Summer Swirl

Summer Swirls Collage

Sounds like a type of ice cream, doesn’t it?  LOOKS like a type of ice cream, maybe one of those lurid, multi-hued, bubblegum-studded monstrosities that goes by the name SuperKiddo or Diabetes in a Cone. 😉

Alas – or perhaps not, depending on your views on Red Food Dye No. 3 – this is a manicure and not ice cream.  Bit of a bummer, that, as I hear it’s supposed to be hotter than the surface of the sun today, and ice cream *could* help.  So could sitting two inches off the air conditioner.

This manicure looks so much more impressive and difficult than it actually was to achieve.  Looks like one of those horrible – and horribly messy – water marble manis that has bested me time and time again, but not!  Because these are little nail decals I made to mimic the look of a water marble, and they were dead easy.  All I did was dab five polishes (turquoise, yellow, magenta, pink and a shimmery, golden green) out onto the back of a Ziploc bag, ran a dotting tool through them to create the swirled design (you could use a toothpick or a hair pin or the head of a sewing needle, should you not have a dotting tool) and then let it dry overnight.

Summer Swirls 4

And I may have let them dry a tad too long, because the most difficult part of this manicure was prizing those little decals-to-be off the plastic bag, a nitpicky job I outsourced to Mr. Finger Candy.  I think I may have made the decals a tad too thin and let them dry too long – the whole removal process would have gone much easier if the decals were a little less brittle and a bit more pliable.  Notes for next time.

Summer Swirls 3

Application itself was likewise easy.  All I did was give my nails one light coat of one of the polishes I used to make the decals, in this case the vibrant magenta.  Then, going nail by nail, I painted on another light coat of the magenta polish before immediately laying one of the decals over top of it.  I pushed the decals down gently with my fingers, making sure to really nestle them into the edges of my nails.  I used the blunt edge of a cuticle pusher to do this, but again, you could use the slanted side of a toothpick or even your thumbnail.  Then I roughly trimmed off the excess by simply – but lightly and carefully! – running the pointed end of my cuticle pusher along the edges of my nails to separate out the waste.  When all of my nails were done, I applied two coats of a diamond hard, high shine topcoat – Seche Vite to the rescue once again – and then cleaned up the raggedy bits along my cuticles with a detail brush dipped in acetone.

Summer Swirls 5

I love these nails!  And this technique is one I will definitely be turning to again; it is soooo much easier and tidier than water marbing, and produces nearly identical results. Plus, check out these amazing macro shots I snapped.  I think the one on the left looks like some sort of insane, alchemy-based fire, and the one on the right looks like bubblegum taffy in the midst of being pulled.

Summer Swirls Macro Collage

Summer Swirls 8

A blogging buddy of mine, altercontroldelight, does a very similar kind of technique, except she really knows what she’s doing – she’s got a whole system that involves making the decals on a silicone mat, which makes SOOOO much more sense than trying to prize the delicate little buggers off the back of a plastic bag, duh!  She’s also a fan of unexpected colour combinations and cool, fluid designs, and I’m a fan of that.  Again, another note for next time. 😉

Merry and Bright

Merry and Bright 1

Well, consider that check and checked, thanks to this dazzlingly festive polish, Ceramic Glaze’s Hong Kong Diva, and a couple of cheerful gingerbread men nail charms from Daily Charme.

This is the part where I usually ask where all the time has gone, and issue a plea for just a few more hours to be added to each day, just until Christmas.  Except I feel like I have things pretty well in hand this year.  Tomorrow we host my husband’s family for our annual holiday meal; afterwards my parents will stop by to help us clean up the leftovers and indulge in a yearly viewing of Home Alone.  Next week I’ve got lunch and donut dates with my parents, and weather pending, a cool evening light show.  And I have just a handful of little gifts to pick up, so I’m feeling pretty good about things!  Check back with me in a couple of days, though – as things spiral towards Christmas, undoubtedly we’ll all be feeling the pinch.

Also, a macro shot, because this polish is gorgeous!  Such a wonderful pick for this time of year – festive, fun and sexy.

Merry and Bright Macro

Tree Time!

sELFie Bottle

I put up our tree today!  This is exclamation mark worthy because I’m never so seasonally motivated, particularly when it comes to our tree (we have history.)  But we’ve got some fun things planned for later on this holiday season that require a bit of planning right now, and so that’s what I’m doing.

Also, I woke up this morning just feeling festive!  So much so, I managed to convince my husband to watch Babes in Toyland, a favourite terrible Christmas movie from my childhood starring Keanu Reeves and Drew Barrymore, while I melted some Christmas Wish-scented wax (pine, peppermint and cookies) and painted my nails with this festive glitter bomb, KB Shimmer’s sELFie.  This polish looks so pretty on its own, but I love it topped with this tiny bejeweled nail charm.

sELFie Fingers

These sort of ultra dense, glitter-packed polishes always look fantastic in super macro close-up, and sELFie is no exception – lovely!  A fun and festive mani for a fun and festive day.

sELFie Macro

So Boo-tyful

brains-boo-ty-bottle

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Or if the last photos you took of a nail polish are better than anything you could take today, use them again.  I think the first one is a little more concise, don’t you?

This is Painted Polish’s Brains & Boo-ty, a Halloween polish I received last Christmas and first swatched in the new year.  As its time with me has always been just a tiny little bit out of seasonal step with its intended holiday, I thought it would fun to revisit this Halloween glitter bomb during the actual spooktacular season.  Except the photos I took in the winter still look pretty great.  It seemed a shame not to reuse them…and so I did!  Gotta recycle where you can; we all need to do our part to fight climate change. :/

brains-boo-ty-fingers-shade

Brains & Boo-ty was released some years ago; as such, it’s unfortunately no longer available from any of the usual stocklist suspects, although Harlow & Co. carry a number of other Painted Polish glitters that look like Brains & Boo-ty in composition, if not in colour (love these perfect Halloweenie hues.)  And hey look, so glittery all up close – it’s kind of hypnotizing, like a Halloween disco ball.

brains-boo-ty-macro

 

So Bluetiful!

So Bluetiful Bottle

All right, NOW we’re cooking with gas on this mystery polish business!  This lovely speckled specimen is Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquer for the month of March, and it is stupendous – the kind of polish I was hoping my last turn at the mystery hokey pokey was going to turn up, but regrettably never produced.

So Bluetiful Fingers

Glittery jellies are my nail polish kryptonite, and March 2017, with its navy blue-leaning black glitter, purple, colour-shifting shimmer and fine sprinkling of holographic glitter, is one for the Top 3 list, absolutely.  What a stunner!  I think it looks like a very vibrant robin’s egg.  It’s also quite beautiful way, way up close and personal (shame about that little bubble, perfectly outlined though it may be – with thanks to my new husband-procured Olloclip macro lens, which could pick out a dust mite on a flea on a dog, I swear.  Or, you know, something less gross and buggy!)

So Bluetiful Macro

Brains & Boo-ty

brains-boo-ty-bottle

Hey look, just in time for Winterween, the cold weather Halloween holiday I just made up, here’s a festive lacquer from Painted Polish to keep your nails looking their spookiest. This is Brains & Boo-ty, and it presumably belongs to last year’s Halloween collection, although it caught my eye this Christmas.

This is actually the third Painted Polish lacquer I received this holiday, and just like its gift mates, Aurora and Chasing Rainbows, Brains & Boo-ty is fantastically fun, super well made and easy to apply.  It’s the trifecta of polish awesomeness!  But really, I’m terrifically impressed with Painted Polish’s offerings, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for more fabulous lacquers going forward.

brains-boo-ty-fingers-shade

Brains & Boo-ty’s neat-o mix of purple, orange and lime green holographic glitter (which applied so nicely in just three lump-free coats) was just begging for the macro treatment, which I happily obliged.  Winterween looks pretty great up close and personal, doesn’t it?

brains-boo-ty-macro

Finger Candy Claus outsourced the acquisition of these Painted Polish lacquers to Harlow & Co., should you feel moved enough by the Winterween spirit to also covet this gorgeous polish. 😉

Fabulously Flaky

Macro Mani

Getting way up close and personal with this flaked-out manicure that was little more than an excuse for me to muck about with a fun, colour-shifting polish and my neglected macro lenses.  And this flakie, Polish Me Silly’s multi-chromatic Party Hearty, is an excellent candidate for the job – it just looks so cool mega magnified, particularly the larger, slightly raggedy rainbow bits.  Love this fun, experimental look. 🙂

Fabulously Flaky Fingers 1