31 Days of Pretty Great: An OMD3 Wrap-Up Post

If I may toot my own horn (toot toot!) I thought I made quite a good showing of this year’s Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, given the month’s rather inauspicious start. That set me back a few days right from the very beginning, and that’s where I resolutely stayed until the very end of the challenge – one or two days firmly off the pace. But scheduling issues notwithstanding, I’m really quite proud of the nail art work I did during this challenge. I tried out a new-to-me product (nail stickers), I matched my nails to a favourite pair of glittery shoes in look AND texture, I used 3D nail art embellishments (twice!) and I did a ton of super detailed free-handed work. I’d say that puts me squarely in the win column!

The 10 manicures I’ve highlighted in the photo gallery above are my favourites from the past month. If you’d like to see all 31 of my challenge entries, you can find them here under the tag OMD3NAILS. But if you’re simply curious as to which are my preferred manis from the challenge, they would be the following 10, in no particular order of fondness:

1. Little House on the Prairie-inspired foodie nails.Little House on the Prairie Cakes

2. Glittery stiletto-inspired textured nails.Glittery Shoes

3. Adventure Time princess nails.Adventure Time Princesses

4. Lush, vibrant seaweed nails.Seaweed

5. Simpsons nails, featuring the drunken fish of the Duff Gardens Beerquarium.Beerquarium

6. Opal ring-inspired nails.Ring-a-Ding

7. Tinkerbell-inspired nails.Tink

8. Skull and crossbones glitter nails.Head Shrinker

9. Knuckle duster, tattoo-type nails.Knuckle Duster Love

10. Refreshingly simple, blue-on-blue branch nails.Blue Boughs

And for the third year in a row (although I have only participated the last two), thanks go out to the ladies of Craftynail, Eeeek! Nail Polish!, Brijits Digits and Nail That Accent for hosting the challenge, creating some really fun themes and putting together some very tempting prizes, which I of course am hoping I will win. See you all next year!

Eau de Donut? (OMD3)

Donut Shop Collage

I’m not much of a perfume wearer (I should clarify that to add “at the moment”; I have in the past and I will again most likely in the future) and so when the final day’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge called for a mani inspired by the hashtag #mynailsandmyperfume, I was sort of befuddled. Then I remembered that though I may not spritz on a cologne every day, I *do* wear scents in other ways, like my never-far-from-reach scented cuticle oil from Sunny’s Body Products. Sunny’s roll-on cuticle oils are the only hand care products I use, primarily because their blend of good-for-your-skin oils has completely turned around my hand care routine (as in I had none before, and boy, did it show!) but also because she offers her oils – just about all her products, actually – in any one of over 500 different scents. Sunny’s also offers a number of generously sized sampler packs, so you can really go wild and choose a smaller quantity of many different scents.

That’s how I came to discover Donut Shop, a scent I’ve been meaning to try for ages now, but for the fact that I’m quite pestily uptight about making sure I’ve completely run out of a product before moving on to its replacement. It also seemed like a good fit for its two sampler mates, Blueberry Cheesecake and Blackberry Scone.

And while I can’t say that it smells like any donut shop I’ve ever frequented (which always smell like yeast, frosting and coffee) I do think it smells DELICIOUS, like a perfume my best friend wore in high school called Parfum d’Été by Kenzo. There is the very barest hint of bakery in Donut Shop right when you roll it onto your nails, but then it dries down into a lovely, light version of my friend’s perfume that I loved on her so very much (I loved borrowing her clothes, too, because they always smelled fantastic, and so very different from my all-vanilla – sometimes actual vanilla – approach to fragrance.) On its own, though, Donut Shop is a really lovely scent – sweet without being cloying, a touch floral without being musty, fresh without smelling like the chemical version of a mountain breeze. So nice.

The little donut charm I used here is from Daily Charme, and it wore very nicely. And as always, I highly recommend Sunny’s Body Products. I’ve placed maybe four or five orders with her now, and I’ve never had anything but great, super efficient customer service, speedy shipping and really well-made nail and skincare goodies. You can find Sunny’s cuticle oils (and body washes, and hand lotions, and sugar scrubs, and…) on her website here.

Donut Shop Hand

Tea Hill Strawberry (OMD3)

Tea Collage

Day 29’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge was #mynailsandmydrink, a popular hashtag where lacqueristas show off both their taste in beverages and matching nail adornment. And so for these quaffable nails, I drew inspiration from a bag of black tea I brought home with me from a vacation to Prince Edward Island last summer.

Weirdly, I’ve been thinking about that trip a lot recently. I say “weirdly” because it was a weird, weird trip – I was there for nearly three weeks, helping my mother prep my recently deceased aunt’s house for sale. It was not a fun vacation – definitely more business than pleasure – and yet I had a nice time living (and occasionally vacationing) well, well beyond my comfort zone.

One of my favourite memories from that trip, which occurred right about this time last year, was the evening my mom and I hopped in the shower, scrubbed off all the paint, stain and caulk smeared across our limbs and drove out to New Glasgow, one of the tiniest province’s more picturesque, beachy spots, for a bite of dinner. Not being much for shellfish (if so, there was a lobster supper up the road whose parking lot was OVERRUN) we decided to eat at the restaurant attached to the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, an incredibly popular spot for tourists and locals alike to find spectacular scenery, Island history and all the sample jams, jellies and mustards you can shove onto a cracker. That’s where I found the tea I used as the inspiration for these nails, the Preserve Company’s Tea Hill Strawberry, a lovely, not-too-berry-ish black tea I drank four cups of that evening as I sat in the restaurant’s bright, open diningroom, contemplating the heavenly meal I had just eaten of scallops, new baby potatoes and buttered veg. It was such a nice night – the weather was gorgeous, the conversation was light and easy and everything ended with a giant slice of raspberry cream cheese pie – and I just think I wanted to bring a little bit of that travel magic back home with me.

For these nails, I took a couple of design elements from the bag of Tea Hill Strawberry itself, before combining two Nfu Oh jellies, butterscotch-hued JS39 and raspberry-coloured JS24, for a clear, tea-type effect on my index and ring fingers.

By the by, if you should ever find yourself on the Island, do swing by the Preserve Company. Even if all you do is stand outside and gawp at the natural beauty of the New Glasgow area, it’ll be worth it. And if you’re not much for travel and/or can’t comprehend a situation in which you’d find yourself on Prince Edward Island, you can purchase the Preserve Company’s products online here, and they do ship internationally.

Tea Hand

It’s a Purse, Okay?! (OMD3)

Jeanne Lottie Collage

I’m bouncing around a little bit right here at the tail end of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, tackling the second-to-last hashtag-inspired theme, #mynailsandmybag, before the other two #mynailsand-s. For these Dorothy Gale-esque nails, I drew inspiration from a favourite blue gingham-and-lipstick red handbag of mine from Canadian designer Jeanne Lottie. My aunt insisted on buying it for me over 15 years ago during a mad, “spend all the money on the niece!” shopping trip, and who was I to object? I actually think she got a kick out of purchasing something she would never, ever carry herself; my aunt could be super fun, but she definitely wasn’t a blue, red and white purse-carrying kind of lady. But I am! And I’ve been happily carrying this charming little number ever since. And now I’ve got the mani to match!

Jeanne Lottie Bag Fingers

Adventure Time: The All Princess Edition! (OMD3)

AT Princesses Hand

Adventure Time is one of those aggravatingly wackadoo television shows that sounds like something I should love, and yet I always feel sort of idiotic after watching an episode, like I’m too dense to truly get the concept. I also feel this way about Napolean Dynamite, a movie I find puzzlingly un-funny. Adventure Time is just a bit too non-linear for me (it’s too non-linear for David Lynch.)

But on paper, Adventure Time sounds like a delight. Food kingdoms, weird supernatural happenings, back-talking kids? That should be television catnip for me! But until such time as I’m finally let in on the joke, I’ll have to confine my Adventure Time adventures to my nail art, where this acid trip of a cartoon can really shine.

Like, did you know that there are 50-some adorable princesses – many of them shaped like food! – in Adventure Time? Truly, there’s a princess for all tastes, from the Lumpy Space Princess, a blobby, shapeless purple puff with a diva attitude and a speech impediment, to the Bounce House Princess, who is quite literally an inflatable bounce house. Wearing a crown.

My favourite Adventure Time princesses, though, are the food princesses, a buffet of edible royalty with asinine backstories to explain why a toaster pastry is any kingdom’s sovereign. But they’re SO cute, and so when day 28’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge called for a princess, I decided to ditch the Disney for a bit and went with these yummy princesses, plural, from Adventure Time instead. Here I’ve shown, from left to right, starting with my index finger, Princess Bubblegum, the Frozen Yogurt Princess, the Cotton Candy Princess and the Strudel Princess. And on my thumb is my favourite Adventure Time foodie of them all, the Breakfast Princess, who wears a bacon crown on top of her egg white hair (she also wears a pancake skirt, which could be both convenient and exceptionally dangerous.)

Disney Girl Challenge: Tink (OMD3)

Tink Hand

These nails, my entry towards day 27’s theme of wings in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, are actually my second attempt at a Tinkerbell manicure. As (nearly) always, I’m not shy in displaying my earlier efforts, although maybe I won’t display them right *here* – if you’re curious to see what my original painted thinking was on the subject of Tinking, you can find those nails here.

And if you’re wondering why I painted Tinkerbell wings as opposed to, say, chicken wings on my nails for this challenge prompt, I’m sort of wondering that myself! But I can’t ever turn down an opportunity to add another entry to my ongoing Disney Girl Challenge, especially one where I always hoped for a second chance to do better.

Tink Fingers Sun

Anniversary Mani! (OMD3)

Anniversary Mani

Like sands through the hourglass, Facebook was kind enough to remind me that today marks my second nail artiversary! Indeed, two years ago, fresh off falling into an hours-long K hole of nutso nail art on Tumblr, I went off to my local beauty supply and purchased all the supplies I might need to create a watermelon manicure, and then I came home and did precisely that. After that, I did a strawberry manicure on my left hand, back when I believed in right hand/left hand equality. And then over the next two years I did about 800 more. But for anyone discouraged by their perceived shortcomings in the world of nail art, I invite you to check out my initial attempts. The rather unlovely truth is that we all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is often not very pretty straight out of the gates. At best, it’s not particularly well lit.

413

I toyed around with returning to the fruit well for these anniversary nails before deciding to take a more zen approach to the occasion. No need to bust out all the nail art whoseits and whatsits when I can create an awesome, festive mani using the first indie polish I ever purchased, Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts, over the pink polish I bought two years ago for my watermelons and strawberries, China Glaze’s Rich & Famous. For me, this is the manicure equivalent of putting my brain on autopilot – just a fun, calming, peaceful activity, which is in large part why I have stuck with it for so long. It feels quite fitting (besides, I have done approximately 8,657 strawberry and watermelon manis; time for a bit of a break.)

And so in honour of the simple (but too-fleeting) peace I feel when it’s just me at one with my polish, an activity I have most enjoyed these past two years, I also thought I’d submit these nails as my entry towards day 26’s theme of peace in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Celebration time, with a side of Om.

Anniversary Mani Bottle