Chrome Alone

Chrome Alone 1

Here’s a nifty, multi-look mani that makes the most of the polishes I used, four colour-shifting chromatics from Polish Me Silly.  And with thanks to that colour shiftiness and the tiniest tilt of your hand, this simple dotted nail art can look like three different manicures in one, perfect if you’re looking to maximize your manis, or even if you’re just really indecisive. 😉

Chrome Alone Collage

Here I used four Polish Me Silly chromatics, two duo-chromes (Holy Shift, first, and Guilty Pleasure, third) and two multi-chromes (Dreamer, second, and Paradise, fourth.)  In the polished nomenclature, chromatic refers to the lacquer’s finish, in this case a liquid metal-type paint job to rival the flashiest of cars in the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (actually, I think Twink’s Incredible Hulk car is the exact same shade of green as Dreamer, and shut up, I KNOW I know too much about that stupid movie, but I can’t help myself, it’s awful/terrible and Han is way hot and I can’t. stop. watching…except it actually features real stunt driving, instead of Vin Diesel smirk-driving on, like, submarines in the Arctic, and it’s pretty badass.  I think this comparison may have gotten away from me a bit.)

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Duo-chrome means the polish shifts back and forth between two colours, and multi-chrome means it shifts between three or four.  This just means that depending on the lighting conditions or the angle of your hand, your nail art can look like a few different manis in one.  Quite economical of time and polish, yes, but just a fun look to play around with all the same.

Chromatic Collage

Make it Pink! Make it Blue!

Make it Pink, Make it Blue 1

Or make it a little bit of both!  But that really didn’t fit the fairies’ rhyming scheme in Sleeping Beauty, so they just stopped with pink and blue.

I, however, did not stop with just pink and blue in this manicure (Pure Ice’s frosty pink Peony and Nails Inc.’s cobalt Baker Street, in case you were curious) topping both polishes with Mr. Bubble, a favourite glitter topper from indie polish maker Polish Me Silly that has to be at least five years old now, and I’m just astonished that it’s still in polish-able condition.  Glitter-based polishes, particularly those in mini bottles, have a tendency to dry up rather quickly, but this bubbly lovely is still flowing smoothly.  Noice!

Make it Pink, Make it Blue 2

I cribbed the indigo-over-pink gradient AND the choice of glitter polish from an old Chalkboard Nails manicure that first caught my eye back in – woah, sorry, had to take a moment to contemplate my own mortality there for a sec – 2014.  The glittery little bow was my idea, although I’ll add a bow charm to just about any mani I can.  Sarah Thompson, the blogger and nail artist behind Chalkboard Nails, is still doing her thing, albeit now over on Instagram.  I follow some nail art accounts, and yet I had absolutely no idea that she was still in the mix.  Instagram really sucks these days, doesn’t it?

This mani doesn’t suck and I love this colour combination.  And three cheers for Mr. Bubble, keepin’ on keepin’ on. 🙂

Frozen Bubbles

Frozen Bubbles

As in Polish Me Silly’s fun Mr. Bubble glitter bomb over top of my frozen, lacquered fingertips.  ‘Cause it never stops snowing.  As I may have mentioned once or twice or 20 times over the past two days.  Fur real, though, it’s the middle of MARCH.  Time to wrap this up for the year, Earth!  Besides, there’s only so much time left before we all switch over to griping about the heat and humidity (also a thing in my in-a-valley city.)

Heh, that reminds me of a cute interaction I had with a reader years ago.  I had mentioned in a post at the time that my city sits in a valley, as in the Ottawa Valley.  If you’ve been to Ottawa, you know it has its lovely qualities, but it’s also a major (bureaucratic) city, with all the attendant ugliness that goes along with that descriptor – old, crap, perpetually breaking infrastructure (sinkholes!), sprawling, high density suburbs (vinyl!) and a death trap of a 400 series highway that cuts through the entire city like a gaping, infected wound (but tell us how you really feel, Sandra.)  Anyhow, this reader, who I believe hailed from the Philippines, left a sweet comment on my post to the effect of “You live in a valley?!  How wonderful, it must be so beautiful and magical!”  It was adorable, and I laughed for about five solid minutes afterwards at the thought of this girl thinking that I lived in freakin’ Fern Gully.  I tried to be as gentle as possible as I explained that no, Ottawa was your pretty typical metropolitan mess, and how its valley-ness manifested itself was mostly in poor weather conditions that would settle into the divot and then not move off for the next 10 days.  That’s kind of what we’re in right now – a snow cycle that’s trapped down here “in the Valley.”  No place like home, eh? 😉

Glowflakes

Glowflakes 1

Supposed to be lots of this stuff coming down over the next couple of days.  Snow, that is, of the regular, old fashioned variety, not multi-chromatic flakes.  Which I would think would be incredibly dangerous, if only because a bunch of Instagramming nimrods would immediately get out of their cars and begin vlogging the #unicorndiscosnowstorm from the middle of the road.  I say that as someone who would completely stop to take photos of such an event (I did take 1,779 photos over six days at Disney.)  I just like to think I’d pull over to the side of the road first. 🙂

As for the technical details, these nails were brought to you by a basic black creme topped with a long since discontinued glitter, Ozotic’s inelegantly named 528, to which I added some free-handed snowflakes in Polish Me Silly’s Paradise, a purple-to-teal-to-blue-to-green multi-chrome that gives everything it touches #thatunicornlife.

Glowflakes 2

The Blogging Mermaid

The Pottery Mermaid Fingers Front

Eons ago – actually more like just four or five weeks ago, but we’re going for dramatic emphasis here – my blogger friend Julie of The Redolent Mermaid asked me if I’d be kind enough to create a manicure on her behalf.  So when Julie, who is really into pottery, posted about a lovely little glazed planter she recently bought, I thought it would make the perfect (partial) inspiration for those long-promised nails.

Full confession: Pottery?  Like, hand-thrown bowls and vases and stuff?  Not really my thing, although I can – and do – admire the hard work and talent that undoubtedly goes into the creation of every charmingly lumpy piece.  I’m just more of a china dishware kind of person.

However, I can always appreciate a gorgeous colour and a beautiful finish, and Julie’s little planter has both of those things in spades – I was particularly taken with the iridescent blue glaze on the inside of the pot and the multi-chromatic plum drips along the rim.

And so I used both colours – Polish Me Silly’s plummy purple multi-chrome, Guilty Pleasure, and A England’s purple-tinged turquoise, Whispering Waves, here alongside A England’s stormy grey Wuthering Heights – in this fun, mermaid-y mani that incorporates some of Julie’s favourite things with my talent for turning total randomness into nail art.  Enjoy!

Blogging Mermaid Nails Angle

Bubble Bubble

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…toil and trouble.  The toil being the not inconsiderable amount of time I put into this manicure, only to then run directly into the trouble – smashing my fingertips straight into the bathroom door after a post-mani wash-up.  Aargh!  As always, take your time, friends, to do all parts of a job well, and don’t forget to stick the landing!

(P.S. The glitter polish I used here?  Polish Me Silly’s Mr. Bubble.  It’s bath time fun for everyone!)

Finger Candy’s Guide to the Good Gifts

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Happy holidays, friends!  By now, most folks have set out the menorah or decorated the tree or hung the stockings with care.  Now all that’s left is the gut-wrenching panic of erroneously thinking that you’re behind on absolutely everything and there’s still so much to buy and you can’t find that one special gift and HOLY SHIT, WHERE’S THE TYLENOL?!

So allow me to ease your seasonal shopping malaise just a bit with these sweet holiday gift suggestions, perfect for all of the good boys and girls on your list (or at least the ones who like scented wax, fun beauty items and this blogger’s second favourite show of 2016.)

For the nail artist or lacquer aficionado, these gorgeous multi-chromes from Polish Me Silly were the best polish purchase I’ve made in years.  Featuring a buttery smooth finish, tough-as-nails (ha) durability and vibrant, colour-shifting hues, these polishes are perfect for everyday wear and nail art alike.  I’ve certainly made great use of them time and time again, and I’ll definitely be adding more to my collection in 2017.

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Holiday shipping nonsense being what it is, customers outside of the United States may be out of luck in terms of receiving these by Christmas.  I wouldn’t chance it here in Canada. But there are a ton of indie and commercial brands out there that offer polishes with a similar colour-shifting effect (ILNP, KB Shimmer, Girly Bits Cosmetics, Color Club, China Glaze, Sally Hansen and Zoya, to name a few) and they’d be more than adequate stand-ins.

For the wax newbie, this ScentSationals warmer and wax starter kit, available at your local Walmart.  This pretty bulb warmer, an early Christmas present to myself, comes with four wax clamshells in yummy, seasonally-appropriate scents, and retails for just a hair under $30 Canadian.  A great deal for the person just beginning to dip their toe into the waxy waters.

scentsationals-burner-collage

For the eternal 12-year-old, or people with actual 12-year-olds, Gravity Falls, an animated Disney series chronicling the summer twins Mabel and Dipper Pines spend with their great-uncle Stan in Gravity Falls, Oregon.  Don’t let the Disney label fool you – Gravity Falls is sweet without being saccharine, sly without being smarmy and full of so much weird heart, you’ll want to claim the Pines family as your own. Featuring the vocal talents of Jason Ritter, Kristen Schaal, Linda Cardellini, Will Forte, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Coolidge, J.K. Simmons, Nick Offerman, Nathan Fillion, Patton Oswalt and so, so many others, the show’s a wall-to-wall delight of Buffy-style supernatural hijinks, conspiracy theory-type mysteries and bonkers family togetherness.  My second favourite television show behind Stranger Things, and you all know how I feel about Stranger Things (“Yes, we KNOW,” said everyone who followed along on Sandra’s Endless Summer of Stranger Things.)

gravity-falls-collage

For the bathing beauty, an assortment of colourful bath bombs from Lush Cosmetics. Here I’ve shown five selections from Lush’s holiday collection, from left to right, Luxury Lush Pud, Shoot for the Stars, Northern Lights, Mistletoe and Never Mind the Ballistics. Silly names, gorgeous colours and sweet scents – your bath-lover will be in bubbly Lush heaven.

bath-bomb-collage

For the foodie, these jars of sea salt.  At $6 Canadian a bottle (once again at Walmart) they feature great design and super quality at a fraction of traditional “fancy salt” prices.  You can pour the larger pieces of salt into a grinder and use them that way, although I prefer to dump them out into my marble mortar and then grind them up with the pestle, easy peasy.

salts

Finally, for the gracious holiday host or hostess, a Christmas Pickle.  A quirky custom of unknown origin (Germanic?  American?  Macedonian malcontent in his bedroom?), the gift of a Christmas Pickle ornament guarantees the recipient a year free from garlic-related heartburn.

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Okay, so I made that part up. 😉  The actual tradition involves parents secreting a pickle away in the depths of the tree after the kids have gone to bed.  Then on Christmas morning, the child who finds the pickle first gets an extra little treat.  Annnddddd now that I’m writing all of this out, I’m struck by how pervy and unfair this whole Christmas Pickle deal really is.  I mean, I like a good game of Find the Pickle as much as the next person, but why the inequality, pickle gods?

It’s also worth noting that despite being quite clearly tied to Christmas, I think of the Christmas Pickle as a kind of non-denominational holiday good luck charm suited to any and every person, regardless of religious affiliation, or lack of same.  Besides, who doesn’t want to hide an ornamental pickle somewhere in their house?  No one I want to know, that’s for sure!

I hope you all find something on this list that tickles your fancy, or the fancy of someone on your list (uh oh, there we go with that pervy thing again!)  Happy (stress-free) shopping to you all.