day in various types of nail art, more the niche polishes that have one very specific purpose and season in which to shine (I’m thinking here of the glitter I own that looks like a blended Christmas tree – it never looks like anything but a blended Christmas tree. Pretty, but useless outside of the holiday season.)

So when I recently became enamoured with a shimmery, nude flakie polish from Digital Nails called The Dude Abides, I decided to forgo the PayPal transaction and see if I could create my own version using polishes already in my collection. And you know what? I could. And so I did! The Dude Abides (named after The Big Lebowski, a movie I actually LOATHE) is a nude crelly shot through with chromatic rainbow flakies. The PolishAholic has a great swatch of it here.

To get a similar look, I sandwiched one layer of Polish Me Silly’s Party Hearty, a multichrome flakie topper, between two coats of KB Shimmer’s pale nude holo, In Bare Form. In Bare Form is actually quite opaque and covered up a bit more of the flakies than I liked, and so I brushed on one final, light coat of Party Hearty, which added beautiful shimmer and great overall depth. My DIY version of The Dude Abides is a bit glitzier than the original, on account of the extra layer of vibrant, colour-shifting flakies, but I think it’s a better-than-serviceable imposter.


So the next time you’re eyeing up that beautiful, but impractical, polish, take a moment to root through your lacquer collection first to see how close you might be to cobbling together the exact same look from polishes you already own. Your bank account (and inevitable lack of storage; no one has enough storage) will thank you for it!


A Nude Festivus


Well, that would certainly be one way to awkward-up an already peril-fraught holiday!

For these pretty nails, I layered two coats of Whimsical Idea by Pam’s rainbow holo glitter topper, Festivus, over two coats of one of my favourite base polishes, KB Shimmer’s holographic In Bare Form. Fun and pretty, but mostly I just wanted to make a lame joke about getting naked during the holidays, whichever one you choose to celebrate. And so my work here is done!


Champagne Supernova

Champagne Supernova CollageI happen to think this multichrome flakie polish, ILNP’s Supernova, looks best over darker colours, but I couldn’t let the opportunity to make a sweet Oasis joke just pass me by when I had this beautiful, champagne-hued polish, KB Shimmer’s In Bare Form, just sitting there waiting for precisely this moment. What can I say; my stash has excellent comedic timing.

A small word about Oasis. One of my all time favourite bands. Until I saw them live. They were awful. So awful, I have been reduced to speaking only in clipped, authoritative sentence fragments. It was a really bad show, in no small part owing to the brothers Gallagher looking like they were about two seconds from throwing down, which turned out to be a weirdly prophetic thought, as two days later the band broke up for what indeed seems to be for good. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, having never seen Oasis perform on, say, television, but I guarantee you it was more than the lackadaisical, pompous little dandies that paraded around on stage in front of me. Or not, because they barely moved. Only Liam – ostensibly their lead singer, the charisma man – would periodically saunter to the front of the stage and then point at pretty girls in the audience, miming the ringy-ding motion, setting up his booty calls for later on, I suppose. And they were loud, SO LOUD. Sonic, all-encompassing and totally devoid of any true feeling or connection. A huge letdown. And guys? I have seen some hella sketchy live shows. Those are all stories for another day (about 100 stories – I have been to a lot of concerts) but let’s put it this way – Oasis ranks higher on the Suck-o-Meter than Hole, a show I actually walked out on halfway through because I had gotten heat stroke earlier in the day and just couldn’t deal with Courtney Love’s crazed, pantsless banshee wailing. Seriously, someone get that woman some underpants and a monitor that actually allows her to hear herself.Champagne Supernova Fingers

Da Blob

Blobby HandThis is a nail art animal called a blobbicure. As you might expect, I hate the stupid name, love the cute effect. My thumb looks like it’s sporting jellybeans!

Like its cousin the dotticure (also ugh), the blobbicure is ultra easy, perhaps more so, because you don’t need any special equipment such as a dotting tool, only the brush that comes with your bottle of polish. Simply lay down a couple of coats of a base polish and then, choosing a different colour (or colours), wipe off most of the polish on the brush and then dab it onto your nails in random bits and bobs (or blobs), making sure each blob has its own space and isn’t touching its neighbour. This is a real anything-goes kind of technique – your blobs can be large or small, perfectly round or imperfectly irregular, and any combination of colours. I’m afraid I can’t be any more precise than that, because this just isn’t that precise a technique! The only tip I’d offer is to really wipe the polish off your brush before getting blobby with it. You’re aiming for blobs here, not bumps.

I did this manicure at the behest of an Instagram challenge that called for a blobbicure in a holographic finish. Here I chose to layer four Cirque holos – green Panacea, blue Sky Woman, pink Powwow and gold Chyrsopoeia – over two coats of KB Shimmer’s ultra pale nude, In Bare Form. The blobs themselves give these nails a kind of pebbled footpath-type look, although the mix of rainbow shades, particularly on my thumb, is pure jellybean (although when’s the last time I looked at a manicure and didn’t see some type of food?)

Holo Hearts (OMD2)

Holo HeartsClearly drawing Valentiney inspiration from the pink and red polishes I chose for this manicure, here is my submission for the seventh day’s theme of holographic (polish, glitter, studs) in the Oh Mon Dieu 2 nail art challenge. I love red and pink manis – sod all that nonsense about the two colours clashing – and I love them even more when they’re made up of gorgeous, rainbow-steaked holographic polishes. For these nails, I went holo-on-holo-on-holo, topping KB Shimmer’s nude In Bare Form with a smattering of hearts in two of my favourite polishes, Picture Polish’s juicy red O’Hara and golden pink Electric Dream. In Bare Form is a linear holo, meaning that when you look at the polish in the bottle or on your nail, it’ll flash as a solid line of rainbow, whereas O’Hara and Electric Dream are examples of scattered holos, which are lit from within by tiny, random specks of shimmer and glitter. Holos are essentially the alphas of the nail polish world – we all want them, and other polishes aspire to be them (so much so, you can buy special holographic topcoats that will turn any polish into a rainbow-throwing stunner.)Holo Hearts Lights

Vintage 4th

Vintage 4th

I’m Canadian, and so I suppose I should be concentrating my nail art activities on tomorrow’s Canada Day (also known as “Sweating Your Ass Off at a Cottage with a 2-4 Day”), but I thought I’d jump ahead and highlight a manicure I did in honour of the other national holiday taking place this week, Independence Day.  The American flag in particular, with its bold colour palette, whimsical stars and precise, horizontal lines is a design dream come true, and whether you stick to the basics or take a few liberties with the overall design, you’ll still wind up with perfectly patriotic polished paws to see you through every party this July 4th long weekend.

For these nails, I layered a handful of holographic polishes in subdued, slightly dusky hues (Cirque’s Luminous Owl and Sky Woman and KB Shimmer’s In Bare Form) over striping tape to create a soft, almost vintage-looking deconstructed American flag design, minus the stars!Vintage 4th Sun

That Vintage Vibe

That Vintage Vibe

These nails, with their delicately scalloped and polka dotted borders, feature a muted (and yet still rainbowlicious) holographic colour palette that keeps them from veering too far into Twee Territory. I actually think the neutrally toned polishes, KB Shimmer’s vanilla-hued In Bare Form and Cirque’s rose gold Luminous Owl, give them an almost vintagey look, like the dainty lace edging on the hem of a devastatingly adorable sundress from the 1950s, the likes of which I will never own, but truly wish was cluttering up my closet as we speak. With a matching embroidered cardigan. Aaaannnnndddd a pair of t-strap mary janes, if it’s not asking too much.

Pale Perfection

In Bare Form Bottle Sun

Continuing my streak of KB Shimmer polishes, here’s a pretty little holographic gem, In Bare Form.  KB put out a load of holographic neutrals in the first half of their summer release, and In Bare Form, the palest of the pale, is the pick of the litter for melanomanally challenged ladies such as myself.In Bare Form Sun

Nudes can often lean towards the yellow-orange side of the colour wheel, and holographic polishes in particular are usually of the of the jewel-toned variety, so it’s nice to see a flattering nude polish for us ultra pale lasses with a bit of shimmery personality.  On a favourite blog I like to frequent, The PolishAholic, it’s been noted that In Bare Form is a particularly great choice for women whose jobs dictate a less-is-more approach to nail adornment, and I couldn’t agree more.  Sure, out in the sun it’s a rainbow-throwing stunner, but in the shade or indoors, it’s “just” a lovely nude with a subtle, delicate shimmer – conservative, with a bit of a twist.In Bare Form Bottle Shade