Disney Girl Challenge: Alice

Alice in Wonderland

It’s all aces for Alice in this mani inspired by the Disney animated movie, Alice in Wonderland.  My preferred Alice is actually this super messed up version (but really, is there any other kind?) from 1985.  It was a two-part musical TV special filmed entirely on a set with all your favourite film stars of the 1980s and 1940s (Scott Baio! Carol Channing! Sammy Davis Jr.!  Ringo Starr!) and like all great adaptations of Alice, it was a total mindfu*k. I re-watched it the other evening, and aside from calling up some warm nostalgic feelings of anxiously awaiting its televised debut, I was reminded of how very inappropriate Alice in Wonderland is for its young audience.  I really don’t know how I wasn’t irrevocably damaged by the sight of a slobbery, puffy puppet Jabberwocky chasing a shrieking little blonde girl through a lightning-streaked warren of gnarled roots and…yeah, you know what?  That movie was just as scary the other night as it was when I was a kid! Damage done!  I think I’ll take this version instead.

Rip My Heart Out: A Then and Now Post

Fleshmaiden Hand

And now for a very different sort of Valentine’s Day manicure!  Years ago I was completely enamored with a video game called Alice: Madness Returns.  It was a very NSFW, possibly NSFL (Not Safe For Life), retelling of Alice in Wonderland, if Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale were chockablock with mutant baby dolls, Victorian era sanitariums and monsters who look like they were pulled apart and stitched back together again with pieces of other monsters.

My favourite thing about the game was Alice’s wardrobe, which leaned heavily towards the Gothic Lolita and was wonderfully, blessedly free of the all-tits-and-ass style favoured by other video game heroines.  Alice had something like 12 different costumes, including six downloadable-only outfits that gave her special powers, as all great outfits do.  Perk-wise, my favourite was the Caterpillar dress, which enabled Alice to shrink down to itty bitty insect size to creep through tiny keyholes.  But for my visual money, I always chose the original meat dress, Alice’s Fleshmaiden costume, an outfit that really looked like those inside-out monsters I was mentioning earlier.  Power-wise, the Fleshmaiden costume (ugh, that name, though) enabled Alice to slip effortlessly into Hysteria mode, a kind of abstract, black and white (and red) world that looked like that metallic taste you get in your mouth when you’re so angry, you kind of lose your hearing.  If the DLC items could be said to belong to any given level, the Fleshmaiden costume was the domain of Queensland, a meat and tendon and blood-soaked hellscape ruled by the Queen of Hearts.

My for-a-time obsession with Madness Returns happened to coincide with the earliest days of my all-the-time obsession with nail art, and indeed, I launched this very blog with those initial hesitant attempts.  So it felt quite fitting to revisit one of those designs for this Then and Now post that really puts the “anti” in anti-Valentine’s Day.  Anyhow, happy day to you, friends, no matter how you choose to acknowledge the day (although hopefully it doesn’t involve wearing your enemy’s heart on your lapel like a brooch.)

Fleshmaiden Fingers

The Snowflake Sweater

Snowflake Sweater Angle

After a season’s absence from the “competitive” nail art arena (like League of Legends, just with more acetone), Nail Polish Canada is back and once again playing host to this year’s Holiday Nail Art Challenge.  The first year I participated I did an icy snowflake pond manicure; this year I’m returning to form with this delicate snowflake design over a holographic, knit-type pattern.  It’s pretty, seasonally appropriate and, best of all, non-denominational – whatever your chosen flavour of holiday, you’ll look fly and festive in this cozy snowflake sweater.

Should you feel so inclined to vote for my contest creation, you can do so here, although there’s already quite a few entries that are way better than mine, so maybe vote for them instead?  It always irks me when these things – judged in stages, one of which is a simple tally of votes as opposed to an objective assessment of the actual nail art – come down to a popularity contest as opposed to the work itself.  But if this simple sweater nail art really moves you, well, hey, who am I to say anything but thank you for your support?  Enjoy all the wonderful entries, and best of luck to this year’s participants. 🙂

Snowflake Sweater Front

 

 

Disney Girl Challenge: Elsa (Frozen Fever)

Fever Elsa Hand

Here’s another Frozen-centric entry in my ongoing Disney Girl Challenge, this time Queen Elsa’s summertime duds from the short film Frozen Fever.  I think Elsa and her sister, Anna, have THE dopest wardrobes out of any of the Disney lasses, with Elsa’s summer dress, a turquoise-to-neon-green ombre-shaded gown dusted with shimmering pink flowers, being my absolute favourite.

Frozen Fever, which you can find on the newly-released Short Films Collection, along with 11 other classic Disney shorts, follows a summer flu-ridden Elsa as she plans her sister’s birthday party.  Unbeknownst to her, every time she sneezes, she creates a tiny little anthropomorphic snowball (actually, many, many, MANY tiny little snowballs) that get up to all sorts of shenanigans and threaten the queen’s best laid party plans.  It’s super cute, and the reason my thumbnail Elsa here is sporting flushed cheeks.  Feel better soon, Ice Queen.

Fever Elsa Fingers

31 Day Challenge Wrap-Up

31DC2015 Collage

Hmm, that should probably read “33 Day Challenge Wrap-Up,” because I was never, not once, on pace with the challenge themes, and as such, ended the whole thing two or maybe even three days beyond everyone else. I had a hard time motivating myself in the early days when the challenge prompts were overly broad (blue? dots? florals?) but I like to think I kicked it into high gear in the final two weeks, producing some of my favourite manicures ever, actually.

As always when I complete one of these month-long challenges, I like to look back on the past four weeks to see what I did right (fun new designs using a wealth of different techniques and tools), what I did wrong (um, pretty much never keeping pace with the challenge schedule) and what I can do differently next time (stop procrasturbating – intentional spelling mistake – and just do the damn blue, dotted, floral nails already!)

These are eight of my own designs (and one homage) that I think rocked this challenge. And why nine? Well, because nine photos make for a more visually pleasing collage, for one, and why not be all random when the original challenge is pretty random in itself (as in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge takes place every year in a month with only 30 days. Huh.) Enjoy!

1. Lacey, floral nails inspired by a Monique Lhullier dress for day 14’s theme of flowers.Floral Hand

2. Time rip nails inspired by the Stephen King novella, The Langoliers, for day 24’s theme of a book.Time Rip Front

3. A striped, Cheshire Cat manicure for day 21’s theme of inspired by a colour.CC Hand

4. A glittery, rainbow-on-rainbow jelly sandwich manicure for day nine’s theme of rainbow nails.Double Rainbow Hand

5. Attack the Block nails, featuring actual blue, glow-in-the-dark monster jaws, for day 23’s theme of inspired by a movie. Ratings!Attack the Block Collage

6. Another Alice in Wonderland-themed manicure, this one inspired by the Queen of Hearts’ preference for blood red roses for day one’s theme of red.PaintedRosesHand

7. Super detailed Halloween Town nails from The Nightmare Before Christmas for day 29’s theme of the supernatural.NBC Hand

8. A recreation of Chalkboard Nails’ delightfully adorable circus cookie dotticure for day 31’s theme of honouring nails you love.Circus Crackers Hand

9. Another watery water marble, this one featuring a little cucumber and mint accent nail, for day 20’s theme of a water marble.WMHand

31 Days of Pretty Great: An OMD3 Wrap-Up Post

If I may toot my own horn (toot toot!) I thought I made quite a good showing of this year’s Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, given the month’s rather inauspicious start. That set me back a few days right from the very beginning, and that’s where I resolutely stayed until the very end of the challenge – one or two days firmly off the pace. But scheduling issues notwithstanding, I’m really quite proud of the nail art work I did during this challenge. I tried out a new-to-me product (nail stickers), I matched my nails to a favourite pair of glittery shoes in look AND texture, I used 3D nail art embellishments (twice!) and I did a ton of super detailed free-handed work. I’d say that puts me squarely in the win column!

The 10 manicures I’ve highlighted in the photo gallery above are my favourites from the past month. If you’d like to see all 31 of my challenge entries, you can find them here under the tag OMD3NAILS. But if you’re simply curious as to which are my preferred manis from the challenge, they would be the following 10, in no particular order of fondness:

1. Little House on the Prairie-inspired foodie nails.Little House on the Prairie Cakes

2. Glittery stiletto-inspired textured nails.Glittery Shoes

3. Adventure Time princess nails.Adventure Time Princesses

4. Lush, vibrant seaweed nails.Seaweed

5. Simpsons nails, featuring the drunken fish of the Duff Gardens Beerquarium.Beerquarium

6. Opal ring-inspired nails.Ring-a-Ding

7. Tinkerbell-inspired nails.Tink

8. Skull and crossbones glitter nails.Head Shrinker

9. Knuckle duster, tattoo-type nails.Knuckle Duster Love

10. Refreshingly simple, blue-on-blue branch nails.Blue Boughs

And for the third year in a row (although I have only participated the last two), thanks go out to the ladies of Craftynail, Eeeek! Nail Polish!, Brijits Digits and Nail That Accent for hosting the challenge, creating some really fun themes and putting together some very tempting prizes, which I of course am hoping I will win. See you all next year!

Adventure Time: The All Princess Edition! (OMD3)

AT Princesses Hand

Adventure Time is one of those aggravatingly wackadoo television shows that sounds like something I should love, and yet I always feel sort of idiotic after watching an episode, like I’m too dense to truly get the concept. I also feel this way about Napolean Dynamite, a movie I find puzzlingly un-funny. Adventure Time is just a bit too non-linear for me (it’s too non-linear for David Lynch.)

But on paper, Adventure Time sounds like a delight. Food kingdoms, weird supernatural happenings, back-talking kids? That should be television catnip for me! But until such time as I’m finally let in on the joke, I’ll have to confine my Adventure Time adventures to my nail art, where this acid trip of a cartoon can really shine.

Like, did you know that there are 50-some adorable princesses – many of them shaped like food! – in Adventure Time? Truly, there’s a princess for all tastes, from the Lumpy Space Princess, a blobby, shapeless purple puff with a diva attitude and a speech impediment, to the Bounce House Princess, who is quite literally an inflatable bounce house. Wearing a crown.

My favourite Adventure Time princesses, though, are the food princesses, a buffet of edible royalty with asinine backstories to explain why a toaster pastry is any kingdom’s sovereign. But they’re SO cute, and so when day 28’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge called for a princess, I decided to ditch the Disney for a bit and went with these yummy princesses, plural, from Adventure Time instead. Here I’ve shown, from left to right, starting with my index finger, Princess Bubblegum, the Frozen Yogurt Princess, the Cotton Candy Princess and the Strudel Princess. And on my thumb is my favourite Adventure Time foodie of them all, the Breakfast Princess, who wears a bacon crown on top of her egg white hair (she also wears a pancake skirt, which could be both convenient and exceptionally dangerous.)

Disney Girl Challenge: Tink (OMD3)

Tink Hand

These nails, my entry towards day 27’s theme of wings in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, are actually my second attempt at a Tinkerbell manicure. As (nearly) always, I’m not shy in displaying my earlier efforts, although maybe I won’t display them right *here* – if you’re curious to see what my original painted thinking was on the subject of Tinking, you can find those nails here.

And if you’re wondering why I painted Tinkerbell wings as opposed to, say, chicken wings on my nails for this challenge prompt, I’m sort of wondering that myself! But I can’t ever turn down an opportunity to add another entry to my ongoing Disney Girl Challenge, especially one where I always hoped for a second chance to do better.

Tink Fingers Sun