Holo Giraffe

Holo Giraffe HandTerrible idea. The poor lopsided dears would just tip over. Oh, wait, we’re not talking about hollow giraffes, but holo giraffes? Okay, that makes a lot more sense now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My husband’s dearly missed grandmother had a real soft spot for giraffes. One Christmas we made a number of gifts for our friends and family – preserves, candies, soaps and other beauty products – and in her package, we included a veritable herd of vanilla scented soaps shaped like wee little giraffes. She very cutely kept them in her half bathroom long past the point where they either smelled or cleaned, but it always charmed me to see them laying there nonetheless.

These fun animal print nails are in service of a challenge I’m participating in over on Instagram where the theme is a holographic pattern. Giraffe skin counts as a pattern, right? I believe the giraffe would think so! For this manicure, I used three of my favourite holographic polishes, Cirque’s marigold yellow Chyrsopoeia and grass green Panacea, and Smitten Polish’s chocolate brown Seasonal Lattes.Holo Giraffe Fingers

Clover Candy

Clover Candy HandI’m coming at you with multiple posts today (bandaged such as they are) because as it turns out, while I may not be down for a big, rowdy evening of debautched Irishing, I *am* rather fond of St. Patrick’s Day-themed nail art. That combined with the fact that I own approximately 20 green polishes (a rather surprising discovery; I’d never call green my favourite anything) means I’m more than equipped to handle multiple manis in honour of, and inspired by, St. Paddy’s Day.

For this manicure, I went with a Lucky Charms-type look by pairing Cirque’s clover-hued holo, Panacea, with Candy Lacquer’s pastel matte glitter bomb, Carnival Games. I’ve often referred to one of Carnival Games’ sisters, Fairyland, as “Lucky Charms in a bottle,” but with its super summery mix of matte glitters in every shape, size and colour (no hearts and clovers, but there are stars and circles, donuts and triangles) Carnival Games is pure, crusty marshmallow goodness in a bottle. ๐Ÿ™‚Clover Candy Collage

And just look at this combination in gigantic, macro-sized close-up! Beautiful (plus I’m finally getting the hang of the macro lenses my husband gave me for Christmas, huzzah!)Clover Candy Macro

Da Blob

Blobby HandThis is a nail art animal called a blobbicure. As you might expect, I hate the stupid name, love the cute effect. My thumb looks like it’s sporting jellybeans!

Like its cousin the dotticure (also ugh), the blobbicure is ultra easy, perhaps more so, because you don’t need any special equipment such as a dotting tool, only the brush that comes with your bottle of polish. Simply lay down a couple of coats of a base polish and then, choosing a different colour (or colours), wipe off most of the polish on the brush and then dab it onto your nails in random bits and bobs (or blobs), making sure each blob has its own space and isn’t touching its neighbour. This is a real anything-goes kind of technique – your blobs can be large or small, perfectly round or imperfectly irregular, and any combination of colours. I’m afraid I can’t be any more precise than that, because this just isn’t that precise a technique! The only tip I’d offer is to really wipe the polish off your brush before getting blobby with it. You’re aiming for blobs here, not bumps.

I did this manicure at the behest of an Instagram challenge that called for a blobbicure in a holographic finish. Here I chose to layer four Cirque holos – green Panacea, blue Sky Woman, pink Powwow and gold Chyrsopoeia – over two coats of KB Shimmer’s ultra pale nude, In Bare Form. The blobs themselves give these nails a kind of pebbled footpath-type look, although the mix of rainbow shades, particularly on my thumb, is pure jellybean (although when’s the last time I looked at a manicure and didn’t see some type of food?)

Bits and Pieces, Blood and Guts

Halloween Collage WatermarkedOh, it’s the MOST won-der-ful time of the year! Lots of fun stuff going on in the world of nail polish this month as the indies and commercials alike get their spook on and flood the market with their Halloween-themed collections. I have somehow remained immune (some of the indie collections I like are only available from overseas stocklists with exorbitant shipping rates, and there’s only so many years you can buy the same glow-in-the-dark topper, so the decision was not a difficult one) but these two polishes from China Glaze’s Apocalypse of Color collection spoke to me, because they’re ever so purty and just a tiny bit different from the usual Halloween offerings, with lots of usefulness beyond the upcoming ghosting season.

First we have the glitter topper of the collection, Rest in Pieces. It’s a fun, festive assortment of copper, black and holographic hex and bar glitter. You will not like this polish one bit if you’re not a fan of bar glitter (like visible nail lines, bar glitter is a divisive topic in certain well manicured circles), although I really love the visual interest it adds to this mix-and-match mani. Here I layered two light coats of Rest in Pieces over Cirque’s grass green Panacea and OPI’s frosted brown Warm Me Up for a pretty and glittery fall design.Rest in Pieces

The other polish that looked like something a little out of the box (in the spirit of Halloween and all things creepy, I can’t let this opportunity go without making an “Awwwww, what’s in the box?!?” joke) is Don’t Let the Dead Bite, a sheer pink polish studded with dark rose glitter. I’ve seen this polish described on other blogs as red glitter in a sheer nude base, and one blogger said the overall effect was like blood spatter (ew), but I’m getting a definite red rose and entrails vibe off Don’t Let the Dead Bite (bigger ew.) Not to say I don’t like the entrailey effect – I actually like it quite a bit. It’s super soft and pretty and extremely flattering on paler skin tones like mine, and it does that thing I love where it looks as though the hex and teeny tiny bar glitter is hanging suspended in the polish. Here I simply painted on three coats of Don’t Let the Dead Bite for a delicate, jelly sandwich-type effect.Don't Let the Dead Bite

Grass Clippings

Panacea BottleThis polish is totally lawn in a bottle, right?! I purchased this shimmer-flecked holo, Cirque’s Panacea, after admiring a number of swatches that showed it as a bright, citrusy, rainbow-throwing beauty. But when I got my bottle, the colour seemed far too golden to be flattering against my pink paleness, and the holo effect was virtually non-existent. More like bummer in a bottle.

Fortunately, though, Panacea is one of those polishes that’s a bit of a Monet, as the great Cher Horowitz might remark – at a distance it’s all right, but up close it’s a big old mess. I can’t explain the kind of beauty-dampening effect that takes place with this polish when it’s in the bottle, but paint on a few coats and give it a bit of space to play in the sun, and suddenly it’s a gorgeous grass green holo packed with light-reflecting golden shimmer. Now that’s the Panacea I love, and yet another lesson in not judging a book by its cover.Panacea FullPanacea Lights

Holiday Road

Holiday Road 1My favourite National Lampoon’s Vacation movie is Christmas Vacation, but I have fond memories of watching the Griswold family navigate their giant, wood-panelled station wagon across the California desert in the original movie on their way to vacation hotspot Walley World, which is, regrettably for the Griswolds – spoiler alert! – closed. Clark has a not-too-surprising breakdown and storms the gates of the theme park, taking a random maintenance worker hostage and pressing him into not-totally-unwilling action in getting the dormant rides up and running. The family is very nearly arrested (when are they not?), and there’s a fantastic scene somewhere in there where Clark and his son, Rusty, run in delirious slo-mo towards the gates of the park as Chariots of Fire plays in the background. In the end they all learn the value of love and family and return to Chicago with surprisingly few criminal convictions.

I always thought the cherry on the crap sundae was the colour of the Griswold family station wagon, which Clark describes as “Electric Pea” (“Electric Pee” would also be quite apt.) That’s the first thought I had upon swiping on a few coats of this new green Cirque polish, Panacea, which looks every bit like the detailing work on the Griswold family boat. For these nails, I attempted to capture some of the highlights of the Electric Peamobile, including its decorative wooden side panels and square, no nonsense profile. You’ve got the right nails now, so jump on in and hit that Holiday Road! Just remember to check the Walley World schedule before you leave.Holiday Road 2