Frozen Bubbles

Frozen Bubbles

As in Polish Me Silly’s fun Mr. Bubble glitter bomb over top of my frozen, lacquered fingertips.  ‘Cause it never stops snowing.  As I may have mentioned once or twice or 20 times over the past two days.  Fur real, though, it’s the middle of MARCH.  Time to wrap this up for the year, Earth!  Besides, there’s only so much time left before we all switch over to griping about the heat and humidity (also a thing in my in-a-valley city.)

Heh, that reminds me of a cute interaction I had with a reader years ago.  I had mentioned in a post at the time that my city sits in a valley, as in the Ottawa Valley.  If you’ve been to Ottawa, you know it has its lovely qualities, but it’s also a major (bureaucratic) city, with all the attendant ugliness that goes along with that descriptor – old, crap, perpetually breaking infrastructure (sinkholes!), sprawling, high density suburbs (vinyl!) and a death trap of a 400 series highway that cuts through the entire city like a gaping, infected wound (but tell us how you really feel, Sandra.)  Anyhow, this reader, who I believe hailed from the Philippines, left a sweet comment on my post to the effect of “You live in a valley?!  How wonderful, it must be so beautiful and magical!”  It was adorable, and I laughed for about five solid minutes afterwards at the thought of this girl thinking that I lived in freakin’ Fern Gully.  I tried to be as gentle as possible as I explained that no, Ottawa was your pretty typical metropolitan mess, and how its valley-ness manifested itself was mostly in poor weather conditions that would settle into the divot and then not move off for the next 10 days.  That’s kind of what we’re in right now – a snow cycle that’s trapped down here “in the Valley.”  No place like home, eh? 😉

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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. 🙂

Back to School

Back to School Fingers

Chalkboard nails. 😉  And a couple of apples for all my teacher friends.  Do kids still give apples to their teachers?  I’d think Starbucks gift cards go further these days – make caramel apple cider out of apples and all that good stuff.

March Matteness

March Matteness Fingers

Matte floral nails never fail to remind me of one of those ornate, “Do not touch!” teacups your grandmother has on the top shelf of her china cabinet.  Behind glass.  And beside a commemorative decorative bell she and your grandfather received as a present at their 50th wedding anniversary party.  At least that’s the ideal, right, to be so happy with your one and only, one day you’ll qualify for that decorative bell to place beside the “Company only!” teacup?  I like to think that’s the ideal, at least. 🙂

A Speckled Egg of a Different Sort

Speckled Egg Shiny

Yeah, you don’t see them in electric cobalt blue all that often, do you?  I certainly can’t deny that the overall look of this manicure – Ardene’s black-and-blue glitter topper, Following, over Nails Inc.’s blue creme, Baker Street – is Easter Egg ramped all the way up to 11, first with a glossy topcoat, and then dialed back a bit with the addition of a matte topcoat, Zoya’s Matte Velvet, to highlight all that nearly-hidden blue glitter (matte topcoats, as always, also destroy your manicure; I’ve yet to encounter one, no matter the brand, formulation, age, etc., that doesn’t deposit white fleckies all over your hard work. It’s a cool look, but regrettably also a destructive one.)

Speckled Egg Matte Ruined

Chanel-lo!

Chanel Hand

I think I’m about to commit an act of high fashion blasphemy here, but Chanel really isn’t my (quilted) bag.  I love all the black leather and pearls and that iconic quilting, of course, but if a giant pile of couture was to suddenly find its well-appointed way to my doorstep, I’d prefer if it was Elie Saab or Naeem Khan or Roland Mouret.  Because in this scenario I have my choice of all four!

But I do love the stark black-and-whiteness of Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld is a stuffy, curmudgeonly delight, so when the opportunity presented itself for some Chanel-inspired nail art, I jumped all over it.  Pearls and black velvet ribbons and those little interlocking Cs factor in heavily here, as does my second attempt at that iconic Chanel quilting.  I initially tried to achieve the quilted effect by laying down striping tape in a diamond-type design over a matte base.  I was going to paint over the tape with a high gloss top coat, and when I removed the tape, the little diamonds were going to look puffy and plush and gorgeous.

That of course DID NOT HAPPEN!  I just wound up ripping every bit of the polish off my nails when I removed the tape, albeit in a somewhat attractive waffle pattern.  So lessons learned – striping tape and matte topcoat do not make for compatible bedfellows.  So in lieu of my original plan, I took a second run at the quilted look, this time simply painting the matte topcoat over top of a glossy black creme in a not-too-shaky diamond pattern.  Not perfect and not what I had intended, but it’ll do!

Chanel Fingers