Sharp Edges

Sharp Edges Fingers

For this geometric mani, I used a couple of polishes that made separate appearances earlier in the week, China Glaze’s jade green Four Leaf Clover and Nails Inc.’s cobalt Baker Street. Both rich, saturated jewel tones, they were the perfect colour choice(s) for these totally free-handed nails (no striping tape, boo-yah!) that were just as fussy and time-consuming to complete as you’d think.  Not gonna hide that fact.  Although sitting around waiting for all that black outlining to dry did enable me to listen to two and a half hours of a commentary track writer/director/professional talker Kevin Smith recorded for the 1992 Tim Burton movie, Batman Returns.  It was absolutely hilarious, and peppered with all sorts of fun trivia, and made me laugh so hard, I zigged when I should have zagged and nearly had to redo my index finger.  Bit of a warning there when it comes to guffawing whilst nail art-ing.  Still, pretty funny stuff.

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A Speckled Egg of a Different Sort

Speckled Egg Shiny

Yeah, you don’t see them in electric cobalt blue all that often, do you?  I certainly can’t deny that the overall look of this manicure – Ardene’s black-and-blue glitter topper, Following, over Nails Inc.’s blue creme, Baker Street – is Easter Egg ramped all the way up to 11, first with a glossy topcoat, and then dialed back a bit with the addition of a matte topcoat, Zoya’s Matte Velvet, to highlight all that nearly-hidden blue glitter (matte topcoats, as always, also destroy your manicure; I’ve yet to encounter one, no matter the brand, formulation, age, etc., that doesn’t deposit white fleckies all over your hard work. It’s a cool look, but regrettably also a destructive one.)

Speckled Egg Matte Ruined

Goldy Locks (31DC2015)

Goldy Locks Hand

Well, lock and key. These very Tiffany-esque nails, which are my belated entry towards day eight’s theme of metallics in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, are a great example of the products used influencing the final manicured result. I had initially just thought to lay the little lock and key charms, which I purchased from Daily Charme, over a simple glitter. I then thought how much they looked like Tiffany’s Return to Tiffany lockets and keys (available in an assortment of necklaces, bracelets and earrings.) That then made me think that maybe I should be laying my charms down on a Tiffany blue background, which in my polish collection is Nails Inc.’s little blue box-hued Royal Botanical Gardens. Finally, I decided to add a nice little hit of metallic glitter to my index finger, pinkie and thumb in the form of KB Shimmer’s Toast-ess with the Mostest, a silver, gold and rose gold glitter bomb that I think looks like a smashed jewelry counter in a bottle. And just like that, another challenge mani locked down. 😉

Goldy Locks Bottle

Snap Out of It!

Carnival GamesI woke up this morning and found myself in a mood. I slept poorly and was woken by the not-so-dulcet tones of my grumpy, bellowing cat. My arm quite mysteriously ached and the driving conditions were terrible. I walked out of the drugstore empty-handed after waiting in line for five minutes while the one cashier on duty did…other stuff. Back at home I rode the elevator with one of my elderly neighbours, who was returning from his morning swim and wearing naught but an insufficiently small towel to cover his girth, which based on my close proximity to his naked gut, I could clearly make out was covered in a fine pelt of snow white hair. And I’ve just been listening to far too many moody, melancholy songs given the already bleak time of year (Joy Division? Massive Attack? Instrumental scores from favourite television shows where everyone eventually dies?) TL;DR? It hasn’t been the best start to the week.

But things are looking up (I think there’s nail mail waiting for me in the mail room! So what the heck am I still doing here, right?), and not just because these nails, a pastel-on-pastel gradient topped with a bright, multi-coloured glitter, are super cheerful and just looking at them makes me a little happier (although it certainly helps!)

For this peppy, bubble gum ice cream-ish mani, I sponged on a perhaps too-similarly-hued gradient (Nails Inc.’s turquoise Royal Botanical Gardens over Pure Ice’s mint green Home Run) before finishing it off with a super colourful and cheery glitter topper (Candy Lacquer’s Carnival Games.) See, better mood already. 🙂Carnival Games Bottle

Where For Art Thou, Chromeo?

Chrome Flakie CollageYeah, I’ve been sitting on that groaner for a while in anticipation of receiving these new chrome flakie polishes from Polish Me Silly. Flakies are all the rage in the world of indie polishes at the moment, with multichrome-packed flakies being the coolest of a pretty bitchin’ bunch. These two beauties, Polish Me Silly’s Party Hearty and Stop Flaking on Me, are just two out of a whole collection of gorgeous chromatic topcoats that are beautiful and beautifully made.

First we have Party Hearty, a clear polish stuffed with tiny flakes of purple-to-blue-to-green-leaning chrome…glitter? Except it’s not quite glitter, is it? It’s more like tiny shards of colour-shifting chromatic nail polish in a clear base. Except it’s not quite shards either. This topper behaves exactly like a regular old creme polish – it goes on smooth, dries down totally smooth and shiny (these photos show both polishes without a topcoat) and removes in a flash, no struggle, no fuss, no binding your nails in aluminum foil-wrapped acetone baths. Here I’ve shown Party Hearty over Nails Inc.’s cobalt blue Baker Street. I love how the plummy undertones of the little flakies pull out the purple notes in Baker Street, giving it a grape soda sort of hue.Party Hearty HandHere’s a nice outdoors shot of Party Hearty that shows off its textureless…ness. No pitting, no curving, no issues.Party Hearty Outdors

And here we have Stop Flaking on Me, a pink-to-green-to-gold-leaning chromatic flakie. A simple black creme background polish is always a wise and chic choice, but I think these polishes look best over darker polishes that pull out some of the complimentary colours in the flakes. Here I layered one coat of Stop Flaking on Me over OPI’s gold-tinged dark green, Live and Let Die.Stop Flaking on Me Hand

There are so many indies out there right now doing amazing things with ultra trendy flakies, but I think these colour-shifting chromatics from Polish Me Silly lead the pack – it’s hard to top a beautiful, of-the-moment look like this one, especially when it’s executed so beautifully. All-around winners. You can find Polish Me Silly’s products on their Etsy site here.

A Pattern of Behaviour (31DC2014)

Mickey PatternDay 26’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge called for nails inspired by a pattern. There are a near-limitless number of patterns in the Disneyverse, 6,527 of them belonging to Elsa and Anna’s winter wardrobes alone, so where to start? Well, like most good things, at home. In my case, it was as easy as reaching into my bedside table and pulling out my journal, a matte black leather bound book covered in embossed Mickey heads. The interlocking Mickeys certainly qualify as a pattern, and one fairly easily achieved through a few freehanded Mickey heads in a black textured polish, Nails Inc.’s Leather Effect in Noho, over top of a simple matte black base. The tone-on-tone colour scheme can obscure the fun details in this mani at some angles and in certain kinds of light (usually only when I’m trying to take a photo to share on this blog, but isn’t that always the case?), but the switch-up in textures shines through, flashing glimpses of nearly hidden Mickeys in this more-sophisticated-than-usual Disney nail art design.Mickey Pattern Book

400th Post Retrospective

400th PostIn about a month this blog will be celebrating its first year of existence. At the same time I’ll be marking a personal milestone, pouring one out for myself in celebration of one year of close-to-daily writing, blogging and nail art pursuits. I danced recreationally for close to 20 years, half of that time with the same company, so I understand what it means to stick with something for the long haul. But I’m still sort of amazed and, quite frankly, impressed when I contemplate the 400 some-odd manis I’ve done over the past 365 days, to say nothing of the written words that have flowed there from. Where did I find the inspiration to do that many manicures? Or more accurately, where did I find the time to paint my nails that many times? And how could I possibly have had that much to say about nail art?

While providing no real answers to those questions, this post, my 400th, bears out my obsessive/casual approach to writing, blogging and nail art and how the three have come together to form a most enjoyable pursuit that’s just structured enough to keep me engaged and on task, while still allowing me the freedom to float around in more creative spheres. I’m lucky enough to have found that perfect mix of “I should do this” and “I want to do this” that has brought me to this 400th post, so maybe I shouldn’t question it so much and just go with the (nail polish) flow? Sounds like a non-plan. Here’s to the next 400!

For these festive nails celebrating my blog’s quadricentennial post, I topped two coats of Cirque’s marigold-hued Chyrsopoeia with one coat of Nails Inc.’s Graffiti in Old Street.