Sweet and Speckled

Sweet and Speckled Collage

The weather’s all snowy, cruddy and overcast today, and as I sat down at my work area with my polishes, I thought, “I absolutely do not want to do some super complicated design, just something bright and cheerful that makes me happy.”  So I pulled out this polish, Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts, which I nearly always pair with cool-toned pinks, because it’s gorgeous that way.  Licorice Allsorts is actually the first indie polish I ever bought, yikes, five years ago now?  That this polish is five years old is actually pretty amazing; it has held up incredibly well.  And it’s just so much fun, with that weird, mixed candy-hued assortment of glitter in hot pink, baby pink, marigold, black, yellow, white, mint green, darker mint green and probably a couple of others that I’m missing right now.

Speckled and Sweet Fingers

And I’ve always loved the look of these large, extra chunky glitter polishes after they’ve been topped with a smoothing layer of matte topcoat, here OPI’s Matte Topcoat (bit of a redundant name, that.)  Et voila, throwback candy shop nails that are definitely making me happy – cruddy day mission accomplished. 🙂

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Bow-verkill (31DC2016)

bow-verkill-fingers

A baby pink base, tons of super vibrant glitter (Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts) and two hot pink, rhinestone-studded, hard plastic bows combine to create a whole lot of look for day 17’s theme of glitter in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge.  Nail art embellishments are never anything but a pain in the arse to maintain over the long term, but oh my, are these sorts of manicures ever a delight in the short term (so long as the short term doesn’t involve anything strenuous or water-based or – lord help your hands – strenuous AND water-based.  So no crazy bow manicures for Michael Phelps.  But you know Ryan Lochte would be down.) 😉

It Takes Allsorts

Allsorts Hand

Licorice Allsorts, that is!  So I’m not really sure how attractive these licorice-inspired nails are.  Cute though they may be, they’re not exactly cohesive, are they?  I do love the two textured polishes I used on my middle and pinkie fingers to mimic the look of those bumpy-looking pink and blue guys.  I, of course, can’t speak to the taste of licorice at all, because I hate the stuff, but from a design perspective, it’s pretty sweet! 😉

And on my thumb I’ve got two coats of the first indie polish I ever bought – and the perfect addition to this sweet manicure – Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts.

Allsorts Bottle

Anniversary Mani! (OMD3)

Anniversary Mani

Like sands through the hourglass, Facebook was kind enough to remind me that today marks my second nail artiversary! Indeed, two years ago, fresh off falling into an hours-long K hole of nutso nail art on Tumblr, I went off to my local beauty supply and purchased all the supplies I might need to create a watermelon manicure, and then I came home and did precisely that. After that, I did a strawberry manicure on my left hand, back when I believed in right hand/left hand equality. And then over the next two years I did about 800 more. But for anyone discouraged by their perceived shortcomings in the world of nail art, I invite you to check out my initial attempts. The rather unlovely truth is that we all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is often not very pretty straight out of the gates. At best, it’s not particularly well lit.

413

I toyed around with returning to the fruit well for these anniversary nails before deciding to take a more zen approach to the occasion. No need to bust out all the nail art whoseits and whatsits when I can create an awesome, festive mani using the first indie polish I ever purchased, Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts, over the pink polish I bought two years ago for my watermelons and strawberries, China Glaze’s Rich & Famous. For me, this is the manicure equivalent of putting my brain on autopilot – just a fun, calming, peaceful activity, which is in large part why I have stuck with it for so long. It feels quite fitting (besides, I have done approximately 8,657 strawberry and watermelon manis; time for a bit of a break.)

And so in honour of the simple (but too-fleeting) peace I feel when it’s just me at one with my polish, an activity I have most enjoyed these past two years, I also thought I’d submit these nails as my entry towards day 26’s theme of peace in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Celebration time, with a side of Om.

Anniversary Mani Bottle

It’s All Fun and (Carnival) Games

Carnival Games Bottle…until somebody goes broke from buying too much nail polish. I think that’s how that saying goes. Or at least that’s how it goes in my life!

Actually, all things considered and all joking aside, I really don’t own that much nail polish. True, I probably have more glitter polishes than the average lacquerista, and I know I’m in possession of more nail polish than all of my friends combined, but my stash is not ridiculously large, nor will I ever have to regard it as a not-so-well-thought-out retirement plan. I’m quite responsible when it comes to my polish purchases, even when I can’t manage the same for the rest of my life!

But there is the small issue of my devotion, shall we say, to big, chunky, looks-like-candy indie glitters (not to say that the commercial brands haven’t dipped their toes in the glittery water; it’s just taking a while for them to play catch-up.) My first (so hesitant!) online polish purchase was from Candy Lacquer, an indie polish maker who seems to specialize in exactly the kind of “Is this food?” glitters I like best. And like them best I do, because I’ve used the two polishes I bought, Licorice Allsorts and Fairyland, in about six million manis (okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s really more like 10 or 12. I was only off by 5,900,000 or so.)

And so when I was recently looking to gift myself with a little something special and sparkly, I went back to the Candy Lacquer well and bought *mumbles under breath* four new polishes, including this little gem I’ve taken to calling “theme park in a bottle,” Carnival Games. Here I’ve shown Carnival Games over – so weird – my three most stainiest polishes, although its delightful mix of rainbow-hued hexes, squares, stars, circles, triangles and donut glitter (that’s a new one) looks amazing over any vibrant hue, as well as old glitter base standards like black and white. Bonus: Although it’s positively packed with all of the aforementioned glitter, the formula is not dry and application (one brushed-on coat with a smidge of dabbing here and there) was a breeze. So let the (carnival) games commence!Carnival Games HandCarnival Games Hand Sun

Punky Pink

Awesome Blossom 1

I’ve been playing major favourites with my nail polishes this week, choosing a couple of glitter toppers I’ve turned to time and time (and time) again to set against some recent not-so-basic polish purchases.  Here I’ve shown one of the first indies I ever bought, Candy Lacquer’s matte glitter topper, Licorice Allsorts.  It’s fabulous stuff, and more than meets my personal criteria for a favourite polish with its unique colour mix and abundance of random matte shapes.  In a jelly sandwich, it takes on an almost glazed and sprinkled effect, but over just about every other colour, its geometric black and hot pink (and yellow and green and white) glitter gives every mani it touches a girly punk look that’s hard to resist, no matter your age or the last time you stepped on a skateboard (1997) or attended the Warp Tour (never, although I very much wanted to, long past the point of it being an okay thing to do for an old broad such as myself.)

I layered Licorice Allsorts over a new polish, Serum No. 5’s glow in the dark Awesome Blossom.  It’s an eye-searingly bright Barbie pink that glows purpley-pink in the dark (which I could not capture in any form with my rapidly-becoming-an-issue photography setup) and dries to a lightly textured finish.  In the bottle, Awesome Blossom displays the faintest hint of pink shimmer, but on my nails it was totally undetectable, even before dousing them in two coats of Licorice Allsorts.Awesome Blossom 2

Mad Splatter

Mad Splatter

Existentialist query on par with “If a tree falls in the forest” and “If a bear poops in the woods”: Can it be considered a glitter if it doesn’t, you know, glitter?

These nails, my entry in the fourth and final week of the February N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of glitter, feature a polish I’ve turned to time and time again, Candy Lacquer’s matte Licorice Allsorts. It’s the first indie polish I ever purchased, and I’ve found uses for it in favourite foodie designs ranging from sprinkled frosting to watermelons to actual licorice allsorts. Here, against a backdrop of pale grey shot through with pink shimmer, Essence’s Grey-t to be Here, it takes on a splatter-like effect that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit punk and a whole lot something I’ll absolutely have to try again.