Literary Inspiration: The Guardians

Guardians Fingers

The fourth prompt in my pal Julie’s reading challenge was to tackle a book that was a gift or loaner.  It just so happens I was gifted with a number of books this past Christmas, so I was all set in that department.  My choice?  The Guardians, a novel by Canadian novelist Andrew Pyper.

The Guardians is a mystery – also a haunted house story – so without giving away too much of the plot, it’s about a group of friends who return to the small Ontario town they grew up in following the death of a childhood friend and teammate.  So Guardians as in the hockey team the boys play on, and also, as it turns out, guardians of dark, disturbing secrets – your pretty traditional Stephen King-ish fare as told through the lens of small town Ontario life (as opposed to Maine, Maine, always Maine.)  It was well written and flowed nicely (I did have the dubious benefit of being ridiculously ill when I read it, so I had an entire day to devote to nothing but its reading) but the ending completely fell off the table.  I felt like my cat when she tracks a fluttery thing off the side of the television – I kept flipping through the final two or three blank pages, apparently trying to will a more definitive ending.

These nails represent the lettering on the Guardians’ jerseys.  The book doesn’t actually stipulate the Guardians’ colours, so I went with my high school’s combo of purple and gold (which I realize is far more football than hockey, but I really wanted to use a purple polish today, the end!)

The Guardians Book

Hello Cuteness!

Hello Cuteness

Classic Hello Kitty nails, featuring a couple of the Kitty-themed gifts I received from my husband this Christmas (there’s delightfully always a few!) – a much-coveted nail art tutorial book to provide the inspiration, and actual Hello Kitty polishes to colour in Kitty’s world.  Tangential, but for reals, my husband is the master of Hello Kitty Christmas gifts; I even have some not-a-joke HK jewelry that completely rocks my polka dotted socks.

The book, one of those hard-to-get-your-hands-on items by Masako Kojima, is chock full of fun and very doable Hello Kitty (and Friends) designs.

HK Book

The detailed and easy-to-follow tutorials that accompany every manicure are clear and well laid out; I’d say based on the results of this manicure, the first I encountered in the book, its approach to instruction is very successful.  But I would, because these are my nails, I did this manicure and I think it turned out so well!  So not super unbiased or anything. 😉  This cute little book also includes a sheet of over 125 nail stickers tucked inside the front cover, for all your Kitty and My Melody and Chococat needs.  Love that saucy black cat.

HK Book Pages

And then just to kill it with the over, I did this manicure using four of the five mini polishes included in the Hello Kitty (by OPI) nail polish set I also received this Christmas. Oh, AND, I painted these nails using the double-ended detail brush/dotting tool that came with the polish set!  So basically a total Hello Kitty overload. Just the way Sanrio and nature intended!

OPI Kitty Collage

I See Your True (Water)colours

Brilliant Blaze Collage

These Incoco nail strips in Brilliant Burst, a “Hey, I didn’t know I had these!” find, look just like a delicate, pastel watercolour.  It’s a very pretty look for what’s shaping up to be a warm Victoria Day long weekend.

But nail strips are a funny animal – a product I was really super into when I first started dabbling about in this nail art business.  Incoco’s nail appliques were a particular favourite – criminally easy to apply, made from real nail polish and available in an absolute ton of fun shades and finishes.  But as I started getting handier with a detail brush, I began phasing out the nail strips.  Why buy that which I can probably create better myself?

But for newbies, hesitant amateurs or anyone else who just doesn’t want to spend two hours on a single nail art design?  You can’t beat ’em.  Nail strips are available from all sorts of companies, but I really like Incoco’s – the quality is excellent (they adhere to your nails very well without pulling up too much at the edges) and the design choices are thoughtful and current without being needlessly trendy.  If you’re interested in a truly no-fuss, set-it-and-forget-it mani, I’d try Incoco’s fun offerings – and you can find them here. 🙂

Brilliant Blaze Angled

Mega Magpie

Shiny Things Bottle

As in I’m hoping you will make like one and be thoroughly dazzled by the shiny, sparkly things – here Color Club’s mad rainbow-throwing holo wonder, Crystal Baller – so you won’t notice how hopelessly lopsided these chevrons really are.  Yee-ikes!  I don’t know what to tell you, geometry has never been my strong suit, not even in nail art. 😉

Shiny Things Fingers

Lightning Crashes

Lightning Crashes

Fun fact: The song Lightning Crashes by the band Live is my least favourite song of all time. And by that I mean I f*cking LOATHE it.  No song should ever, EVER, contain the word “placenta,” especially if that word is sung all lustily by a slithery, rat-tailed proto-bro.  Not that I have any particular feelings on the matter!  Although my husband likes to tease me about my Lightning Crashes reaction time when we’re listening to music in the car – unlike the song, it does NOT suck, and it takes me maybe 1/100th of a second to shriek and snap off the radio in disgust.

I’m not disgusted by these nails, though, because they turned out really well!  I particularly like the sponged-on, ozoney bits. 🙂

You’re So ‘Corny

Anything Goes Collage

Glittery, shimmery, star-dusted nails, featuring Orly’s unicorn-in-a-bottle glitter topper, Anything Goes.

Speaking of, I think this manicure looks a heck of a lot more ‘corn-ish than that very odd Frappuccino Starbucks released last month.  Mr. Finger Candy and I split one.  Or rather, I had a couple of sips, declared it fine, but deeply unnecessary and not very attractive, and then handed the rest of it over to him.  Which is pretty much what the rest of the world did, too!  Save those nutters who went out and bought 365 of them to store in their fridge until the next Unicorn Frappapocalypse.

Anything Goes Fingers 2

Getting back to this polish!  It’s super cool – the purple shimmery bits take on a raggedy, almost textured look when layered over a creme base, like this gradient manicure I created using the purple, pink and turquoise colours in Anything Goes’s fun mix of star and circle glitter.  Very ‘corny. 😉

Anything Goes Bottle

Before the Last Petal Falls

Rose Collage

Australian indie lacquer maker, Picture Polish, creates THE best scattered holos – rich, vibrant, one-coater cremes sprinkled with holographic pixie dust.  They’re beautiful polishes for use in nail art, and fantastic for everyday wear; I never get as many compliments as I do when I’m wearing one of Picture Polish’s gorgeous hues.

And do you know what makes a Picture Polish polish even better?  When it’s laying down a little free(bie) lacquer love, baby – purchased with points I amassed through Nail Polish Canada’s reward program, a nifty little thank you for, well, buying so much stuff!  NPC’s constantly updating rewards catalog always has a nice assortment of premium polishes on offer, but I jumped at the chance to grab Rose, which has been on my lacquer wish list now for quite some time.  And it’s just as beautiful as I had hoped it would be – a slightly darker version of one of my all time favourite polishes, Electric Dream.  And it may just be subliminal suggestion based on this polish’s name, but I think Rose is the exact colour of the Enchanted Rose in Beauty and the Beast – rich, plush, a beautiful floral countdown of impending doom.  You know, the usual. 😉

Rose Fingers