The glitter topper is Candy Lacquer’s Citrus Smoothie, a clear base loaded with green, yellow, orange, white and cherry pink matte glitters. Here I’ve paired it with Different Dimension’s hot pink You’ve Gotta Be Squidding Me for a super fresh and juicy, right-on-the-cusp-of-summer manicure.
Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Just Add Milk always adds the perfect chippy touch to food-themed manicures, and Nfu Oh’s J339, a caramel-hued jelly I once described as butterscotch pudding for your nails, makes THE most perfect maple syrup for this stack of chocolatey breakfast sweets.
I have NO idea what’s going on here! Is that an animal print? Or maybe amoebas? Or the pattern on a tufted ottoman I saw last week? More importantly, do I care? Not really, actually, because I think I’m sort of in love, even if I don’t quite know what I’m in love with. Allover patterns are a favourite, and it’s refreshing to see the crisp colour combination of red, white and blue in a non-patriotic application. Plus I got to use a polish that I really did purchase accidentally (I thought I had clicked on its page neighbour) and now love unconditionally, Contrary Polish’s shimmery red jelly, Beach Blanket. Out in the sun it does the typical juicy, squishy jelly thing, but in lower lighting its purple shimmer adds a gorgeous, but subtle, hit of spotted visual interest that elevates Beach Blanket from an unfortunate mis-click to an absolute must-have.
I’d typically tell you to beware the sandwich that’s speckled in anything (except for that crunchy munchy flax stuff; it’s delicious) but this isn’t your usual sandwich (besides, I shouldn’t have to tell you NOT to put it in your mouth. What, are you a toddler?!) You all know I’m a real sucker for a jelly sandwich manicure, not just because they’re quick, easy and effective, but because they really allow you to stretch your creative, create-a-polish legs and cobble together some fun, Designer Imposter-type looks (I just lost everyone under the age of 25. Are Designer Imposter perfumes even a thing any more? Think cheap body sprays described as “Like CK One” or “Sunflowers-esque.” They were super popular in the ’80s and ’90s. Then again, so was Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft, which smelled like diapers before the aforementioned toddlers got to them.)
Take this creation, for instance, a combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s red glaze and Sally Hansen’s glittery Over the Rainblue. I saw a similarly composed indie polish on Instagram the other day – simple and striking, but maybe not something I needed right that very second. Especially not when I thought I could maybe create something very similar with a couple of polishes I already had at home, which is precisely what I did. And while the inspiration for these nails was actually a holographic polish, I think the slight shimmer of the cherry red glaze and the tiny holo bars in Over the Rainblue are perfectly acceptable substitutes in this basic glitter-over-polish manicure (or, more accurately, glitter-over-AND-under-polish manicure.) I especially like the way the holographic blue glitter shines through the red glaze, making these speckled nails look as though they’re lit from within.
One of the wisest nail polish purchases I have made in, well, ever is Mentality Nail Polish’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set. Sold both individually and as part of the larger set, the polishes, which run the rainbow gamut from cherry red to eggplant purple, are slightly shimmery, sheer, but buildable, and the perfect mix-and-match palette for everything from jelly sandwiches to leadlighting. Gradients in particular fare quite well when done with the glazes, the sheer shades blending into one another beautifully.
For this manicure, I used eight of the glazes (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and coral) to create a mash-up of brushed-on rainbow stripes/a vertical gradient before topping the whole thing off with one coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s twinkly Rainbow Sprinkles. I think my thumb, index finger and pinkie look fantastic, with each colour blending nearly seamlessly into the one beside it. My middle and ring fingers fared a little less well, the naturally occurring spectrum getting a bit muddled with the end of one rainbow and the beginning of another. But no matter, because glitter eradicates all nail sins, and Rainbow Sprinkles is more than pulling its weight!
But actually, looks like it’s time for another serving of jelly sandwich manis with these nails that combine Nfu Oh’s unimaginatively named JS12 (a puzzlingly boring move for a company that packages their nail polish in bottles that look like BEWBS) with Enchanted Polish’s Freeze Machine (super mega ’90s crap movie brownie points if you just read that and intoned, in deadpan Schwarzenegger-ese, “Ice to meet you.”) Freeze Machine is a beast of a glitter – there’s iridescent glass shards and holographic glimmer aplenty – and stunningly gorgeous in a frozen mermaid kind of way, but it has the not-really-a-problem tendency to look a bit samey, no matter the base polish it’s paired with. The solution to that was to layer it between coats of JS12, an orchid-hued polish from Nfu Oh’s fantastic line of jellies, which resulted in this speckled Easter egg-type mani. Pretty, and a great way to stretch the utility of both polishes.
But back to the bewbs for a second (but come now, did we ever actually leave?) 😉 Nfu Oh’s bottles are a thing of beauty, curved, embellished glass bottles with surprisingly easy to handle tops designed to look like an intricate corset and bustle. They’re drop dead gorgeous and so unique, in large part because they’re topped with, well, breasts. See?
Or underboob. I guess that’s a thing now. In any event, it turns out I like some curves on my nail polish! Best of all, the stuff inside the bottles is second to none – the best jellies I’ve ever used. Fully opaque in three coats, they dry down to a squishy-looking, super high shine finish that’s colour true and diamond hard. Nfu Oh’s polishes are available through a number of international stocklists, although I get mine from Nail Polish Canada.
This autumn-hued jelly sandwich manicure might seem a touch out of season (first comes Spring and Summer, and then Fall, Sandra) but at this point, I’m willing to look at anything to break up the monotony of late winter. It’s such an ugly time of year, particularly in my city where heaps of filthy snow line every sidewalk and roadway from November to mid-April.
Something warm – the furthest thing from icy, really – seemed in order, and wanting to keep things on the simple side, I decided to go with a jelly sandwich manicure using China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a holographic glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection, and the orange glaze from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set. However, Mentality’s slightly shimmery glazes do have a tendency to faintly obscure less assertively-hued glitters (particularly those of the tone-on-tone variety, like this one), so I brushed on one ultra light coat of Rest in Pieces over top of the entire “assembled” sandwich to add further depth and boost the pretty sparkle.
I dug this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s Mermaid Tears, out of my stash yesterday in the hopes of using it in service of the final week’s prompt in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. The theme was least favourite polish, and seeing as my true least favourites (very few, thankfully) are presently gracing a landfill just outside of town, that left Mermaid Tears, a green-on-green thermal jelly sprinkled with green holographic circle glitter. I’ve had this polish for a little over a year now, and application has never been anything but a pain. The large circle glitter – lots of it, and clearly visible in the bottle – resolutely refuses to come unstuck from the sides of the bottle, no matter how long you leave it upside down, and the chartreuse-to-jade thermal jelly remains stubbornly sheer, withstanding any attempts at opacity. It was a disappointment, and being an online-only indie purchase, a not inexpensive one, which is the only reason it’s been granted a stay of execution this long. I figured I’d give it one more chance to not do its thing for this challenge prompt before sending it off to the big stash in the sky.
Which is of course the moment Mermaid Tears decided to pull itself together and become the polish I always hoped it would be. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It’s like those times my computer whiffs the big one seemingly for me and me only, because the second I show Mr. Finger Candy IT Support, it’s all “Hey, no problems here. Look at me runnin’ all fancy!” and I want to dropkick it across the room.
But I really have no complaints here. A polish I once liked enough to buy is now behaving the way it was always supposed to – huzzah! And I had to chuckle a bit when I looked down at one point and saw TWO large green circles stuck to my brush, because of course. 🙂 And I don’t know what weird confluence of events or conditions led to it finally behaving (although it is still so, so sheer) but I’ll take it! So back to the drawing board on this least favourite thing, because Mermaid Tears actually redeemed itself pretty nicely.
Polishes like this one, Layla’s Ceramic Effect nail polish in the rather unimaginatively named EI41, always remind me of tiny embers smouldering away in the depths of a fire that’s almost, but not quite, out. Stuffed with red-to-green-to-gold colour-shifting glass flakies in a purple jelly base, EI41 (or possibly CE52, or perhaps The Butterfly Effect; both numbers appear on the bottle, one on the top and the other on the bottom, while The Butterfly Effect appears as a name on online stocklists only) has real depth and dimension, although the eye-searing rainbow effect that typically happens when glass flakies meet a jewel-toned jelly is somewhat dulled here, perhaps because of the rich, deep hue of the base. But as always, I’m delighted by a polish that actually looks better in the shade as opposed to directly in a blazing beam of sunlight. So many nail polishes are geared towards showing their best sides in sunshine only, which does a real disservice to the other 22 hours of the day when we’re otherwise indoors and not contorting our hands into the weirdest possible upside down angle in order to best appreciate our nails.
This polish, wacky issues with nomenclature aside, was a bit of a find, tucked away in a darkened corner of the multichrome section on Nail Polish Canada‘s website where no one seemed to know it existed. But I found it and it’s now mine, all mine (there is no escape, resistance is futile, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!, etc.)
This might be Finger Candy, home of the candy-coated nails, but let’s not sugar coat this particular post too much – like the title says, this one’s just straight up nail porn! Here’s Bash, another colour-shifting jellychrome from Mentality Nail Polish, sister to Gala, a lacquer I featured last week to great reception. And little wonder; these polishes are DOPE.
Here I’ve shown Bash, a matte, rosy pink polish shot through with blue shimmer, in five different types of light, from sunny and direct to shaded and diffuse. Most polishes show their visual weaknesses when you attempt to photograph them in the shade (many ONLY look good whilst sparkling under the sun), but these jellychromes are quite the opposite, coming positively alive in lower lighting, the shimmer and slightly matte base provoking all sorts of cool visual effects from the same bottle of polish. Bash is thankfully no exception to this wonderful little discovery, morphing from a clear, coral pink one moment to an almost frosted-looking purple the next, with stops at traditional Barbie pink and soft rose in between. Like its sister, Gala (and maybe the other three I bought as well…) Bash applies beautifully in two coats and wears abnormally well. You actually have to work to remove it, perhaps because its gorgeous shimmer seems to be of the glass-type variety, which really bonds to nails and invariably requires extra elbow grease come removal time.
You can purchase Mentality’s beautiful products through their site here, although I’ve had great luck with Harlow & Co. here in Canada, whose shipping practices (buy on Monday, here on Wednesday) are absolutely second to none.