You know, “Goooood-bye, Ru-bee Friday, who could hang a name on you?” That’s how that Rolling Stones song goes, right? (massive joke here – my Boomer parents are hardcore Stones fans, particularly my mom, and have been since they were about 16 years old. I’ve sent them off to Toronto on more than a couple of occasions to catch their shows, always with the vague fear that my mother’s head is just going to explode, simply from breathing the same air as the leathery, seemingly indestructible object of her lifelong lust, Keith Richards. Anyhow, long joke short, I’m well versed in the Stones. Also the Animals, the Kinks, the Traveling Wilburys, Bob Segar, bit of Springsteen – that’s the music I grew up with. No wonder my taste in music skews so very rock.)
Anyhow, I may have gotten the day wrong on these ruby-esque nails, but whether it’s Tuesday or Friday, I think they’re still pretty dope. I actually did this manicure last month for the nail art challenge I’ve been participating in on Instagram for the theme of gemstones. I’ve been doing gemstone and stone-type nails for a little while now, actually had a few in reserve that I could have whipped out for just such an occasion, but I decided to try a little something different with this manicure, opting for a jelly sandwich mani wherein I layered sponged-on silver and glittery red polishes between thick, glossy coats of a vibrant, ruby red jelly. It turned out to be a pretty good technique – I think these nails look like the cross-section of a cut gemstone, so pretty. I think they look particularly nice in the matte finish – gems before they’ve hit the buffer ‘n’ polisher.
And they don’t look too bad in WAY SUPER UP CLOSE MACRO MODE either. It’s always amazing the level of detail that shows up in a macro shot, huh? By the way, NEVER turn a macro lens on, say, your skin. You’ll walk away convinced that you’re desiccating on the spot. Hey, just like our leathery man, Keef! (kidding, Mom, I’m kidding – c’mon, you know Keith’s gonna outlast us all. And thank goodness – we’re going to need sweet riffs in the apocalypse.) 😉
It occurred to me today that I haven’t done a jelly sandwich manicure in ages. So I rectified that odd little blank spot in my nail art endeavors, creating a jelly sandwich – that’s glitter polish sandwiched between layers of a sheer jelly polish – before topping the whole works with a couple of ice cream nail charms. Et voila, a creamy, sprinkled, ice cream jelly sandwich! That’s also some quality nail art word association, no? 🙂
Continuing with this week’s unintentional theme of autumnal nail delights, here’s a super seasonal manicure that reminds me of the cut-down, Canada goose-filled corn fields I pass every day whilst out and about living my life (and if you’re wondering what kind of godforsaken, bird-plagued borough I live in – the other day it was turkeys, today it’s Canada geese – eastern Ontario!) Those fields are filled with the dried up, broken-off remnants of this summer’s bounty and, of course, about 200 plump geese gorging themselves silly for their flights down south (seems counter-intuitive to me, having a great big meal before a long flight, but clearly they know something I don’t!)
The hay or dried out, fieldy bits (actual technical term) in these nails comes courtesy of China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a predominantly copper-hued glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection. I never really warmed up to this polish – something about the bar glitter (messy!) and the fact that it presents well over virtually nothing. Except for this manicure, where I of course think it looks AWESOME! Really, why did I not jelly sandwich this one sooner, especially when I’ve got Nfu Oh’s rich, butterscotch-hued jelly, JS39, on standby? The clear, lush simplicity of the jelly polish showcases Rest in Pieces beautifully, while tamping down some of the harsh holographic edges that tend to make it look just a tad “too much.” Very nice.
I’m skipping over day eight’s theme of metallics in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge and heading straight for day nine’s cheery rainbow money shot. I’ve got a bit of nail mail out for delivery that will help me make the most of my metallics next week, but until then, I’m content dabbling in, under or over the rainbow with these fun, sparkly nails instead.
To create this manicure, I brushed on a rainbow’s worth of sheer polishes, one colour after another, blending the edges as I went. I didn’t use any special brush for this, simply the ones that come with the polish and a bit of even-handed patience. Once dry, I applied a second coat of polishes across the rainbow spectrum. Once that was dry, I brushed on two coats of Finger Paints’ super versatile holographic glitter topper, Colorful Collage, before sandwiching it in with a final layer of rainbow jellies. Rainbow on rainbow (or IN rainbow, to be more accurate!)
Humblebrag? This is my very first attempt at stamping. Prior to this I’ve tried the technique out on maybe two test nails before dismissing it altogether – too imprecise, too fussy and too messy for something I could probably free-hand just as well. But on the opposite end of the humblebrag spectrum, I’ll note that my free-handing skills are not always totally up to snuff, particularly when it comes to branded characters like our gal Hello Kitty here (depicted as the Punisher; husband’s choice.) In those cases, I’ve got zero problem seeking out a little pre-etched help, and so I decided to finally take a run at this stamping business. And you know what? It wasn’t bad or difficult at all, and being well organized right from the start kept things neat and tidy. Plus, how cute is Punisher Kitty on my thumb, nestled among that argyle bow design on my fingers? Brutally cute!
But there’s a little more than meets the eye with this manicure, so let’s take it from the top! The base polish I used here is actually a jelly sandwich manicure I created by layering Mentality Nail Polish’s purple glaze with Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Cheery on Top, a pink, turquoise and purple glitter (which is itself a dupe of OPI’s Polka.Com.)
Once that dried, I set about stamping, using just a basic, $5.00 scraper and transfer set I purchased from Nail Polish Canada and this Hello Kitty image plate from Fab Ur Nails I bought from Llarowe (which is in the midst of a major restructuring, whittling their stocklist down to just two in-house brands, so no more Hello Kitty plates, regrettably.)
For the stamping itself, I used a favourite sparkly silver, OPI’s My Signature is “DC”, which is very opaque and transferred quite beautifully. I didn’t have any problems with the stamping, but my centering work could definitely use a bit of, uh, work. Except for Punisher Kitty (one of about a dozen superhero Kitties on plate number 9) who is leveling her stone cold vigilante’s gaze at me directly from the centre of my thumb. Still, for a (nearly) first time effort, this is pretty tremendous. So expect this unexpected run of stamping good luck to NEVER happen again!
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.
Well, if that doesn’t bring in the readers, nothing will. 😉
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.