Hay There!

Hay There 1

This polish, a China Glaze Halloween release of a few years’ back by the name of Rest in Pieces, always reminds me of straw or hay or dried cornstalks; very appropriate for this time of year.

This manicure in particular – Rest in Pieces here over Essie’s cafe au lait creme, Cocktails & Coconuts – reminds me of one of my favourite episodes of Trading Spaces.  Show of hands if you remember Trading Spaces.  I used to watch it every day in university, sometimes multiple times a day if TLC was running a marathon.  I seriously hated 95 percent of everything the designers did, and I lived for Hilde ruining someone’s mudroom by turning it into a circus-themed wine grotto.

Hay There 2

One of my favourite episodes, though, was the time Hilde and two stunned-into-silence neighbours redecorated a lesbian couple’s livingroom as the inside of an unfinished barn, complete with chicken coop mesh, rough-hewn, terra cotta-hued parging (missed opportunity here to go with a salmon-coloured base polish, darn it!) and random, only-partially-embedded hunks of straw.  Yes, actual straw!  That these two women had three children under five seemed to have completely slipped Hilde’s mind – or rather, she didn’t seem to give a crap that this was a totally inappropriate space for anyone to inhabit, let alone a rambunctious trio of curious young kids.  I remember the neighbours tasked with “bettering” their space were absolutely mortified, had in fact begged Hilde not to move ahead with some of her more asinine ideas (the straw), but the designer clearly had other plans.

I also remember that of the two ladies, one was politely horrified, her eyes wide and surprised and vaguely terrified as she glanced around at the ruin of her livingroom.  And the other was just flat out PISSED.  Livid, actually, and I didn’t blame her one iota – her livingroom had undergone a radical hatchet job.  Then, as if to underscore her furious point, one of the kids ambled over to the scratchy, pointy, dangerous wall and picked off a small handful of straw.  Ha!  Except not ha, because I felt terrible for that family, AND their neighbours, whose relationship was surely damaged by this entire reality TV incident.  Hilde remained oblivious to the end.

Hay There 3

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For the Birds

For the Birds side

Continuing with this week’s unintentional theme of autumnal nail delights, here’s a super seasonal manicure that reminds me of the cut-down, Canada goose-filled corn fields I pass every day whilst out and about living my life (and if you’re wondering what kind of godforsaken, bird-plagued borough I live in – the other day it was turkeys, today it’s Canada geese – eastern Ontario!) Those fields are filled with the dried up, broken-off remnants of this summer’s bounty and, of course, about 200 plump geese gorging themselves silly for their flights down south (seems counter-intuitive to me, having a great big meal before a long flight, but clearly they know something I don’t!)

The hay or dried out, fieldy bits (actual technical term) in these nails comes courtesy of China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a predominantly copper-hued glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection. I never really warmed up to this polish – something about the bar glitter (messy!) and the fact that it presents well over virtually nothing. Except for this manicure, where I of course think it looks AWESOME! Really, why did I not jelly sandwich this one sooner, especially when I’ve got Nfu Oh’s rich, butterscotch-hued jelly, JS39, on standby? The clear, lush simplicity of the jelly polish showcases Rest in Pieces beautifully, while tamping down some of the harsh holographic edges that tend to make it look just a tad “too much.” Very nice.

Fingers

Marmalade Sandwich

Orange Marmalade HandThis autumn-hued jelly sandwich manicure might seem a touch out of season (first comes Spring and Summer, and then Fall, Sandra) but at this point, I’m willing to look at anything to break up the monotony of late winter. It’s such an ugly time of year, particularly in my city where heaps of filthy snow line every sidewalk and roadway from November to mid-April.

Something warm – the furthest thing from icy, really – seemed in order, and wanting to keep things on the simple side, I decided to go with a jelly sandwich manicure using China Glaze’s Rest in Pieces, a holographic glitter topper from last year’s Halloween collection, and the orange glaze from Mentality’s Glazing Art Set. However, Mentality’s slightly shimmery glazes do have a tendency to faintly obscure less assertively-hued glitters (particularly those of the tone-on-tone variety, like this one), so I brushed on one ultra light coat of Rest in Pieces over top of the entire “assembled” sandwich to add further depth and boost the pretty sparkle.Rest in Pieces Bottle

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