Make it Pink! Make it Blue!

Make it Pink, Make it Blue 1

Or make it a little bit of both!  But that really didn’t fit the fairies’ rhyming scheme in Sleeping Beauty, so they just stopped with pink and blue.

I, however, did not stop with just pink and blue in this manicure (Pure Ice’s frosty pink Peony and Nails Inc.’s cobalt Baker Street, in case you were curious) topping both polishes with Mr. Bubble, a favourite glitter topper from indie polish maker Polish Me Silly that has to be at least five years old now, and I’m just astonished that it’s still in polish-able condition.  Glitter-based polishes, particularly those in mini bottles, have a tendency to dry up rather quickly, but this bubbly lovely is still flowing smoothly.  Noice!

Make it Pink, Make it Blue 2

I cribbed the indigo-over-pink gradient AND the choice of glitter polish from an old Chalkboard Nails manicure that first caught my eye back in – woah, sorry, had to take a moment to contemplate my own mortality there for a sec – 2014.  The glittery little bow was my idea, although I’ll add a bow charm to just about any mani I can.  Sarah Thompson, the blogger and nail artist behind Chalkboard Nails, is still doing her thing, albeit now over on Instagram.  I follow some nail art accounts, and yet I had absolutely no idea that she was still in the mix.  Instagram really sucks these days, doesn’t it?

This mani doesn’t suck and I love this colour combination.  And three cheers for Mr. Bubble, keepin’ on keepin’ on. 🙂

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? 😉

Bubble Bubble

hubba-bubble-fingers

…toil and trouble.  The toil being the not inconsiderable amount of time I put into this manicure, only to then run directly into the trouble – smashing my fingertips straight into the bathroom door after a post-mani wash-up.  Aargh!  As always, take your time, friends, to do all parts of a job well, and don’t forget to stick the landing!

(P.S. The glitter polish I used here?  Polish Me Silly’s Mr. Bubble.  It’s bath time fun for everyone!)

Double Bubble

Bubble Bottle

YOU GUYS, I am beyond excited for this post! And why exactly am I so excited? Because that bottle of perfume I’m clutching up there, Demeter’s Mr. Bubble-scented cologne, is the first free/for-your-consideration item I’ve been sent in my fledgling blogging career, and I’m just as pleased as punch! I’ve seen other beauty bloggers tag their posts with casual disclaimers that they were sent this, that and the other thing for unbiased review, and I always think they’re so blasé about it. If that were me, I’d be screaming my good fortune from the rooftops – wherever you are in the world, you’d hear my whooping cries. And while I am a (former) student of journalism, and therefore well versed in the concept of honest, uncompromising review, I’m a beauty buff who just got her first freebie, and that’s just aces in my books. So I suppose that’s my not-so blasé disclaimer right there: I’m friggin’ excited, and a total lack of bias is probably not something you’re going to find here!

First, however, and perhaps most importantly as it pertains to the discussion of bias, I’ll note that this bottle of Mr. Bubble cologne was NOT sent to me for traditional smell-and-wear review. Rather, I was asked to recall and recount a memory of Mr. Bubble, the soap, which if you’re at all familiar with this blog and my writing style, is right up my alley. Moreover, I was not sent this perfume from Demeter itself, but rather through CBB, or Canadian Beauty Bloggers, an online networking resource for Canuck bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers. As a small side note, my involvement with CBB has proven quite beneficial, and not just because of opportunities for product reviews like this one – CBB also offers up a number of beauty and blogging tips and tricks, tons of opportunities for cross-promotion, and they nurture an active and friendly Facebook community of helpful, like-minded beauty buffs. A truly terrific resource for the Canadian beauty blogger.

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Secondly, a quick word about Demeter, a company I have been brand loyal to for some 15 years now – their perfumes are awesome. And while I personally am not completely sold on this fragrance, as my scent preferences err towards the edible, I can attest that, like the other five or six Demeter perfumes I’ve bought, Mr. Bubble is long-lasting, scent-true and complex – even their singular scents, like Sugar Cookie or Pomegranate, have distinct layers, and Mr. Bubble is no exception. It’s airy, fruity and a touch floral – lovely if that’s your thing. Best of all, it’s really nice to see a company that you’ve supported for so many years keep on keepin’ on, and well at that – I hope to be writing about Demeter in another 15 years’ time.

But for now, let’s flash BACK 15 years to a university-aged Sandra, fresh off her first visit to a Lush store. I was too, too excited to Lush it up and had, in fact, a mile-long list of must-have items – hand cut soaps, bath bombs and the like. Then I entered the store and was hit with what I call THE WALL OF LUSH. C’mon, you know that smell; it’s really quite distinct. Some people love the all-fruit, all-herb, all-essential oil smell of Lush, but I simply cannot abide it. And so I was exceptionally disappointed to discover that, to me at least, all of Lush’s pricey products smell like that one all-encompassing WALL OF LUSH, no matter the delicious-sounding description on the label. I left the store empty-handed and grumpy – I had major bath plans that evening, and stinky, expensive Lush was harshing my buzz. Then later on that afternoon, as I was working my cashier’s job at a local grocery store, a giant, inexpensive and yummy-smelling bottle of peaches and cream Mr. Bubble came across my cash. At the time I was a bit of a foolish beauty snob – I’d equate a product’s worth with its retail price, which is not fair to the Mr. Bubbles of the world. And so I decided to give Mr. Bubble the bath time shot it deserved, and you know what? It was totally awesome. Giant, soft piles of peachy-smelling suds, and the sweet satisfaction of knowing I wasn’t paying an arm and a leg for the privilege. Plus, at the end of my bath I didn’t smell like the floor of a chill tent at Burning Man. 😉

I haven’t taken a bath for relaxation in years (I’m thoroughly Team Shower) but this fun little exercise has me adding a bottle of Mr. Bubble to this week’s grocery list. It’s been a while, and it would be nice to be reacquainted again. In the meantime, though, I’m content with confining the Mr. Bubble to my pulse points, and my nails, like this manicure featuring one of my favourite lacquers, Polish Me Silly’s pink, blue and white matte glitter, Mr. Bubble. Double the Bubble for your bath time fun!

Bubble Polish Bottle

Pink Bubbles

Pink Bubbles HandA beautiful Saturday like the one I’m enjoying demands a favourite manicure, a simple but eye-catching combination of a fun, (glow-in-the-dark!) base polish and a cute matte glitter topper. No fuss, no muss, and we’re all out the door in a flash and on our way to better weekend things.

For these nails, I topped three coats of Serum No. 5’s glow-in-the-dark Awesome Blossom with one coat of Polish Me Silly’s pink, blue and white glitter topper, Mr. Bubble. I’ve used Awesome Blossom as a base in more manicures than I can count, although when it comes to its glow-in-the-darkiness, it has never thrown off more light than a watery, pastel violet. A bit of a disappointment there. But separate and apart from the glow-in-the-dark gimmick, Awesome Blossom really lives up to its name, providing a beautiful background for a wide variety of glitter polishes and more intricate nail art. Colour-wise, these photos actually do not show Awesome Blossom in its full, in-real-life, ELECTRIC NEON PINK glory. I mean, it’s super, super bright – a true pastel neon pink. It’ll burn the eyeballs straight out your skull if you stare at it too long. Although probably not. 😉Pink Bubbles Bottle

Here’s what I was talking about with that glow-in-the-dark thing. These photos show the glow as a dark blue, but I assure you, in real life it’s lilac. Colour-matching blues/purples/greens in photography, how you vex me so!Pink Bubbles Glow Hand

The A-Team

Without getting too nihilistic on you, friends who come here to see nail art but instead get lured into 1,200-word diatribes on my cats and/or The Lost Boys, 2014 was a bad, bad year. To be sure, there were some lovely, wonderful moments – new babies! an unexpectedly fun road trip! the discovery of Misfits! – but for my family at least, and a distressingly large number of my friends and acquaintances, 2014 was a year defined by loss, grief and hardships great and small. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

Okay, so 2014 sucked. But do you know what didn’t? These nail polishes! Which seems like the ultimate in ridiculous non sequiturs, but really, in a year that’s been as unpleasant as the past one, why shouldn’t we take a moment to appreciate the things that gave us a bit of joy, even those as immaterially material as silly old nail polish? No good reason that I can think of! And so I present to you this photo gallery of the polishes that rocked my world this year, a motley assortment of holos and flakies and industrially chunky glitters that prove that good things – and sometimes good, don’t-hate-the-world feelings – truly do come in small packages. 😉

Sitting atop the heap and not included in this gallery is my pick for polish of the year, Candy Lacquer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink glitter, Candy Cane Fiesta. I’ve expounded on its loveliness – some may say at length! – so I’ll say no more before it develops a swelled head.Blue and Green Christmas

The following nine are presented in no particular order or ranking – they’re across-the-board beautiful and so well made, I’ve found uses for them in multiple manis this year, and will continue to well into the new year. Here’s to the little lacquered things!

1. Polish Me Silly’s pink, white and blue glitter topper, Mr. Bubble.Mr. Bubble

2. Smitten Polish’s red shimmer-infused purple jelly, You Saucy Minx.You Saucy Minx

3. KB Shimmer’s Hawaiian Punch-in-a-bottle, Belle of the Mall.Sparkling Strawberry

4. KB Shimmer’s grass green glitter jelly, Get Clover It.Get Clover It

5. Orly’s silver holo of the year, Mirrorball.Mirrorball

6. Dance Legend’s cobalt blue jelly flakie, Sun Still Sleeps.Sun Still Sleeps

7. Candy Lacquer’s super fruity matte glitter, Citrus Smoothie.Citrus Smoothie

8. KB Shimmer’s Frozen-in-a-bottle, Snow Much Fun.Snow Much Fun

9. Polish Me Silly’s pink-to-gold-to-green chrome flakie, Stop Flaking on Me.Stop Flaking on Me

Polish Me Silly’s polishes are available through their Etsy shop. You can find KB Shimmer’s wares through their own site if you’re an American customer, or through Harlow & Co.’s site if you’re an international customer. Smitten Polish’s goods are available through their Big Cartel site, as are Candy Lacquer‘s. Orly polishes are available at brick and mortar Sally Beauty Supply shops, as well as their website. Finally, Dance Legend polishes are best and most reliably acquired through international stocklist Llarowe’s website.

Bubble Bobble

Mr. Bubble BottleOof, I am definitely betraying my true, dinosaur-like age with that reference, Bubble Bobble, of course, being an arcade and Nintendo video game first released in 1986. Heavens, how frightening – contemplating your mortality through video games come and gone (said the woman who has lived a lifetime of Donkey Kong Country games.)

Tangent aside, this manicure actually has nothing to do with Bubble Bobble the game and everything to do with the amazing glitter topper I used in this matte manicure, Polish Me Silly’s pink, blue and white Mr. Bubble. My favourite colour combination is probably something exactly like this, a lush raspberry pink alongside a cool cobalt blue, and when you add in the tiny bits of white glitter for that extra hit of visual interest, it’s pretty well the greatest stuff ever! A really lovely consistency, too, with just the perfect amount of glitter to provide even coverage without swamping your nails in an inch and a half of solvent-resistant matte paper flecks. Lovety love love!

Here I’ve shown two light coats of Mr. Bubble over two coats each of Picture Polish’s scattered pink holo, Electric Dream, and Pure Ice’s deep blue Celestial. And taking a bit of a nod from the matte glitter in Mr. Bubble, I topped the whole thing off with a matte topcoat, Essie’s Matte About You, for the perfect softening touch.Mr. Bubble Hand