T.G.I.Chiveday!

Chives HandThese chive blossom nails are for my friend Justin, who has never met a joke too corny, nor a pun too laboured. It’s one of the things I like best about him. He’s also very funny, takes lovely photos of nature and architecture, and once starred as a featured extra in a ’90s horror movie that filmed at his university (and no, I’m not going to tell you which one, because it may not be his favourite thing on his résumé, even though I love it and his stories about filming it even more.) He made the chive joke this morning on a picture on Instagram, and I couldn’t just leave it laying there, especially not with purple up next on the accidental rainbow spectrum of manis I’ve been posting this week. Plus a little onion on my thumb. Took every ounce of my willpower not to give it eyes and a cutesie little face, but I resisted, because these are adult nails inspired by a gas-producing perennial, okay? Oh-kay. 😉

Nyan Nyan Nyanko!

NyanHandShortly after university, a friend of mine went to Japan for a year to teach English, a time during which she sent home innumerable care packages of random Japanese products (the juice box – with a straw! – of saki is still a favourite), all of it inevitably emblazoned with some heartbreakingly adorable little cartoon critter with gigantic eyes and a tragic backstory (did you know that burnt bean curd buns can suffer an existential crisis? Well, at least the one on the journal she gave me could!)

The best things she ever sent me, though, were a couple of stationary sets printed with the Nyan Nyan Nyanko cats, or those cute little white kittens that always show up nestled in food, just like the feline feast I’ve shown here on these nails! I actually thought the Nyan cats were better known than they in fact are; a product of San-X, a Japanese stationary company, there’s distressingly little information online about Nyan Nyan Nyanko. Which makes no sense, because those cupcake pusses and tempura kitties are ADORABLE, and they should be as popular as Miss Hello herself.

Here I set the Nyan kittens up with a varied menu indeed, including, from thumb to pinkie, the aforementioned tempura shrimp and cupcake, as well as a buttery stack of pancakes, a fully loaded burger and a summery slice of watermelon. Num num, Nyan Nyan!

Let’s Get Physical

Let's Get PhysicalA friend of mine who is a major Olivia Newton-John fan (“Who?” said the kids. “You know, the pretty blonde woman from that weird singing movie about the ’50s with the greasy guy your mom had a big crush on in Pulp Fiction,” said I) celebrated an undisclosed number of fabulous years on this earth yesterday, and so to honour his big girl crush, I whipped up these ONJ-centric nails inspired by the cover artwork to her 1981 pop hit, Let’s Get Physical. If you’ve never seen the accompanying video, it’s more than worth a gander. Nowhere will you find more pelvic thrusting, satin spandex pants and legwarmers (except perhaps an American Apparel store.) And come to think of it, I believe the television show Glee covered Let’s Get Physical, and Ms Newton-John herself was a guest star on at least one episode (back when I used to watch Glee, which really does not account for a particularly long period of my life; off topic, but it went south pretty quickly and I bailed hard.)

But getting back to the topic at hand, I was initially quite reticent to do these nails because real life realness – as in figure drawing or anything that’s supposed to look remotely lifelike – is absolutely not where my nail art talents lie. I’m good at coming up with fun colour combos and painting my nails to look like food and other cartoony, -oid-type things (sheep-oids, rose-oids, what-the-crap-is-that-supposed-to-be-oids), but never real. And I actually told my friend that I’d do this manicure for him so long as he didn’t mind that Olivia N-J would absolutely come out looking like a stout transvestite with elephantiasis of the chin. Which hey, she kind of does! All the same, I’m still pretty proud of the work on my thumb, which took far longer than I’m willing to disclose, because it’s the first time I ever went for the real as opposed to the cartoon, with not totally unfortunate results. 🙂

Sunrise

Tequila SunriseMore like Tequila Sunrise, amirite?! The initial inspiration for these nails, a simple brushed-on gradient using three warm-toned jellies from Mentality Nail Polish, was fire. I thought combining the red, orange and yellow polishes from Mentality’s 10-piece Glazing Art Set would look a bit like flames licking at the tips of my fingers (how very Beetlejuice!) Instead I wound up with something more akin to grenadine (pomegranate syrup, you heathens) slowly sinking to the bottom of a Tequila Sunrise, which is one of those deceptively benign-looking layered cocktails that will lure you into a night of feckless debauchery and wanton dancing before leaving you cold and shivering and possibly face-down in your toilet the next morning. Or so I’ve heard. 😉

And now one from the “Back in my day” files: Many moons ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was attending high school, it was year-end tradition for the graduating seniors to camp out in the back field on the second last night of school, after having spent the evening one province over where the drinking age was ever so slightly lower doing totally innocent things like reading poetry aloud to one another or helping little old ladies cross the street, BUT OF COURSE (okay, so that’s a huge fib. My class at least had the dubious distinction of drinking one bar out of their entire stock of Midori melon liqueur, and when the DJ came on over the PA to reassure the green-lipped masses that MORE MIDORI WAS ON ITS WAY, my entire class cheered ecstatically. And then probably did the Macarena, because it was 1996, that song was everywhere and dancing ironically was already becoming a thing.) The event was called Tequila Sunrise, and stretched well beyond sunrise (where breakfast was on in the cafeteria for anyone upright and ventilating) into the entire last day of school, where the seniors were invited to attend their final classes, or not, or show up to say goodbye to everyone and sign some yearbooks, or not…it was all incredibly relaxed and gracious and trusting of the teachers and administration, and I can’t imagine it’s an event that has continued given the age of heightened pearl-clutching we live in now. But it remains one of my favourite high school memories, right down to the day’s last bell, when my friend and I looked at each other in pure astonishment – holy crap, we made it – and then promptly burst into gigantic wracking sobs. It was an emotional moment for sure, and that’s before a girl a few grades down showed up with her guitar and began serenading us with morose Ani DiFranco tunes. A beautifully bittersweet day after a pretty sweet (and tequila-infused) sunrise.Tequila Sunrise Fingers

Ice Cold Champagne

Toast-ess With the MostestThis beautiful, sparkly polish, KB Shimmer’s Toast-ess With the Mostest, has been on my hit list for the better part of a year, and I kept passing it over in favour of something else, anything else, for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. So with a recent influx of holiday funds, I rectified that “problem” (gave it a good home, I did!) and now I have access to champagne-hued holographic glitter nails whenever I darn well please. I love how the varied mix of glitters – small, medium and large circles, holographic micro glitter and a smattering of hexes – look like tiny bubbles rising to the surface of a glass of champagne (on that related note, if you have the means, I’d highly recommend picking one up. A bottle of champagne, that is. Real champagne – the super expensive stuff that can legitimately call itself champagne, not Baby Duck! – is an effervescent, alcoholic delight of the purest ray serene, and all other bubbly drinkstuffs will thereafter be ruined for you forever. A friend of mine with impeccable taste in pretty well everything once brought a bottle of something very fine and very delicate to dinner at my parents’, and it was game over – Champagnale just will not do any more, I’m afraid!)

The ice cold is in reference to the fact that to take these photos, I had to jump out onto my very windy balcony in -20 degree weather while my hands and partially bare legs (I know, I KNOW) first went tingly, and then kind of numb. Suffering for my art – how Method.Toast-ess With the Mostest

Electric Circus

Electric CircusShow of well manicured hands if you were a Canadian teen in the ’90s who spent at least a portion of your weekends listlessly hate-watching cable channel Much Music’s Saturday night bump and grind-o-rama, Electric Circus. Actually, to be fair to the Circus – on which I was featured in about 1995 regrettably not as a dancer, but as a nabbed-off-the-street interviewer of of-the-moment R&B “sensation” Tony! Toni! Tone!, which really makes no sense because I was super into grunge and quite openly snobby about it – there was very little bumping and grinding. The dancers featured on Electric Circus every Saturday night in Much Music’s retrofitted and black-lit studios were well trained, intense and FOCUSED (very busy work is being a dancer up on one of the boxes, THE sign that you had made it in the ’90s club dance scene.) Even the kids who lined up every week to be chosen as one of the evening’s 50 or so regular, on-the-floor dancers brought their A game, and there wasn’t a whole lot of that gross thing that guys did in the ’90s where they just come up behind you on the dance floor, sock their crotch against your butt, bellow something completely inarticulate and Labatt Dry-scented directly into your eardrum before attempting some pelvic-a-licious dance maneuver, at which point you fake an aneurysm and you and your friend decamp to the bar two blocks down, which is actually just fine because you left your coats there earlier so as to avoid having to check them at the bar up the road, even though it’s -25 degrees out and you’re in your very tiniest, and tightest, baby tee, which isn’t actually yours, but you’ve worn it out so often, your best friend really ought to just give it to you out of the goodness of her heart, because it makes your boobs look really great. True story.) Ah yes, kids, improbably enough, it was a more innocent time!

Long tangent short: These nails, Dance Legend’s neon glitter topper, Rio #1, over OPI’s silver foil, My Signature is “DC”, remind me of the vibe and look of Electric Circus – lots and lots of neon and shiny, dancing stars.

Shiver and Shimmer (OMD2)

Peter Pan CollarsHere are some frosty, shimmer-infused Peter Pan collar nails for the theme of – you guessed it – shimmer in the Oh Mon Dieu 2 nail art challenge. Peter Pan collars are adorable (the very best collar, I think we can all agree, unless you’re allergic to the terrifically twee) and the design is so sweet and cute, especially when paired with a sparkly, shimmery silver foil like this one, OPI’s My Signature is “DC” from the recently released Coca Cola collection.

I was just sitting here musing on what sort of hideous clothing could be born of such a horrendous fabric when I remembered that I’ve actually seen this nail polish in action before as clothing, on Daniel Johns, the lead singer of Silverchair, in concert somewhere towards the end of the ’90s. Per the alt music grapevine at the time, he was sick – anorexia – and looking at him, there was no denying his illness. He was nothing but skin and bones and – somehow, amazingly – this ferocious death metal howl that instantly made me fall in love with the kid and want to bring him home and shove buttered pasta down his throat until he was “better.” It was a hugely high energy show, one of the best I’ve ever seen, with Johns whipping back and forth between a kind of growly, snarkling bark and pure, clear, beautifully sustained notes, the likes of which you typically don’t hear at an outdoor concert at a racetrack. And through it all, he sported this GIGANTIC, has-to-be-100-percent-unnatural, silver foil shirt that made him look like the world’s tiniest, angriest, most musically-inclined pimp. It’s actually the memory I called up when I saw this nail polish for the first time (now, my friend with the Diet Coke obsession? SHE’D probably be able to identify it as “Diet Coke silver” from about 100 paces, but I’ll stick with Silverchair silver.) 😉

Blooming Blue

In Bloom Bottle

I purchased two polishes recently from a new-to-me Aussie indie brand, Lilypad Lacquer, and when they arrived via nail mail yesterday just in time to be photographed all gorgeously out on my sun-streaked balcony, I wasted precisely zero time in swatchin’ ’em up. Then I stood around in a kind of daze, muttering under my breath about such inanities as linear holo and microshimmer whilst tilting my hands back and forth, side to side, up and down. Call it Nail Polish Hypnosis. Believe you me, it’s a very real thing, and we WILL find a cure in our lifetimes!!!

But before I get up on my PSA soapbox, I’ll point out that this polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s holographic and purple shimmer-infused In Bloom, is totally worth falling into a fugue state over, because it’s so. stupidly. gorgeous. Fabulous quality, too, and a dream to apply. It reminds me of this multichrome-type MAC eye shadow my best friend and I both wore in high school that flipped between purple, blue, green and grey and which I felt quite badly about when they discontinued many, many moons ago. I remember (vapidly) staring into the horribly-lit bathroom mirror at my part-time job and watching the colours shift as I batted my eyelashes and otherwise acted like a giant, giggly girly girl. Which I am, so no apologies! But needless to say, staring at this gorgeous colour on my nails is sure to prove significantly easier than the eye shadow, and it is thankfully not discontinued!

In Bloom Shade

Peel ‘n Stick 4th

Stars & StripesI was visiting a friend and her new babies this afternoon, and when I commented that these nails were not freehanded, but were in fact nail art strips, her son let out a tremendous squak, I suppose in protest of my sheer laziness (hmph, judgemental baby.) 😉 But if I *could* argue the finer points of nail adornment with him (it’s hard to argue with someone in a onesie), I’d deny that it’s laziness that motivated these super fun July 4th nails, because come on, look at them! They’re totally awesome! Here I’ve shown a set of nail polish strips I purchased late last summer and have been hoarding ever since in anticipation of exactly this date, Incoco’s Stars & Stripes. I’ve come out swinging in favour of Incoco’s products in the past, because they’re just great, and these appliques proved to be no exception. And because my nails are on the shorter side, as are my friend’s, and these nail strips are double-ended, I was able to get two full manicures out of one set, so we could both proudly rock patriotic paws (okay, so we’re Canadian, but we both have American relatives, so it’s chill.)Stars & Stripes

Baby Block Rockin’ Beats

Baby Block Rockin' Beats

One of my oldest and dearest friends became a first-time mom some months back to two adorable little niblets who are so soft and sweet and fresh-smelling, their existence has *almost* made me rethink my general stance on kids (that being that I’m not all that fond of them.) And yes, I realize that “soft” and “sweet” and “fresh-smelling” are all descriptors that could also be applied to my couch after a thorough steam cleaning, but will your couch reward you with a gloriously daffy baby smile when you make stupid faces at it? I think not.

Anyhow, despite this being her first time at the rodeo, I think she’s doing a remarkable job, maintaining her characteristic wit and grace-under-pressure against demanding, but adorable, odds. These baby block nails are for her and the wee babes.

Note: Hey look, there’s a tiny cat fur right in the centre of my middle finger! That’s quite appropriate, as I thoroughly intend on being the babies’ weirdo Aunt Sandra who always has loose cinnamon hearts rattling around the bottom of her purse and leaves eight pounds of cat fur behind after every visit. 🙂