Gold Dots and Gradients

Vintage Dots

I love these (holographic) polishes together, Cirque’s coppery-peach Luminous Owl and Enchanted Polish’s dark purple Dream On – it’s a dusky, sophisticated palette for fall that nicely bridges that odd little beauty gap between the start of autumn and Halloween (when, as you know, everything defaults to monsters, zombies, dripping blood, green, purple, orange, repeat.) And because I also find that these sorts of heathered-and-weathered hues give off a sort of vintage vibe, and because I can never leave well enough alone, I decided to top this gradient with burnished gold dots (L’Oreal’s Because You’re Worth It) for a buttoned up, Victorian kind of look. Simple, and something a little bit different in the midst of all these seasonally samey looks.

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.

Nanny Nails

Luminous Owl Light Sun

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my grandmother.  At 90 years old, after a full lifetime of absolutely stable, overwhelmingly positive health, she’s finally beginning to fade.  I don’t like to think about this too much, both because she’s doing a tremendous job of being brave, as should I, but also because I have the luxury of living close to her and being able to see her often, which is when I invariably note that she hasn’t yet given in to the fade, as evidenced by her desire to continue dressing in nice clothes, surrounding herself with pretty things and, as per her lifelong custom, painting her nails.

My grandmother (I call her Nanny) is a woman of few vanities.  She’s always worn makeup, set her hair and visited the salon for occasional touch-ups, but I think this is more a function of being a woman of “that generation” (namely ladies who really knew how to turn it out) than an overwhelming love of and for certain beauty rituals.  But her nails?  She’s ALWAYS loved doing her nails (long, strong ovals to this day), particularly in shades from the muted pink-mauve-brown end of the colour spectrum.

So a couple of weeks back when she gifted me with a bit of birthday money, I exercised zero restraint and, taking a page from her handbook, immediately ordered up two polishes on my perpetual wish list, Cirque’s holographic Luminous Owl and Sky Woman, both of which arrived yesterday.  I started with Luminous Owl, drawn to its vaguely rusty-looking hue and gorgeous holo shimmer.  Here’s the Owl twinkling prettily under my kitchen pot lights:Luminous Owl Pot Lights

After I took all the necessary pictures for this blog, I sat around staring at my new find in a kind of dumbfounded stupor (come on, we all do it!), this stupor made all the more perplexing by the deja vu I was experiencing – as in, I have owned this polish before.  Which I must say is simply not possible, for as beautiful and unique as I find the colour, it’s not a polish I would ever, ever, ever think to buy (until, of course, I actually bought it.)  Coppery-pink polishes with brown undertones are generally not my jam, and besides, it’s Finger Candy financial and organizational policy to never buy two of a too-similar polish.  So where on earth had I previously run across this lovely gem?

Suddenly it dawned on me – my grandmother.  I can think of only one lady powerless to the lure of a beautiful browny-pink polish like Luminous Owl, and while I can say with total certainty that she’d never buy a Cirque polish (would be SCANDALIZED by its price tag, actually), she has worn some variation of it nearly every day of her 90 years, which is surely where I’ve “seen” this nail polish before.  It’s a Nanny polish, no doubt, and simply sporting it on my nails puts a smile on my face, as sometimes these things truly are genetic. 😉

So in the interest of filling her in on what I purchased with my birthday funds, I’ll show her these pictures and then whip out my bottle of Luminous Owl, see if she’s in the mood for a mani with what I’d dub “the good shit” (though I’d never say that to her – it’s sage life advice to never swear around your grandmother.)  It will be delightful to share in a common interest, even if that interest is something as prosaic as silly old nail polish.  And anything that takes her mind off the larger issues at hand by prettying up her hands can never be considered a bad thing. 🙂