Llama Love

Llama Love 1

When I was a kid, I lived in a small, rural town.  Actually, “town” is too grand a word for North Gower, Ontario in the 1980s.  Today, with its subdivisions and farmers markets and actual, sit-down restaurants, North Gower is a bona fide village, but in the ’80s when I was a kid, it was a main street with a few shops and a pizza joint, perched on the steps of which you could always find these two old dudes who were collectively known as The Delmers.  I loved growing up there, but bustling metropolis, it was – and still is – not.

Anyhow, the next small, rural town over – a slightly bigger place that had a longer main street, more shops and fewer Delmers – there was a family with a gigantic pet llama that actually lived right on Main Street, and they’d let him out in the front yard to just wander about and scare the crap out of anyone passing on the sidewalk, because suddenly, you know, LLAMA!!!  Small town country life – it’s weird, don’t know what to tell you. 😉

These are fuzzy pink sprinkled llama nails.  Why sprinkles?  Why not sprinkles?!  Isn’t everything better with sprinkles?  A sentiment that’s also a bit weird, and hey look, I still don’t know what to tell you!  Sometimes you’re just in the mood to sport a candy pink llama mani, I guess.

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Llama Love 3

Disney Girl Challenge: Yzma

Yzma 1

Let’s kick this week off right, friends, with a manicure inspired by Yzma, the bad gal of Disney’s animated movie The Emperor’s New Groove, and a woman described by just about everyone who meets her as “scary beyond all reason.”  If only she could shake that pesky llama problem!  And that lever problem.  And that Kronk problem.

On paper, Yzma’s got the baddie goods.  As senior adviser to disinterested d-bag Emperor Kuzko – SO senior; Yzma’s age is never revealed, but her ’30s-style garb, nightly de-aging skin regimen and ultra pinched demeanor would suggest a woman in her late 70s – Yzma has all the power and precious little oversight.  But after an attempt to overthrow the teenage fun times emperor goes sideways (turns out the kid’s not so disinterested after all, though he’s still very much a d-bag) Yzma’s thrown out on her pointy ass.  With the help of her young, hot and devoted – but easily distracted – man servant, Kronk, Yzma then concocts a plan to poison the emperor and claim the throne for herself.

Except…you get what you pay for, and Yzma’s been cheaping out HARD.  Kronk is a sweet guy, a real go-with-the-flow type, and a total wiz in the kitchen (spinach puffs are his specialty) but Yzma treats him like crap, and you can’t help but think he’s not putting in his best effort under such working conditions.  Because every single one of their schemes goes badly, including Kuzko’s attempted poisoning, which results not in the emperor’s death, but in his being turned into a llama instead.  Yup, a llama.  Llama jokes abound in this thing; get on board or perish!

The rest of the movie concerns Kuzko’s attempts to end his state of enforced llama-ness, and Yzma’s attempts to just plain old end him, and it’s hilarious.  The Emperor’s New Groove is one of those Disney gems that flew way, way under the radar when it was released in 2000, and I can’t help but think that if people knew about its slapsticky, almost Monty Python-esque sense of humour, they’d be more receptive to its charms.  It’s a total goof of an animated film, but not necessarily a children’s film.  The humour here is actually quite sophisticated – fart jokes need not apply.  And with the voice talents of David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt (Yzma herself) and Patrick Warburton all doing their considerable things, it’s immensely charming.  It’s a comedy of errors.  With llamas!  Big recommendation on this one.

I usually do my character manicures with the character’s face on my thumb, but this mani went about as well as one of Yzma and Kronk’s plans, which is to say not at all.  I redid my thumb three times before finally settling on this all-finger design.  Let’s just say Yzma’s cadaver-esque snub nose and spiderweb lashes do not lend themselves particularly well to lacquered interpretation.  But her penchant for feathered and flared purple certainly does.  Wouldn’t be a Disney villain if she weren’t garbed in some shade of aubergine, I suppose. 😉

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(Guardians of the) Galaxy Nails

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Here’s an updated take on an old nail art technique known as galaxy nails.  That’s basically beauty speak for “sponge a bunch of colourful polishes onto your nails in a nebulae-like fashion, top with tiny pinprick planets and GO!”  But no actual “Guardians of the” in this post (wee confession regarding the movies: I no like) – just trying to guard these pretty galaxy nails from chips and general destruction. 🙂

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Rose Gold Minnie

Rose Gold Minnie Collage

It’s a holiday long weekend here in Canada (it has an official, civic name, but for all intents and purposes, it might as well be called the Because It’s the Middle of the Summer and You Need a Day Off Day) so I’m up early finishing off an event in a game I play on my phone called Disney Emoji Blitz.  It’s your pretty standard match-3 puzzler, but themed to cute little emojified Disney characters (you have never seen anything as cute in your life as Heimlich from A Bug’s Life all squished up into a wee little emoji.)  You collect and level up the characters as you play, and there’s periodic themed events where you can win new characters and collectibles.  This long weekend I’m playing for Figment the Imagination Dragon, and I’m feeling pretty good about my chances given that I only just recently did some Figment nails.  That has to be a lucky sign!

Last weekend’s event was the big show for me, though, with a rare Rose Gold Minnie on offer.  Rose gold has been a persistently popular colour with Disney, showing up on everything from sparkly Minnie ears and apparel, to housewares and accessories.  Makes sense that it’s now making an appearance in Disney’s games, with this sweet Rose Gold Minnie making her way to me last weekend (twice, actually, in a super rare twist of good luck, and gratis, as well – I’ve been saving up my earned in-game currency for just such an event, pun intended.)  I was as happy as if I had actually done something involving a useful skill!  And then I put my happiness on my nails. 🙂

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Needs More Unicorn

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My interpretation of Lisa Frank styles, extra heavy on the neon rainbow animal prints, which I’d just like to proudly point out were totally free-handed.  That’s why I’m not sure if I’ve got a tiger print here or a zebra one.  What I am sure of is that I’m ultra super proud of these nails, even if to truly be Lisa Frank-inspired, they need a heck of a lot more unicorn.  Funnily enough, I DO have a unicorn nail charm, but it’s gigantic – my bitty little nails can’t handle her girth, and besides, I didn’t want to cover up all this neon animal print goodness. 🙂

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Sweet Insta-Inspiration

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Kicking off this sunny summer Monday with the fabulously frosted layer cake manicure I did this weekend, inspired by a recent online rabbit hole I fell into of over-the-top cake decorating accounts on Instagram.  I can bake fairly well (however, pie crust as delicious as my mother’s will forever elude me) but I can’t decorate for shit – just ask the TURQUOISE, hideously malformed, liquid fondant-covered abominations I once optimistically called tea cakes, or the batches upon batches of Christmas cookies I gave up on flooding and just started adding gargantuan green frosted genitalia to.  Happened just about every year like clockwork until I FINALLY figured out that I’m utter crap at the decorating side of baking, and I should just stop.

But I can admire other bakery artists’ incredible work, like manvscakes, COCHOBAKE and brittanymaycakes, whose sweet, striped creations – heavy on the vibrant hues and whimsical, outlandish toppers – were the inspiration for these nails.  I love the more-is-more-is-more approach to the bakery arts, especially all of the brights at play in these fun cakes, a technique (you know, over-the-topness) that transfers pretty darn well to the lacquered arts. 😉  Hoping for sweet weeks for all of you, friends, filled with as much inspiration and colour as these cakes and these nails.

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Strawberry White Cake

Strawberry White Cake

Because every end-of-the-week should start with cake, should it not?  Even if it’s of the totally inedible and wildly impractical (ugh, those little Fimo berries) lacquered variety.  Also, this is my second cake-inspired manicure in the last five days – think I should add something sweet to my weekend shopping list? 😉

It’s a Full-On Monet!

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Actual conversation I had with myself regarding this manicure at its completion:

“Huh, this is pretty.  Looks a bit dotted and hazy in that Monet sort of way.  *snort* – Maybe a fake Monet sort of way.  Faux Monet.  Ohmihgod, FAUXNET!”  Then I nearly upended the coffee table trying to dash out of the room and write this bit of inspired humour down. 😉

But no, actually, with all respect to Miss Cher Horowitz, I don’t think this manicure is a full-on Monet – contrary to her definition, I think it looks good both up close and at a distance.

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As with nearly all good things, this look was achieved in a purely accidental manner.  I was actually going for a smoosh mani here.  That’s a super easy nail art technique where you dab a few polishes onto a bit of crinkled up plastic wrap and then dab it onto your nails.  It gives you this mottled sort of look that apparently, depending on the polishes you use, makes your nails look like mini Impressionist paintings.  I actually did a manicure some weeks ago using this technique, just in much bolder colours.  It was very pop art.

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And that’s the great thing about this dead easy nail art technique – all you have to do is switch up the polishes and you have an entirely new look.  I love this very The Artist’s Garden-inspired (okay, okay, accidentally inspired) bit of nail art; it’s a very pretty look to wear into the end of another warm summer week.

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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!

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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. 🙂