Before the Last Petal Falls

Rose Collage

Australian indie lacquer maker, Picture Polish, creates THE best scattered holos – rich, vibrant, one-coater cremes sprinkled with holographic pixie dust.  They’re beautiful polishes for use in nail art, and fantastic for everyday wear; I never get as many compliments as I do when I’m wearing one of Picture Polish’s gorgeous hues.

And do you know what makes a Picture Polish polish even better?  When it’s laying down a little free(bie) lacquer love, baby – purchased with points I amassed through Nail Polish Canada’s reward program, a nifty little thank you for, well, buying so much stuff!  NPC’s constantly updating rewards catalog always has a nice assortment of premium polishes on offer, but I jumped at the chance to grab Rose, which has been on my lacquer wish list now for quite some time.  And it’s just as beautiful as I had hoped it would be – a slightly darker version of one of my all time favourite polishes, Electric Dream.  And it may just be subliminal suggestion based on this polish’s name, but I think Rose is the exact colour of the Enchanted Rose in Beauty and the Beast – rich, plush, a beautiful floral countdown of impending doom.  You know, the usual. 😉

Rose Fingers

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Clash of Colours

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With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I thought it would be fun to sort through my nail polish collection and pull my favourites in the supposedly clashing combo of pink and red.  I don’t go in for all that clashing malarkey – pink and red is one of my favourite colour combinations, hard at work in my wardrobe, my makeup and even my home decorating (“Lotta pink in here, huh?” sneered a plumber last year.  I wanted to ask him if his masculinity was quite finished being threatened by a colour, but instead I just smiled and paid him for a job very well done.)

Anyhow, lots of pink and red around here, a palette preference that apparently carries over into my nail polish collection, because I own an absolute ton of pink and red lacquers (as well as every variant in between, from cotton candy, to coral, to wine.)  We’d be here until Valentine’s Day itself were I to show you every one of my pink and red polishes, and so instead I’m whittling the list down to 10 favourites from KB Shimmer, Picture Polish, Emily de Molly and Whimsical Ideas by Pam.  There’s a little something for everyone here, from lush, berry-hued cremes, to fiery glitter bombs speckled with tiny hearts, so go on ahead and fall in love.

First up we have two of my oldest lacquers, Picture Polish’s raspberry and gold shimmer, Electric Dream, and O’Hara, a candy apple red spiked with tiny holographic shards.

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Next we have two polishes from Whimsical Ideas by Pam, primary red creme, Starbucks Holiday Cup, and Tutu Sweet, a vibrant bubblegum pink stuffed with silvery-white and hot pink matte glitter.

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Here in the middle we find two picks from Emily de Molly that are representing the Valentine’s season in both name and appearance, glittery melted popsicle, The Unloved (index and ring fingers), and Heart Street, a very retro mix of red, orange, purple and pink heart glitters in a fiery red base (middle and pinkie fingers.)

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Finally, we have four polishes from KB Shimmer.  This makes sense, as KB’s terrific polishes make up the bulk of my collection.  The first pairing is raspberry pink creme, Grin and Gerbera It, and Such a Vlad-Ass, a cool, vampy blood red.

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And finally-finally, we have the second KB pairing, candy sweet pastel glitter, Sweet Egg-scape, and maybe the most perfect red creme to grace my fingertips in the past four years, Chilly Pepper.

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Go Ask Alice

Alice Bottle Sun

Getting back into the swatching swing of things (following a wicked run-in between my left hand ring finger nail and, of all the stupid things, my vegetable peeler) with this lovely lacquer, Picture Polish’s beautifully blue Alice.

I already own a handful of Picture Polish’s superb scattered holos, and Alice is a fantastic addition to the collection. Looking very much like one of my all time favourite blue cremes, OPI’s No Room for the Blues, but formulated like one of Picture Polish’s rock solid holo-creme hybrids (of which Electric Dream is another favourite), Alice is perfection in a little square bottle. It applied beautifully, wore well and removed nicely, its tiny bits of raggedy holo glitter wiping off quickly and cleanly. And what of that beautiful sky blue colour? It’s simply divine! And not for nothing, because presentation is vastly underrated, but the graphic design on Alice’s bottle is darn adorable. Well worth heading down the rabbit hole for.

Picture Polish’s lacquers are available via a number of international stocklists, although I purchased Alice – and all of my Picture Polish polishes, actually – through Nail Polish Canada.

Alice Fingers Sun

Floral Fingers

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With apologies for my recent absence (busy busy with the necessities of life, and maybe a bit of hiding out from the horror show that IS life), here is an exceptionally impractical manicure I crafted together out of some cute items I recently purchased from Daily Charme, home of the fun, super obtrusive nail art embellishment.  “Crafting” always seems like the right word when it comes to my adventures in 3D nail adornment – there’s always a lot of glue and tweezers and frustrated screaming involved.

For these nails, I laid down a base of two super summery polishes, Picture Polish’s sparkly coral, Paris, and OPI’s pale turquoise, Sailing & Nail-ing, before topping my two middle fingers with a cluster of little clay flowers.  I then added a single marigold-hued bullion bead to the centre of each cupped flower (that’s just a very, very tiny gauge of bead) before filling in the spaces around the flowers with lime green beads.

And in case you’re wondering what the life span was on these particular nails, about seven minutes! 🙂

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Get Comfy: A Mini Lush Review

The Electric Comforter Collage

I was staring down at this newly acquired bottle of The Comforter shower cream from Lush yesterday when I realized that it is the exact (and exactly perfect) gilded raspberry shade as one of my all time favourite nail polishes, Picture Polish’s Electric Dream. Seemed as good a time as any to co-ordinate my mani to my bath, and take a closer look at both of these fantastic beauty products in the process.

I’ve gone on record as to my abhorrence of that Lush smell, a too, too TOO much combo of every single one of their scents, that wafts out of their stores and kicks you in the face like Ronda Rousey if she were made entirely of patchouli, star anise and tonka bean. It’s what kept me from even entering a Lush store for nearly two decades, that godforsaken smell.

But over on Instagram, a bunch of the nails-and-Lush-and-makeup-and-cats-and-Disney people I follow were going wild for Lush’s recently released holiday items, including some adorable, multi-coloured bath bombs called Luxury Puds that I’m told will make me mistake my bath for a glittery, rainbow-swirled hot spring fit for a unicorn. So I gave in to the non-existent peer pressure and placed a small, safe, experimental order for a handful of bath bombs, tossing in a 100 ml bottle of The Comforter shower cream almost as an afterthought.

And I’m so very glad I did, because The Comforter, one of Lush’s marquis, always-on-offer products, is WONDERFUL. In danger of becoming one of those things I obsess about, even. A rich, golden shimmer-packed shower cream, The Comforter is described on its label as “a cuddle in a bottle with cassis absolute and bergamot oil.” I actually think its name, which evokes cuddly snuggles, is ill-suited to its fresh, almost vegetable-y scent. It’s a mild, softly sweet, gently spiced (but not spicy) fragrance that could not be further from all the usual, super cloying berry scents (makes sense, as currants don’t really have much of a fragrance, do they?) I love it, I love it, I love it, and not just because it smells divine – it also lathered up beautifully and left my sensitive Celtic hide soft and smooth. Plus, like many (but not all) of Lush’s products, The Comforter is vegan – ethical beauty and relaxation at its finest.

Comfy Bottle

And what of the rich, raspberry red colour? Perfection, and a nearly perfect dupe of Picture Polish’s Electric Dream, an all time Finger Candy favourite. Unlike The Comforter, Electric Dream really lives up to its name, applying like a polished dream and drying down to a beautiful eggshell finish – all the better to admire that rich, golden-tinged hue. One of only a handful of polishes in my collection that I’d wear simply as a polish, straight up, no chaser.

The Comforter Fingers

Price-wise, Lush (and indeed, Picture Polish) will always be on the higher end of the spectrum. I was rather shocked at the price of a few items ($9 for a single use bath bomb that I guarantee you will dye the bottom of my tub – and quite possibly my own bottom – bright turquoise?) And this 100 ml bottle of The Comforter (that’s a little less than 3.5 ounces)? $10. Making this one Comforter I’ll only be covering myself in every so often, on special occasions…like Tuesday.

Depending on where you are in the world, Lush’s products are available either in-store or online. Seek out the sage advice of Google, and whether you’re in the States, the UK, Japan or Canada, there will be a Lush to suit your needs. I purchased my goodies via Lush.ca. My package arrived four days after I placed my order (it would have been three, save for some postal silliness on my end), nicely packed and bearing very little of that Lush smell (I let my items air out on the diningroom table for a bit regardless, which took care of any lingering smell.) All around, this was a great experience with Lush, and I look forward to remaining Comforted, at least, for many, many more baths to come.

Dripping in Diamonds (31DC2015)

Dripping in Diamonds Sun

Although I created these gorgeous, shimmery nails for day 17’s theme of glitter in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, I suppose they’d just as easily work for the upcoming theme of inspired by a song – or two songs, specifically Britney Spears’ I’m a Slave 4 U and Toxic. Remember those glittery nude bodysuits she wore? And the insane round of pearl-clutching her videos set off? WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! Britney wasn’t ever my favourite, but still, to go back to a simpler time when pop stars would just hint at nudity and not, you know, actually get naked (yes, I’m a total fuddy duddy about that kind of stuff – if you have even an ounce of musical talent, you shouldn’t feel the need to get your tits – and other stuff – out at all hours of the day.) Hmm, although now that I think about it, Britney wore both of those diamond-encrusted nude suits in service of two iconic performances (one stage, one video) – neither was tied to the content of those songs (which, if I recall my Britney correctly, is mostly just a lot of panting, moaning and Auto-Tune.) So I guess we’ll stick with the generic glitter day 17 initially contemplated and leave the music for another day.

These nails were super duper easy, although the glitzy, finished product looks like one of those manis that would cause you to rip out all your hair in frustration. I started by laying down two light coats of Picture Polish’s Cherish, a pale nude creme speckled with holographic shimmer. I then dabbed on a couple of coats of Finger Paints’ Colorful Collage, a silver holographic glitter, right at the base of my cuticles, extending it down ever so slightly in a brushed-on gradient. Then, dolloping out a few dabs of Colorful Collage onto a clean paper towel (you need to get rid of the excess clear base), I picked up the slightly tacky bits of glitter, one at a time, with the pointed end of an orangewood stick before depositing them onto my nails in random, trailing lines. Et voila, dripping diamonds – supposedly a girl’s best friend. 😉

Dripping in Diamonds Bottle

Star Opal

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I was swatching the base polish I used for these nails, Picture Polish’s shimmer-flecked nude, Cherish, when I thought lovely and delicate though Cherish is, it’s really kind of boring. So then I added a couple of coats of Revlon’s Moon Candy iridescent flakies in Eclipse, which I thought would give the nude base a shimmering, opalescent look. Which they did, very much so, although, parenthetically, FRUSTRATION, THY NAME IS FLAKIE! The darn things NEVER want to lie flat on the nail, even after multiple layers of a high gloss top coat, and nearly all of them have issues hardening up, another problem that trumps a quality topcoat. But pretty? SO pretty, and worth their inherent frustration, at least in the short term.

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As the final, finishing touch, I dropped a gold-toned, “gemstone” encrusted star charm from Daily Charme onto my ring finger, its opalescent stones perfectly mimicking the delicate, colour-shifting flakies (which themselves occasionally flash gold, depending on the quality of the light.)

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