I’ll Take (a) Manhattan

Manhattan Front

It’s apparently round-the-clock cocktail hour here at Finger Candy, between yesterday’s fruity strawberry daiquiri nails and today’s bracingly brown Manhattan mani.  My grandmother’s drink was a Manhattan – a double Manhattan, actually (once again, Grandma, get down with your bad self!)  Me?  Well, after a young adulthood steeped in wine coolers and across-the-bridge brew, I don’t actually drink very much any more.  Alcohol just doesn’t seem to agree with my old lady constitution (never did – a graph depicting my response to alcohol is pretty much a straight up and down line; I’ve been known to go from “WOOOOOOO, LET’S GO TO THE BAR!!!” to sprawled out and unconscious in about five minutes flat.)

But there’s something quite alluring about a Manhattan, with a perfect little cherry gleaming out of its clear, brown depths.  To get that perfect Manhattan colour, I used a favourite – unfortunately also out-of-production – polish from Nfu Oh, the quite unimaginatively named JS39.  I have used this polish in SO many foodie manicures – it makes the perfect lacquered stand-in for caramel sauce, pumpkin spice anything and coffee.  Also nylons, but that’s not quite applicable in this situation.  Anyhow, drink up – plenty more where this came from (although maybe not; that beautiful bottle is distressingly low, and I’ve no idea where to find another.)  Boo to that, but yay to this mani – with its little martini glass and pair of cherries, it’s quite charm-ing. 🙂

Manhattan Bottle

I *Heart* You

I Heart You

And I heart this manicure, too! Like stars, hearts are one of those things I don’t free-hand particularly well. But I am powerless to resist a pink, red and white colour combination (here a pond manicure using Nfu Oh’s cerise-hued jelly, JS24) which always calls to mind very Valentiney things, hearts included. So I went all-in, painted on an allover heart design, and in the end I think things turned out quite well. My husband said they look like nail decals (well, he said “decnals” in the vein of the Trailer Park Boys’ Ricky, a man who mangles the English language with tremendous flair) which is just about the best compliment I can think of. 🙂

Jagged Little Pur-Pill

Jagged Bottle

Here’s a simple swatch of an unexpectedly cool polish, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s purple shard-stuffed Fantasia.  I say “unexpectedly” because this is one of those polishes that pictures simply do not do proper justice.  Photography rarely treats purples very well, come to think of it.  So when I purchased Fantasia, I didn’t really know that the flakes were two different shades of metallic purple, lending this glitter topper a kind of colour-shifting, duochrome type of look.  Very pretty!  Here I’ve layered Fantasia over Nfu Oh’s lavender-hued jelly, JS12.  The thought originally was that I’d combine the two polishes in a kind of jelly sandwich, but I liked Fantasia perfectly well enough on its own, flashing delicately between metallic indigo and plum with every shift of my hands.

The one negative to this polish is that unlike, say, last year’s chromatic flakie craze, the metallic shards in Fantasia have some body to them, and the rougher-than-usual edges want to poke up through your topcoat.  I used two coats for this manicure, and I probably could have gone for three, just to hedge my rough-edged bets.

Jagged Fingers

For the Birds

For the Birds side

Continuing with this week’s unintentional theme of autumnal nail delights, here’s a super seasonal manicure that reminds me of the cut-down, Canada goose-filled corn fields I pass every day whilst out and about living my life (and if you’re wondering what kind of godforsaken, bird-plagued borough I live in – the other day it was turkeys, today it’s Canada geese – eastern Ontario!) Those fields are filled with the dried up, broken-off remnants of this summer’s bounty and, of course, about 200 plump geese gorging themselves silly for their flights down south (seems counter-intuitive to me, having a great big meal before a long flight, but clearly they know something I don’t!)

The hay or dried out, fieldy bits (actual technical term) in these nails comes courtesy of China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a predominantly copper-hued glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection. I never really warmed up to this polish – something about the bar glitter (messy!) and the fact that it presents well over virtually nothing. Except for this manicure, where I of course think it looks AWESOME! Really, why did I not jelly sandwich this one sooner, especially when I’ve got Nfu Oh’s rich, butterscotch-hued jelly, JS39, on standby? The clear, lush simplicity of the jelly polish showcases Rest in Pieces beautifully, while tamping down some of the harsh holographic edges that tend to make it look just a tad “too much.” Very nice.


Black Honey (OMD3)

Black Honey Hand Shade

Day 19’s prompt in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge was lipstick, which is a new one for me. What’s not new for me, though, is the lipstick I chose as the inspiration for these nails, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, a sheer red gloss in a brushed silver tube I’ve worn pretty well exclusively for the past 20 years. The shade Black Honey, which I attempted to mimic here with multiple coats of red and black jelly polishes, is a hugely popular one; blackened reddish-purple in the tube, it appears on the lip as a satiny and super flattering sheer berry red. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look great in Black Honey, and the day Clinique ceases to make it – Black Honey is offered in a number of different lipstick and gloss formulations – they’re going to have a full scale riot on their hands. Never underestimate the woman who has had a decades-long relationship with her lipstick! Or women, because I suspect I am far from the only one.

This manicure was mainly an exercise in layering, a subtle tweaking of the colours to get to that juicy, darkened plum look I most associate with Black Honey. Here I used Mentality Nail Polish’s slightly shimmery red and grey jellies from their Glazing Art Set, laying down two coats of grey, three coats of red and one more coat of grey before topping it off with Nfu Oh’s JS24, a clear red jelly that added beautiful depth and shine. Then, drawing inspiration from the brushed metal tubes of Almost Lipstick, I taped off and then painted in some angled, tube-type metallic details right at the tips of my nails with OPI’s My Signature is “DC”. Finally, I added a few drips of “black honey” to my thumb, because we really like to keep things literal here at Finger Candy HQ. S.W.A.K.!

Black Honey Fingers ShadeBlack Honey Hand Sun

Chocolate Chip Short Stack

ShortstackPancake breakfast for dinner, anyone?

Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Just Add Milk always adds the perfect chippy touch to food-themed manicures, and Nfu Oh’s J339, a caramel-hued jelly I once described as butterscotch pudding for your nails, makes THE most perfect maple syrup for this stack of chocolatey breakfast sweets.Shortstack Bottle

Playful Purple, With Boobs!

Playful Purple BottleWell, if that doesn’t bring in the readers, nothing will. 😉

But actually, looks like it’s time for another serving of jelly sandwich manis with these nails that combine Nfu Oh’s unimaginatively named JS12 (a puzzlingly boring move for a company that packages their nail polish in bottles that look like BEWBS) with Enchanted Polish’s Freeze Machine (super mega ’90s crap movie brownie points if you just read that and intoned, in deadpan Schwarzenegger-ese, “Ice to meet you.”) Freeze Machine is a beast of a glitter – there’s iridescent glass shards and holographic glimmer aplenty – and stunningly gorgeous in a frozen mermaid kind of way, but it has the not-really-a-problem tendency to look a bit samey, no matter the base polish it’s paired with. The solution to that was to layer it between coats of JS12, an orchid-hued polish from Nfu Oh’s fantastic line of jellies, which resulted in this speckled Easter egg-type mani. Pretty, and a great way to stretch the utility of both polishes.

But back to the bewbs for a second (but come now, did we ever actually leave?) 😉 Nfu Oh’s bottles are a thing of beauty, curved, embellished glass bottles with surprisingly easy to handle tops designed to look like an intricate corset and bustle. They’re drop dead gorgeous and so unique, in large part because they’re topped with, well, breasts. See?JS12 Bottle

Or underboob. I guess that’s a thing now. In any event, it turns out I like some curves on my nail polish! Best of all, the stuff inside the bottles is second to none – the best jellies I’ve ever used. Fully opaque in three coats, they dry down to a squishy-looking, super high shine finish that’s colour true and diamond hard. Nfu Oh’s polishes are available through a number of international stocklists, although I get mine from Nail Polish Canada.Bustle Bottle

Cherry-Vanilla Cola Fizz

Cherry-Vanilla Cola Fizz 1I wonder which is less toxic, actual cola or this manicure.

The inspiration for this jelly sandwich manicure came from an indie polish I used to covet that both looked like and was named after Cherry Cola. I say “used to” because Cherry Cola’s maker, Happy Hands Nail Polish, no longer seems to be in active business.

But I have a caramel-coloured jelly polish, Nfu Oh’s JS39, and a cherry-and-vanilla-hued glitter polish, KB Shimmer’s Candy Cane Crush, and when the two are combined in a syrupy and fizzy-looking jelly sandwich mani, it makes for a pretty convincing dupe. I especially like the way the little white bits in the glitter polish look like tiny bubbles rising to the surface of the drink.Cherry-Vanilla Cola Fizz 2

Strawberry Jelly Sandwich

Strawberry Jelly Sandwich

Today’s weather has been an unpleasant thing – cold, downpourey, dark – so this manicure, a summery, ultra juicy-looking jelly sandwich, feels like just the thing to let the light – any light! – in. And I’m one of those weird people who like it when it’s overcast and sort of drizzly, but this? Actual cats and dogs are pouring from the heavens. Total anarchy. Time to turn off the tap, Mother Nature.

Still, as bummy as this day has turned out to be weather-wise, I smile when I look at these cheerful nails. Here I sandwiched a favourite glitter topper, OPI’s red, white and hot pink Minnie Style, between a couple of coats of a polish I simply don’t show enough love, Nfu Oh’s syrupy raspberry, JS24, to create a manicure that reminds me a lot of juicy, seed-flecked strawberry jam. Fun nails to brighten up an otherwise crappy day.

Love Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Love Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Or so the greeting card companies and Big Candy would lead you to believe, mwahahahahahaha! I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth and I generally find Valentine’s Day to be both a bore and a chore, but one V-Day, after getting rather horribly dumped the month previous, I contemplated rolling a girl on the street for the heart-shaped, red velvet-flocked behemoth of a box of chocolates she was attempting to negotiate down the busy sidewalk. That I don’t like chocolate very much and probably wouldn’t appreciate such a gift was besides the point; she just looked so delighted, presumably with whoever gave her the giant box of cocoa solids and palm oil, and I just wanted some of that happiness to rub off on me. Dem’s dark days in the aftermath of a bad breakup when you’re forced to soldier through your first solo Valentine’s Day without someone to give you crap gifts, let me tell you.

But on a much happier – although still seasonally appropriate – note, we have these nails, a nod to boxed chocolates, and my entry in the Valentine’s Day nail art contest currently being run by Beauty Expression by Luchessa and Polish Aholic.

Here I tried my hand (and index and ring fingers) at the negative space technique, wherein you polish your digits and then acetone-out your design down to the bare, naked nail. Which I actually did here with the little hearts – and rather painlessly at that – until I promptly filled them in with a butterscotch-coloured jelly polish for the perfect caramel “filling,” thus negating the, um, negation. But trust me when I say I did a slammin’ job with the negative space nails. And now that I’ve said it, it shall never, ever happen again! 😉

For these nails I used a veritable bouquet of mix and match brands, including OPI’s super popular off-white, My Vampire is Buff, OPI’s medium brown, A-Taupe the Space Needle, Finger Paints’ rich chocolate brown, You’re Kiln Me, Nfu Oh’s caramel coloured jelly, JS39, and for a dash of sparkle, Ruby Wing’s gold-to-red UV colour changer, Strawberry Shortcake.