Can’t Talk, Stranger Things

Stranger Things 4

Here’s another Stranger Things-inspired mani to add to…oh wow, six other manicures I’ve done in honour of my favourite television show.  You’re living under a rock if you don’t know that season 3 of the hit Netflix show just dropped, which is really where I should be if I want to avoid spoilers.  So not only can I NOT talk, because I am busy watching season 3 – just two episodes in; I really want to parcel them out this season instead of just gulping them back – but I literally CANNOT talk, because I can’t talk to anyone until I’ve finished watching it and/or they’ve also watched it so we can (not) talk about it together.

Stranger Things 3

This super simple, striping tape-enabled mani reminds me of Stranger Things’ opening credit graphics, which are NOT simple – that’s why I did this inspired-by manicure instead of attempting to do the title lettering.  No way was that one going to turn out on my tiny nails!

For this manicure, I used a base coat of Different Dimension’s cherry red holo, Naughty, under a bit of artfully arranged striping tape and two coats of Lilypad Lacquer’s black holo, Rainbows in Space.  This is one of those manicures that I actually prefer in the shade, but you can’t deny that bonkers holo effect out in the sun, even if technically, it’s nothing the Upside Down ever sees.

Stranger Things 1

Prettier Pandora

Prettier Pandora 1

Alright, now this is a bit more like it.  Last post I was attempting some floral nails that reminded me of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, only they wound up looking more like the ultra shiny wallpaper your mom papered the rumpus room with in 1983.  I think it was the pastel hue I chose as the base polish – a lovely colour to be sure, but it really obscured some of the free-handed and glittery details, all whilst making everything extra super SHINY.

So I said at the time – you know, two whole days ago – that I’d try this design once again, only this time over a dark base.  And here we have her, this time over top of another sparkly holographic, Lilypad Lacquer’s charcoal grey Rainbows in Space.  I don’t think the design is any more clear this time – if anything, all those rainbows in Rainbows in Space are covering up some of the details – and it might be even shinier than its predecessor, but it definitely looks more like Pandora, or at least one of the rides in Pandora, Na’vi River Journey.  It’s an awesome, awesome attraction – a tranquil dark boat ride through a neon alien jungle.  And it all culminates with one of the most spectacular – and nightmare-inducing – animatronics you’ve ever seen, one of those 11-foot tall blue kitty people who bids you adieu with a weird, warbling tune that you won’t be able to get out of your head for the next week and a half.  Disney’s a weird place, man.

Prettier Pandora 2

Spidey Sense

Black Widow Bottle

This cool polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space, looks like two totally different polishes depending on whether it’s in the sun or the shade.  Under direct light, its bronze micro-shimmer gives it a rich, almost chocolate brown hue, whereas in the shade, it’s a dusky charcoal grey.

Black Widow 1

Black Widow 3

And the perfect palette on which to display these silver nail charms from Daily Charme.  It’s a little bit of Black Widow mixed with a little bit of Brown Recluse, and it’s Halloween mani perfection.

Spike Strip

Better Stud Strip Fingers

It occurred to me the other day that one of my favourite nail art designs, a chicken scratch sort of knit pattern, also looks a great deal like tire tracks.  So as these things go, twas but a hop, skip and a jump later before I was elbow-deep in lacquered tire treads, here Lilypad Lacquer’s holographic Rainbows in Space over Essence’s Color & Go in Chic Reloaded, a shimmery green-to-grey-to-purple multichrome that (quite appropriately for this manicure) reminds me of an oil slick.

Then because I can’t ever leave well enough alone, and also because my monochromatic tire track design was looking a bit bare, I laid down two silver spiked nail charms right at the edges of my cuticles on my middle two fingers.  Et voila, a spike strip!  Nail art punnage at its finest, folks.  But all the same, just know I’ve got my eye on you, crash queens and moto babies, and drive safe.


October 2015 Bottle

Enchanted Polish’s mystery pick for October 2015 is a black-hued, champagne shimmer-flecked holographic that reminds me very much of a favourite polish of mine, Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space. I was initially kind of bummed that I seemed to have another dupe on my hands – nail polish redundancy is something I really strive to avoid. But on closer inspection, October 2015 reveals itself to be a nice alternative to Rainbows in Space, remaining a true black on the nail, something a bit rare with shimmer-enhanced polishes (the copper shimmer in Rainbows in Space, for instance, lends the polish a charcoal grey and sometimes even navy-type tinge in certain lights.) I like that October 2015 remains a pretty solid black on the nail – the better to admire all those pretty rainbows (which you cannot see in these photos, of course, because the sun cares not to visit my apartment at this time of year. Stupid jerk sun ruining my swatching plans.)

October 2015 Fingers Shade 1October 2015 Fingers Shade 2

Fall Favourites

Fall Favourites Collage

Driving home after running some errands this crisp, sunny morning, I decided to take a shortcut via a meandering country road. The last time I took this route I rounded a corner and immediately had to stand on my brakes to avoid hitting the 30 or so wild turkeys that were strutting about the hot top. What brought me to a standstill today, however, was rounding that corner and noting that somehow, without my being totally conscious of it, fall arrived. And it will be gone very soon. And then I won’t be taking that shortcut at all, because I can’t deal with black ice and wild, disobedient turkeys.

But before fall slips through my grasp like so many burnished leaves fluttering lazily to the ground, I thought I’d keep it in the here and now and feature some of my favourite seasonal polishes of this year and years past.

Starting in the upper left-hand corner of the collage, we have KB Shimmer’s Soul Deep, a midnight blue creme that’s a neat twist on the traditional black mani. A one-coater to boot, Soul Deep also makes for an excellent background to all manner of nail art.


Next we have another KB Shimmer polish, this time burnished orange holo Rust No One. Despite not being the hugest booster for orange lacquers, I think Rust No One is one of my favourite polishes, period, flashing mad, ultra flattering fuchsia rainbows and shimmer. This is another one I use as the background for a lot of nail art, although it’s a lovely, lovely pick for not-so-simple everyday wear.

Rust No One Bottle

Rounding out the top row we have yet another KB Shimmer polish, this time chunky glitter jelly Leaf of Faith. This polish is like fall in a bottle, all crunchy leaves and rich, cranberry jelly (indeed, I recently used Leaf of Faith in a canned cranberry sauce manicure – it makes a more than adequate substitute for canned jelly, if that’s your nail bag.)

Be-Leaf Bottle

Moving down to the second row, we have Smitten Polish’s Can You BeLeaf These Puns?, a chocolate brown micro glitter that looks like holographic coffee grounds. It can be quite difficult to find a true, dark brown holo, but Smitten knows how to do them up right (Seasonal Lattes, an espresso brown linear holo, is another favourite.)

BeLeaf Shade Bottle

Next we have another Smitten lacquer, this time a glittery green pick from last year’s springtime collection, Not Your Mama’s Easter Grass. I think this polish, with its hint of texture and vaguely unnatural-looking hue, is actually a perfect stand-in for the ultra vibrant, still-green leaves that cling stubbornly to the trees at this time of year. It will also more than pull its weight come Halloween.

Easter Grass Bottle Sun

Moving down to the bottom left, we have KB Shimmer’s Such a Vlad-Ass, a vampy, blood red creme that is the very epitome of polished perfection. I love this polish so much; would paint my walls with it if I could.

Vlad Bottle

Bottom centre we have a bit of an older pick, Lilypad Lacquer’s black holographic Rainbows in Space. To be sure, Rainbows’ holo rainbows are indeed lovely, but I love this polish because of the almost textured, flannel-type look it takes on in lower lighting, morphing from a rather standard black holo to a beautifully woolen-looking, somehow cozy flannel grey. Gorgeous.

Rainbows in Space Bottle

Finally, we have another micro glitter from Smitten Polish, this time Orange You Glad It’s Pun-kin Season? As a friend pointed out, this polish is PURE PUMPKIN, although I also get a hint of 1970s shag carpeting. No mind, it’s the perfect pick for this time of year, whether you’re walking among the leaves or picking out a pumpkin yourself – that way you can make sure it matches your nails!

Pun-kin Bottle

You can buy KB Shimmer’s polishes through their website here, or through Harlow & Co. if you’re an international customer. Smitten Polish’s lacquers are available through their site here. And finally, Lilypad Lacquer’s polishes are available through their site here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Holos

Holo Potter HandHoly macaroni, these all-holo Harry Potter nails were a pain in the patronus! This manicure inspired by Hogwarts’ house colours just didn’t want to behave for me, whether it was colours that didn’t quite match up (Slytherin’s green is a dark jade hue; makes you wonder if the kids of Slytherin might have had sunnier dispositions had they been surrounded by a cheerier colour like this one) or the bit of nail art on my thumb – lopsided enough in the final analysis – that started out as Hogwarts’ crest and two botched attempts later became that lopsided H you see before you. This is actually the first Harry Potter manicure I’ve ever done, which is amazing given that I’ve been at this blogging and nail arting thing now for nearly two years, as well as the fact that I really quite like the Harry Potter series, books and movies both. So why the hesitation? Maybe my as-yet-undiscovered wizarding skills and senses were telling me that I was going to whiff it big time, so I’d better hold back? Sounds good to me. Another one – blessedly few, thankfully – to add to the Try Again pile.

I used a mess of holographic polishes in this manicure, because I really loved that title and couldn’t leave a perfectly good pun just laying there, and also because I’ve found that holos, so long as they have good opacity, are great for base work and nail art details alike – lots of built-in shadowing that adds a little something extra to your favourite manis. Here I used two Cirque polishes, golden Chyrsopoeia and green Panacea, two Enchanted Polishes, ruby red February 2015 and dark blue May 2015, Orly’s silver Mirrorball and Lilypad Lacquer’s black Rainbows in Space.Holo Potter Fingers

Bifrost Black

Rainbows in Space BottleThis polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s holographic stunner, Rainbows in Space, totally reminds me of that mystical road of hoop-dee-doo that binds the fabric of the universe or some such crap in the Marvel Universe, the Bifrost. Although, to be honest, the only thing I’ve really retained from repeated viewings of various movies in the Marvel superhero oeuvre is that Captain America’s ass is so, SO fiiiiiiinnnnnne. *Shakes head in disbelief* And I’m not even a butt woman! But good lord, the man should be renamed Captain Ass, because that’s all that matters about his character.

But we’ll go with the Bifrost thing. For those not in the know, it’s a type of trans-universal road that appears mostly in the Thor movies, and it looks exactly like this nail polish. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that keeper of time dude shellacked the entire thing in holographic nail polish during all those off hours when marauders WEREN’T trying to punch a hole through the fabric of reality or whatever. Like I said, I stopped paying attention at ASS.

But getting back to the ass matter at hand, this nail polish, the second of two polishes I recently purchased from Lilypad Lacquer, is, like its periwinkle order-mate, a total stunner. Rainbows in Space lives up to its name, throwing gorgeous, copper shimmer-tinged rainbows all over the place, and as a nice little added bonus, it applies beautifully. I particularly love the way the charcoal grey polish acts as its own highlighting base, bringing out the very best in all that gorgeous holographic shimmer.Rainbows in Space SunRainbows in Space Sun 2

In lower, indirect lighting, Rainbows in Space, with its streaks of copper-hued microshimmer, shows as a wealth of different shades. Here it’s reading as a dark, flannel grey, but throughout the day I also wondered if I was seeing a deep, heathery navy or even an exceptionally blackened teal. It’s a truly lovely chameleon in that way.Rainbows in Space Bottle Shade

Blooming Blue

In Bloom Bottle

I purchased two polishes recently from a new-to-me Aussie indie brand, Lilypad Lacquer, and when they arrived via nail mail yesterday just in time to be photographed all gorgeously out on my sun-streaked balcony, I wasted precisely zero time in swatchin’ ’em up. Then I stood around in a kind of daze, muttering under my breath about such inanities as linear holo and microshimmer whilst tilting my hands back and forth, side to side, up and down. Call it Nail Polish Hypnosis. Believe you me, it’s a very real thing, and we WILL find a cure in our lifetimes!!!

But before I get up on my PSA soapbox, I’ll point out that this polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s holographic and purple shimmer-infused In Bloom, is totally worth falling into a fugue state over, because it’s so. stupidly. gorgeous. Fabulous quality, too, and a dream to apply. It reminds me of this multichrome-type MAC eye shadow my best friend and I both wore in high school that flipped between purple, blue, green and grey and which I felt quite badly about when they discontinued many, many moons ago. I remember (vapidly) staring into the horribly-lit bathroom mirror at my part-time job and watching the colours shift as I batted my eyelashes and otherwise acted like a giant, giggly girly girl. Which I am, so no apologies! But needless to say, staring at this gorgeous colour on my nails is sure to prove significantly easier than the eye shadow, and it is thankfully not discontinued!

In Bloom Shade