Humblebrag? This is my very first attempt at stamping. Prior to this I’ve tried the technique out on maybe two test nails before dismissing it altogether – too imprecise, too fussy and too messy for something I could probably free-hand just as well. But on the opposite end of the humblebrag spectrum, I’ll note that my free-handing skills are not always totally up to snuff, particularly when it comes to branded characters like our gal Hello Kitty here (depicted as the Punisher; husband’s choice.) In those cases, I’ve got zero problem seeking out a little pre-etched help, and so I decided to finally take a run at this stamping business. And you know what? It wasn’t bad or difficult at all, and being well organized right from the start kept things neat and tidy. Plus, how cute is Punisher Kitty on my thumb, nestled among that argyle bow design on my fingers? Brutally cute!
But there’s a little more than meets the eye with this manicure, so let’s take it from the top! The base polish I used here is actually a jelly sandwich manicure I created by layering Mentality Nail Polish’s purple glaze with Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Cheery on Top, a pink, turquoise and purple glitter (which is itself a dupe of OPI’s Polka.Com.)
Once that dried, I set about stamping, using just a basic, $5.00 scraper and transfer set I purchased from Nail Polish Canada and this Hello Kitty image plate from Fab Ur Nails I bought from Llarowe (which is in the midst of a major restructuring, whittling their stocklist down to just two in-house brands, so no more Hello Kitty plates, regrettably.)
For the stamping itself, I used a favourite sparkly silver, OPI’s My Signature is “DC”, which is very opaque and transferred quite beautifully. I didn’t have any problems with the stamping, but my centering work could definitely use a bit of, uh, work. Except for Punisher Kitty (one of about a dozen superhero Kitties on plate number 9) who is leveling her stone cold vigilante’s gaze at me directly from the centre of my thumb. Still, for a (nearly) first time effort, this is pretty tremendous. So expect this unexpected run of stamping good luck to NEVER happen again!
This swirly manicure is coming at you a day late and a (silver) dollar short; I simply had no fuel in the nail art tank yesterday and needed a day’s respite. But now I’m back at it, and catching up to day three’s Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge theme of silver with one of my favourite nail art techniques, freehanded swirls. For these hypnotic-looking nails, I topped two coats of Essence’s Colour & Go in Chic Reloaded, a purple/green-tinged grey duochrome, with some random swirls in OPI’s silver foil My Signature is “DC”. I always think this type of allover design looks like nail wraps, although if you get close enough, you can see the little imperfections that make free-handed designs a little purer, in my totally biased estimation!
It’s not every day that I post a “normal” manicure that hasn’t been themed to within an inch of its life, but after a recent rash of holiday manis, I thought I’d take a break from my usual Tim Burton-esque approach to nail art (is there a single frame not filled with something? Then fill it with alllll the things!) with this simple, striping tape-enabled starburst design. I’m generally not one for getting all tangled up in wads of striping tape, preferring to keep my work predominately free-handed, but I wanted the silver starburst points (OPI’s sparkly silver foil, My Signature is “DC”) to be crisp and clean against the glittery blue background (Essence’s It’s Raining Men!) And because gradients are pretty (and pretty effective), I thought I’d throw in a couple of them, too.
Show of well manicured hands if you were a Canadian teen in the ’90s who spent at least a portion of your weekends listlessly hate-watching cable channel Much Music’s Saturday night bump and grind-o-rama, Electric Circus. Actually, to be fair to the Circus – on which I was featured in about 1995 regrettably not as a dancer, but as a nabbed-off-the-street interviewer of of-the-moment R&B “sensation” Tony! Toni! Tone!, which really makes no sense because I was super into grunge and quite openly snobby about it – there was very little bumping and grinding. The dancers featured on Electric Circus every Saturday night in Much Music’s retrofitted and black-lit studios were well trained, intense and FOCUSED (very busy work is being a dancer up on one of the boxes, THE sign that you had made it in the ’90s club dance scene.) Even the kids who lined up every week to be chosen as one of the evening’s 50 or so regular, on-the-floor dancers brought their A game, and there wasn’t a whole lot of that gross thing that guys did in the ’90s where they just come up behind you on the dance floor, sock their crotch against your butt, bellow something completely inarticulate and Labatt Dry-scented directly into your eardrum before attempting some pelvic-a-licious dance maneuver, at which point you fake an aneurysm and you and your friend decamp to the bar two blocks down, which is actually just fine because you left your coats there earlier so as to avoid having to check them at the bar up the road, even though it’s -25 degrees out and you’re in your very tiniest, and tightest, baby tee, which isn’t actually yours, but you’ve worn it out so often, your best friend really ought to just give it to you out of the goodness of her heart, because it makes your boobs look really great. True story.) Ah yes, kids, improbably enough, it was a more innocent time!
Long tangent short: These nails, Dance Legend’s neon glitter topper, Rio #1, over OPI’s silver foil, My Signature is “DC”, remind me of the vibe and look of Electric Circus – lots and lots of neon and shiny, dancing stars.
Here are some frosty, shimmer-infused Peter Pan collar nails for the theme of – you guessed it – shimmer in the Oh Mon Dieu 2 nail art challenge. Peter Pan collars are adorable (the very best collar, I think we can all agree, unless you’re allergic to the terrifically twee) and the design is so sweet and cute, especially when paired with a sparkly, shimmery silver foil like this one, OPI’s My Signature is “DC” from the recently released Coca Cola collection.
I was just sitting here musing on what sort of hideous clothing could be born of such a horrendous fabric when I remembered that I’ve actually seen this nail polish in action before as clothing, on Daniel Johns, the lead singer of Silverchair, in concert somewhere towards the end of the ’90s. Per the alt music grapevine at the time, he was sick – anorexia – and looking at him, there was no denying his illness. He was nothing but skin and bones and – somehow, amazingly – this ferocious death metal howl that instantly made me fall in love with the kid and want to bring him home and shove buttered pasta down his throat until he was “better.” It was a hugely high energy show, one of the best I’ve ever seen, with Johns whipping back and forth between a kind of growly, snarkling bark and pure, clear, beautifully sustained notes, the likes of which you typically don’t hear at an outdoor concert at a racetrack. And through it all, he sported this GIGANTIC, has-to-be-100-percent-unnatural, silver foil shirt that made him look like the world’s tiniest, angriest, most musically-inclined pimp. It’s actually the memory I called up when I saw this nail polish for the first time (now, my friend with the Diet Coke obsession? SHE’D probably be able to identify it as “Diet Coke silver” from about 100 paces, but I’ll stick with Silverchair silver.) 😉