Gotta give it up for you Americans, you really know how to stretch a long weekend. I appreciate the whole “Well, the holiday falls on a weekday; looks like the rest of the week is a wash!” approach to civic holidays. These red, white and blue nails (really pink, white and blue on account of the colour-bleed that occurred with my red glitter polish) are for those lucky Yanks celebrating their second weekend of the 4th.
The nit-picky details, for the curious, are a basic white creme topped with two festive glitters, Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Over the Rainblue and Strawberry Shields (the bleedy one that regrettably stained my pristine white creme polish a watery, red-shirt-in-a-load-of-whites pink. Not an issue, though – I think nearly everything benefits from a touch of pink, including the old red, white and blue.) I then added a couple of white bow charms from I truly can’t remember as the final finishing touch (helpful, I know, sorry!) Happy continued 4th, friends!
Geographic nails – excellent practice at keeping a steady hand with a detail brush, and a great excuse to just mess around with a bunch of pretty polishes, here OPI’s royal purple, Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm?, Essie’s orchid-hued Play Date and Sally Hansen’s warm pink, No Ifs, Ands, or Buds (am I the last person on earth to resist the Oxford comma? Here it is on my nail polish, for cripes’ sake!)
I’m generally opposed to evoking the holidays any earlier than Thanksgiving, but seeing as I’m Canadian and our Thanksgiving was over a month ago, this merry Mickey mani is fair game. And it’s even fairer game given that Disney has had the parks decorated for the season since the beginning of the month. I’ve never visited during the holiday season, but with a non-stop parade of fun, festive activities and attractions – sometimes actual parades! – including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I hear it’s a circus.
For this merry mani, I spruced up two coats of Pure Ice’s gold-tinged green, Lucky Charming, with one light coat of Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Over the Rainblue, a blue hex and silver bar glitter-stuffed topper, and one slightly heavier coat of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s All Ears, a red, white and yellow glitter speckled with matte black Mickey heads. The resulting manicure is like the aftermath of a parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Hopefully one day very soon I’ll get to experience it for myself, and I definitely know the manicure I’ll be sporting when I do. 🙂
Humblebrag? This is my very first attempt at stamping. Prior to this I’ve tried the technique out on maybe two test nails before dismissing it altogether – too imprecise, too fussy and too messy for something I could probably free-hand just as well. But on the opposite end of the humblebrag spectrum, I’ll note that my free-handing skills are not always totally up to snuff, particularly when it comes to branded characters like our gal Hello Kitty here (depicted as the Punisher; husband’s choice.) In those cases, I’ve got zero problem seeking out a little pre-etched help, and so I decided to finally take a run at this stamping business. And you know what? It wasn’t bad or difficult at all, and being well organized right from the start kept things neat and tidy. Plus, how cute is Punisher Kitty on my thumb, nestled among that argyle bow design on my fingers? Brutally cute!
But there’s a little more than meets the eye with this manicure, so let’s take it from the top! The base polish I used here is actually a jelly sandwich manicure I created by layering Mentality Nail Polish’s purple glaze with Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Cheery on Top, a pink, turquoise and purple glitter (which is itself a dupe of OPI’s Polka.Com.)
Once that dried, I set about stamping, using just a basic, $5.00 scraper and transfer set I purchased from Nail Polish Canada and this Hello Kitty image plate from Fab Ur Nails I bought from Llarowe (which is in the midst of a major restructuring, whittling their stocklist down to just two in-house brands, so no more Hello Kitty plates, regrettably.)
For the stamping itself, I used a favourite sparkly silver, OPI’s My Signature is “DC”, which is very opaque and transferred quite beautifully. I didn’t have any problems with the stamping, but my centering work could definitely use a bit of, uh, work. Except for Punisher Kitty (one of about a dozen superhero Kitties on plate number 9) who is leveling her stone cold vigilante’s gaze at me directly from the centre of my thumb. Still, for a (nearly) first time effort, this is pretty tremendous. So expect this unexpected run of stamping good luck to NEVER happen again!
I’d typically tell you to beware the sandwich that’s speckled in anything (except for that crunchy munchy flax stuff; it’s delicious) but this isn’t your usual sandwich (besides, I shouldn’t have to tell you NOT to put it in your mouth. What, are you a toddler?!) You all know I’m a real sucker for a jelly sandwich manicure, not just because they’re quick, easy and effective, but because they really allow you to stretch your creative, create-a-polish legs and cobble together some fun, Designer Imposter-type looks (I just lost everyone under the age of 25. Are Designer Imposter perfumes even a thing any more? Think cheap body sprays described as “Like CK One” or “Sunflowers-esque.” They were super popular in the ’80s and ’90s. Then again, so was Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft, which smelled like diapers before the aforementioned toddlers got to them.)
Take this creation, for instance, a combination of Mentality Nail Polish’s red glaze and Sally Hansen’s glittery Over the Rainblue. I saw a similarly composed indie polish on Instagram the other day – simple and striking, but maybe not something I needed right that very second. Especially not when I thought I could maybe create something very similar with a couple of polishes I already had at home, which is precisely what I did. And while the inspiration for these nails was actually a holographic polish, I think the slight shimmer of the cherry red glaze and the tiny holo bars in Over the Rainblue are perfectly acceptable substitutes in this basic glitter-over-polish manicure (or, more accurately, glitter-over-AND-under-polish manicure.) I especially like the way the holographic blue glitter shines through the red glaze, making these speckled nails look as though they’re lit from within.
Winnie the Pooh nails are nothing new around here, nor are manicures that look like food, but what about ones that combine just a little bit of both? For this sticky, drippy manicure inspired by the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff and his favourite snack, I topped a Pooh-coloured creme, Pure Ice’s Show Stopper, with a touch of sweater red glitter, Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Strawberry Shields. I then added a couple of Pooh Bear and hunny pot accent nails before daubing on some sticky-looking honey drips with Orly’s scattered gold holo, Bling. ‘Cause you just know that bear’s a messy eater, and he’s gonna get that honey everywhere. Even so, he’s quite the cutie Pooh. 😉
I know all you Americans are coming down off (or coming back up out of) major gravy-based comas and/or recuperating from injuries sustained during the Battle of Black Friday, and so the upcoming holiday season is probably the furthest thing from your minds, but here in Canada we’ve been good to go since the middle of November (and if you’re a major retailer like, say, craft store Michael’s, who in recent years have pushed their “holiday” season into groundbreaking and obscene new territories, it’s more like late August.) I hung our outdoor lights a few weeks back and I’ll be digging the tree out of storage this weekend, so I’d say this Christmas thing is pretty well on.
And on my nails as well, where a pond manicure Christmas tree design meets a favourite glitter jelly, KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It, and two different Sally Hansen glitters, Strawberry Shields and Over the Rainblue. Quite festive.