Mystery Mint

March 2015 Shade BottleContinuing with the previous months’ heavenly holos, but this time adding a touch of iridescent shimmer, Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquer for March 2015 is an icy pastel beauty perfect for bridging that weird seasonal gap we’re in right now between Spring and Summer and – if you’re living on the east coast of Canada – the tail end of Winter. Lousy Smarch weather.

I was quite pleased with the mystery polishes Enchanted released for January and February 2015, and March’s pick is proving to be no exception. The fine iridescent shimmer that lends this polish a purple-tinged, duochrome effect in lower lighting is very of-the-moment (an extreme(ley) beautiful example is Mentality Polish’s matte Bash) and my nail polish stash at least is quite bereft of pastel holos. I also love the fresh, minty colour, an almost frosted green hue particularly flattering to us pale skinned ladies. Another solid pick that makes me want to unravel all the other mysteries Enchanted has planned for 2015.March 2015 CollageNo Label March 2015 Bottle

Speckled Sandwich

Speckled HandI’d typically tell you to beware the sandwich that’s speckled in anything (except for that crunchy munchy flax stuff; it’s delicious) but this isn’t your usual sandwich (besides, I shouldn’t have to tell you NOT to put it in your mouth. What, are you a toddler?!) You all know I’m a real sucker for a jelly sandwich manicure, not just because they’re quick, easy and effective, but because they really allow you to stretch your creative, create-a-polish legs and cobble together some fun, Designer Imposter-type looks (I just lost everyone under the age of 25. Are Designer Imposter perfumes even a thing any more? Think cheap body sprays described as “Like CK One” or “Sunflowers-esque.” They were super popular in the ’80s and ’90s. Then again, so was Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft, which smelled like diapers before the aforementioned toddlers got to them.)

Take this creation, for instance, a combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s red glaze and Sally Hansen’s glittery Over the Rainblue. I saw a similarly composed indie polish on Instagram the other day – simple and striking, but maybe not something I needed right that very second. Especially not when I thought I could maybe create something very similar with a couple of polishes I already had at home, which is precisely what I did. And while the inspiration for these nails was actually a holographic polish, I think the slight shimmer of the cherry red glaze and the tiny holo bars in Over the Rainblue are perfectly acceptable substitutes in this basic glitter-over-polish manicure (or, more accurately, glitter-over-AND-under-polish manicure.) I especially like the way the holographic blue glitter shines through the red glaze, making these speckled nails look as though they’re lit from within.Speckled Hand Collage

Aquamarine

Mentality First PicHere’s another pick from Mentality Nail Polish’s fabulous line of jellychrome polishes, opalescent beauty Shindig. In certain lights this polish can look a lot like its sister, Gala, both being of the watery-hued variety shot through with tons of gorgeous pink shimmer. But on closer inspection, Shindig is actually quite green; a true aquamarine to Gala’s Bachelor Button blue. To-may-toe, To-mah-toe (is anyone else out there watching The Last Man on Earth? Carol is like some evil dark mischief fairy, right?) they’re both fabulous.

Although it must be said that this line of polishes is really outstanding. In a product landscape littered with the same old, same old (the nail polish world is quite bandwagonesque) Mentality is not only putting out a product that’s unique and complex (these polishes are classified as matte duochrome jellies stuffed with glass shard shimmer) but also beautifully executed – these jellychromes apply like a dream in two easy coats and wear surprisingly well for a matte polish meant to be worn sans topcoat (of course, you also have the option of adding a topcoat – shiny or matte – to protect your mani and draw out all that beautiful opalescent shimmer.)Mentality Hand

These jellychromes are available through Mentality Nail Polish, although I’ve always snagged mine from Harlow & Co., which – knock on wood – has yet to do wrong by me in any way. Nothing but good things to say about them, the least of which is that they carry Mentality’s gorgeous products in the first place!Mentality Second Bottle

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow HandOne of the wisest nail polish purchases I have made in, well, ever is Mentality Nail Polish’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set. Sold both individually and as part of the larger set, the polishes, which run the rainbow gamut from cherry red to eggplant purple, are slightly shimmery, sheer, but buildable, and the perfect mix-and-match palette for everything from jelly sandwiches to leadlighting. Gradients in particular fare quite well when done with the glazes, the sheer shades blending into one another beautifully.

For this manicure, I used eight of the glazes (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple and coral) to create a mash-up of brushed-on rainbow stripes/a vertical gradient before topping the whole thing off with one coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s twinkly Rainbow Sprinkles. I think my thumb, index finger and pinkie look fantastic, with each colour blending nearly seamlessly into the one beside it. My middle and ring fingers fared a little less well, the naturally occurring spectrum getting a bit muddled with the end of one rainbow and the beginning of another. But no matter, because glitter eradicates all nail sins, and Rainbow Sprinkles is more than pulling its weight!Double Rainbow Bottle

Fairy Fire

089So I just looked up exactly what Fairy Fire is, and quite contrary to my belief that it’s just a cutesy name for the sparkly chemtrails flying fairies leave in their wake (as well as the inspiration for these glittery nails, which use Candy Lacquer’s holographic Fairyland glitter topper), it’s actually a type of bioluminescence emitted by certain species of fungi found in decaying wood. Sexy! Which I think we can all agree is significantly less attractive (and inspiring) than twinkling Tink dust! Still, there must be a touch of fairy dust in the air for a creation technically named after off-gassing mushrooms to be so beautiful. 🙂

Here I layered one dabbed-on coat of Fairyland over two coats of Mentality’s Barbie pink Bash.Tinkered With Tink

Marmalade Sandwich

Orange Marmalade HandThis autumn-hued jelly sandwich manicure might seem a touch out of season (first comes Spring and Summer, and then Fall, Sandra) but at this point, I’m willing to look at anything to break up the monotony of late winter. It’s such an ugly time of year, particularly in my city where heaps of filthy snow line every sidewalk and roadway from November to mid-April.

Something warm – the furthest thing from icy, really – seemed in order, and wanting to keep things on the simple side, I decided to go with a jelly sandwich manicure using China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a holographic glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection, and the orange glaze from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set. However, Mentality’s slightly shimmery glazes do have a tendency to faintly obscure less assertively-hued glitters (particularly those of the tone-on-tone variety, like this one), so I brushed on one ultra light coat of Rest in Pieces over top of the entire “assembled” sandwich to add further depth and boost the pretty sparkle.Rest in Pieces Bottle

Hey Ladies!

Ladies Choice CollageGet fon-kay (and cue the cowbell!) Here’s another beautiful polish from Aussie indie maker Glam Polish, this time Ladies Choice, a shimmer and holo-infused stunner from their somewhat recently released Hairspray Collection. There’s quite a few of these shimmery, duochrome-type polishes on the market at the moment, and while the combination of lit-from-within purple shimmer and turquoise holo is not a new one (Mentality’s Gala, a matte jelly take on the trend, is a favourite), Glam Polish’s formulations are across-the-board fantastic, applying smoothly and evenly in two light coats. And just look at all that sparkly holo!Holo Hand

Let’s get up close and personal with Ladies Choice in a macro kind of way, both under the glow of megawatt artificial light and a natural light source. Lovely Ladies, indeed.Macro Ladies Choice Collage

And finally, just a little holographic nail porn to brighten up the end of your day. You are most welcome. 🙂Holo Bottle

Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls HandIridescent, glittery sweet sugar skulls for week three’s theme of skulls in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. Two more of Mentality’s gorgeous jellychromes, turquoise Shindig and hot pink Hoopla, act as the perfect background polishes, their colour-shifting glass shimmer adding beautiful shading and depth to my first-time ever sugar skull mani.

Just Straight Up Nail Porn

Bash CollageThis might be Finger Candy, home of the candy-coated nails, but let’s not sugar coat this particular post too much – like the title says, this one’s just straight up nail porn! Here’s Bash, another colour-shifting jellychrome from Mentality Nail Polish, sister to Gala, a lacquer I featured last week to great reception. And little wonder; these polishes are DOPE.

Here I’ve shown Bash, a matte, rosy pink polish shot through with blue shimmer, in five different types of light, from sunny and direct to shaded and diffuse. Most polishes show their visual weaknesses when you attempt to photograph them in the shade (many ONLY look good whilst sparkling under the sun), but these jellychromes are quite the opposite, coming positively alive in lower lighting, the shimmer and slightly matte base provoking all sorts of cool visual effects from the same bottle of polish. Bash is thankfully no exception to this wonderful little discovery, morphing from a clear, coral pink one moment to an almost frosted-looking purple the next, with stops at traditional Barbie pink and soft rose in between. Like its sister, Gala (and maybe the other three I bought as well…) Bash applies beautifully in two coats and wears abnormally well. You actually have to work to remove it, perhaps because its gorgeous shimmer seems to be of the glass-type variety, which really bonds to nails and invariably requires extra elbow grease come removal time.

You can purchase Mentality’s beautiful products through their site here, although I’ve had great luck with Harlow & Co. here in Canada, whose shipping practices (buy on Monday, here on Wednesday) are absolutely second to none.

And now, as the Simpsons would say, on to the thing we really all came here to see: Hardcore nudity! Or, sorry, really beautiful nail polish. 😉Bash HandBash Fingers

Going Mental: A Mentality Glazing Art Set Review

Mentality CollageEarlier this year Mentality Nail Polish released a 10-piece collection of rainbow polishes called the Glazing Art Set. Categorized as jellies, these ever so slightly shimmery polishes are opaque in three coats, but sheer enough straight out of the bottle that they can be used in all sorts of fun nail art techniques, from leadlighting and jelly sandwiches to pond manis and homemade Franken-polishes. You can see a few of the manicures I’ve already created with these polishes here, here and here.Mentality Lineup

Formula-wise, the glazes flow onto the nail nicely, being neither too thin or thick, although I did notice that the two purple polishes were a touch thinner than their sisters. In terms of application, they all brushed on smoothly and were completely opaque in three coats – quite the feat for a sheer formulation; I’ve had cremes with poorer coverage – although once again the two purple polishes proved to be ever so slightly less vibrant than their counterparts and probably could have benefitted from four coats each. Scattered throughout with the very faintest (and daintiest) of silver shimmer, these polishes do not look like jellies in the most traditional sense of the word, eschewing a jelly’s usual squishiness for a ton of gorgeous, best-in-the-shade visual interest that I have yet to put into practice, but that I bet will look pretty fabulous in some stained glass nail art.

The 10-piece Glazing Art Set, which I purchased from Harlow & Co., retails for $65 USD, although you can also buy each of the polishes – red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, red-purple, coral and grey – individually (but come on, don’t you want the set – it’s like finger paints for adults!) If you’re interested in stretching your glitters, trying your hand at a watercolour-type look, creating fun new colour combinations or just mucking around with a giant pile of pretty, rainbow-hued polishes, look no further than these versatile and beautifully made glazes that are sure to inspire all manner of nail art greatness.

The following photo collages show one, two and three coats of each of the 10 glazes in natural, indirect light with no top coat.

Red:

Red Glaze Collage

Orange:

Orange Glaze Collage

Yellow:

Yellow Glaze Collage

Green:

Green Glaze Collage

Aqua:

Aqua Glaze Collage

Blue:

Blue Glaze Collage

Purple:

Purple Glaze Collage

Red-Purple:

Purple-Red Glaze Collage

Coral:

Coral Glaze Collage

Grey:

Grey Glaze Collage