Hunny Bun

PoohWinnie 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. 😉Bling Pooh

That’s So Metal!

That's So Metal!A couple of liquid metal polishes, Sally Hansen’s Color Foils in Leaden Lilac and Purple Alloy, blend together beautifully in this simple gradient that makes excellent use of Essie’s Lux Effects glitter topper in A Cut Above. Eye-searing chromatic effect aside, I think the mix of colours is really quite delicate, and the technique? Always a user-friendly winner in my eyes (gradients are sort of hard to screw up, and if you do, so what? That’s what the glitter is for, to eradicate any nail art sins, with sparkles!)

Victorian Holly

Victorian HollyYeah, I’m not sure I know what exactly that is either, but that any sort of rose pink/pewter/pale green colour combo is invariably described as being “Victorian.” I studied quite a bit of Victorian literature in university, but I don’t recall any lectures on their preference for dusky pastels, just that the poetry was quite florid, vital infrastructure was non-existent, class divides were worse than they are now and, if you were a degenerate writer at least, you died of all the sexually transmitted diseases before the age of 25 (whaddup, Byron, you sexy beast.)

I think my grandmother on my dad’s side would have adored these nails. She loved to decorate in this type of silvery rose colour, and at one point she even owned a pale pink Christmas tree. Believe me, I have tremendous envy!

For these grandmother and Victorian-approved nails, I went with a handful of complimentary Sally Hansen polishes from their Gem Crush and Color Foil lines, silvery-rose glitter Razzle Dazzler and metallic Rose Copper, respectively. I like how this design looks a bit like super posh, liquid metal holly berries. They’re T-1000 berries! Ooh, or holly berries for the Terminator’s gran! (Yes, folks, that is a prime example of the non-linear paths my brain occasionally takes. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Please exit through the gift shop.)

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas TreeI 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.

Foiled Again!

Foiled Again!Here’s a bit of free-handed, nuthin-but-brush nail art using a trio of Sally Hansen’s new Color Foil polishes that was so dead easy, I can lay it out for you in a simple written tutorial, no need for elaborate photos (nice as they are, this is one of those “go where the wind takes you” kind of manis and there is no catastrophically right or wrong way to achieve this effect.)

Here I started with two coats of a tried and true black polish, Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in Black Out. I then chose three colours from Sally Hansen’s Color Foil line, Rose Copper, a silvery-rose chromatic, Purple Alloy, a a lavender chromatic, and Leaden Lilac, a periwinkle-hued metallic. This technique works with any combination of polishes, but I love the way the liquid foil polishes blend into one another, creating a sort of metallic rainbow effect.Foiled Again! Bottles

Starting with the polish of your choosing, uncap the bottle and brush nearly every bit of polish off the brush. What you’re looking for here is a near-dry bush (and that includes making sure there are no up-the-brush blobs just waiting to rain down and destroy your pretty manicure.) Look at it this way: A lot like salting your food, you can always add more polished brushstrokes later, but you can’t take them away should you go overboard, so dry your brush off more than you’d think reasonable.

Then, taking your dry brush and starting at the top of your nail, brush downwards towards the tip of your nail. Add a second stroke starting in maybe the middle of your finger if you’re feeling cocky. Move on to your other nails, varying up the brushstrokes with each subsequent nail as you go. After waiting for those brushstrokes to dry, lather, rinse and repeat with the remaining two colours, filling in any gaps or aggravating spots as you go. Top with a good quality top coat and bang, yer done. I’m not sure it could be simpler or more effective (and isn’t that just so aggravating?! It’s always the ones that took 20 minutes that people love and not the manicure that took you two hours and claimed a small piece of your sanity. Eh, I guess simplicity sells.)

Rainblue-on-Rainbow

Rainblue BottleIt’s all grumpy, cold and overcast in my neck of the world today, and if precipitation were to happen, it’d be snow as opposed to rain, but none of that is going to stop me from brightening up my day and yours with a simple, glittery mani featuring all the cheery colours of the rainbow. The glitter topper I used here is Sally Hansen’s Over the Rainblue, a basic, but deceptively pretty, nail polish stuffed with blue hex glitter and silver iridescent bar glitter. I know not everyone is a fan of bar glitter, but these are wee little baby bars that don’t stick up all over your nails, just waiting to snag on something and destroy your manicure. And as you can see, the iridescent glitter looks fabulous over a wide range of colours, throwing off rainbow prisms (or is that rainblue prisms?) with every shift of your nails. Just lovely!Rainblue Hand

Beneath the Mirrorball

Mirrorball CollageSwatches of this gorgeous holographic polish, Orly’s Mirrorball from their holiday Sparkle Collection, have been making the rounds over on Instagram for the past couple of weeks, and I’ve only just barely been able to hold myself back from buying it now, now, NOW! But yesterday I was messing around Sally Beauty Supply with my mom when a lone bottle of Mirrorball caught my eye, and when she offered to act as my polished fairy godmother, at least for the day, well, how was I to say no? So I didn’t, and now it’s mine, ALL MINE (insert maniacal laugh here as I press my fingers together like Mr. Burns.) I was so excited, I pretty much had to hold myself back from spiking a nearby loofah into the ground and engaging in an elaborate touchdown dance through the aisles. Strange reaction to a bottle of nail polish? Okay, sure, I’ll give you that, but who among us hasn’t busted out some highly dubious boogie moves right in the store when they’ve actually got that item we just had to have? No one, I’m guessing, and that includes my husband, who shops at Sally more than I do (there are no sweeter words in the world than, “I popped into Sally Beauty Supply on the way home and look at all the fun stuff I bought you!” Sorry, girls (and guys), he’s not available for lease or sale, because you don’t throw back the fish that buys you nail polish and fixes your computer. You just don’t!) Long story short, I seem to have a good number of people lining up to buy me gorgeous nail goodies, and that is absolutely something worth dancing for. Beneath the Mirrorball even. 😉Mirrorball Bottle Sun

Tango-Light

Lava Bottle

Author Stephen King has a beautiful term for this type of type of fire-licked colour: Tango-light.  In his short story “1408” published in 2002’s Everything’s Eventual anthology, King’s protagonist, Mike Enslin, a man who writes about real life occult phenomena but doesn’t actually believe, checks into New York City’s Hotel Dolphin in order to spend one night in its rumoured-to-be-haunted room 1408 (and what do those four little numbers add up to?)  I don’t think I’m spoilering anything by saying that of course things don’t go well, and by the end of the tale, Enslin is very much a believer.  But at one point, while walking around the room recording such mundane facts as the colour and quality of the finishings, Enslin’s eye lights on a framed still life of fruit cast in a sweltering yellow-orange glow that he describes as “Tango light…the kind of light that makes the dead get up out of their graves and tango.”  It’s such an evocative term, perfectly describing that almost sickly and sweaty looking hue that falls across the sky in those last few moments before the sun slips below the horizon.

Granted, “sickly looking” and “possibly haunted and trying to kill me” are never terms you want to apply to your nail polish (or your hotel rooms), but if the possessed shoe fits!  Here I’ve shown Sally Hansen’s Lustre Shine in Lava, a gorgeous pink-to-copper-to-gold multichrome that reminds me in the very best way of King’s tango-light, just, you know, without all the other unnecessary supernatural unpleasantness. 😉

By the way, don’t rely on the movie 1408 (starring John Cusack) to give you the full 1408 experience. Like nearly all optioned Stephen King properties (oh, am I EVER still smarting from TV’s criminally stupid Under the Dome!) it shares little in common with its source material. The short story is a wee little thing – just 52 pages in paperback! – and so taut, building to fantastic climax that gives a whole new meaning to the term “near-miss.” So do yourself a favour this summer and spend a couple of hours one evening scaring the ever-loving crap out of yourself – your sense of frightened whimsy will be better off for it, and you’ll never look at a sunset the same way again.Lava OutsideLava Shade

Vee

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I’m deep into the second season of Orange is the New Black (just the finale to go), and so everything remotely V-shaped, including this manicure, reminds me of Vee, no one’s favourite stone cold psycho predator. For a show that seems to pride itself on finding some nugget of empathy for even the most reprehensible of characters (whaddup, Pennsatucky?), there is a remarkably shallow wellspring of goodwill for Vee, mostly because she engenders exactly zero goodwill in the first place. Girlfriend’s just straight up evil. Fans of The Wire will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that Vee and Marlo Stanfield would make an excellent couple – cold, remorseless and wedded to The Game. And somewhere I just touched off some VERY odd fan fic!

For these nails, a simple V-shaped design, I layered KB Shimmer’s glittery white, Full Bloom Ahead, over top of Sally Hansen’s Lustre Shine in Lava, a beautiful pink-to-gold-to-copper multichrome with a fun foil finish. It’s a bit of an odd colour combination, but startlingly pretty all the same.

Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink

Here’s a manicure featuring a bottle of homebrew from “promising” “new” “indie polish maker”, Finger Candy Diningroom Table Industries. Free cat fur or furs with every polish nearly guaranteed.

But all joking aside, I made this polish, Sweet Weege, some months back, and after having let it sit around and do its thing during that time, I’m pleased to report that it has held up fantastically well – no glitter curling, no colour bleeding – and still looks pretty great over top of a fun, bubblegum pink polish, Sally Hansen’s appropriately named Bubblegum Pink, even if the little hearts do get a bit lost in the mix.