Blame Canada!

Dream On Bottle 1For your inability to get this stunning lacquer, Enchanted Polish’s holographic Dream On, anywhere but Canada, as it’s a Nail Polish Canada exclusive. I was initially sort of on the fence about this purchase, which – confession time – I mostly made because it’s a limited edition, exclusive polish. Which is really sort of lame, for all the obvious reasons, but also because I’ve already got a purple holo – an Enchanted purple holo, no less! – in my stash and didn’t really see the need for a second. But me of little faith, I really need to stop doubting Enchanted’s flawless products (I suppose one flaw might be their higher-than-average price point, but for rock solid quality in a polish this gorgeous, I’m okay with that) because they are truly flawless, and Dream On is no exception.

Okay, so in this particular instance I might be a bit confused by the name and colour of this polish – Dream On, and a heathered, dusty purple – as neither exactly screams “Canada!” to me. Unless it’s “Dream On, ya hoser, if you thought this polish was going to be called Beaver Brown or Timmy’s Red. Don’t stereotype, eh?” Which is always a lesson worth reinforcing, even if you’re only talking about nail polish.

Ding dang, y’all:Dream On Collage

And not too shabby in the shade either:Dream On Fingers

Fool’s Gold

Fool's Gold HandMr. Finger Candy has recently become quite enamoured with a charming little Toronto-based rom-com called The F Word (in the United States you’ll find it under the title What If, as though the mere mention of a swear – an incorrect assumption at that, as the F in The F Word stands for “friend” – is enough to irrevocably damage the notoriously fragile American psyche such that the mass pearl-clutching that will result from one even glimpsing the highly offensive title of this PG 13 movie will be enough to strangle an entire nation.)

Tangent on nationality aside, The F Word is adorable. Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, it’s a sweet little movie about a sweet little pair of friends who eventually become a sweet little couple. It’s sharp and witty, and the two leads have phenomenal chemistry. Plus Toronto looking all hip and cool and so, so Canadian. All around, a very good time at the movies.

One of the major plot devices in the movie is something called a Fool’s Gold sandwich. I won’t tell you how exactly it factors into the story, but a Fool’s Gold sandwich was apparently a culinary favourite of Elvis Presley, a buttered and twice-baked loaf of French bread split end to end, hollowed out and stuffed with one jar of peanut butter, one jar of jam and one pound of salty, crispy bacon. Sounds horrifying, looks even more horrifying in the movie…but then after you’ve watched it about five times because your husband is, as I may have mentioned, enamoured, it starts sounding pretty yummy and looking even better. Were it not for the fact that Mr. Finger Candy is a vegetarian, I’m sure we would have already eaten our combined body weight in Fool’s Gold sammies days ago.

So this meta manicure, with its smiling bacon and glimmering, grinning loaf of French white on a bed of Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Peanut Butter & Jelly, is for my husband. Because if he can’t eat all the Fool’s Gold sandwiches, he should at least be able to look at them on his wife’s nails.Fool's Gold Bottle

The Tickle Trunk

Tickle Trunk

While everyone continues slogging through the interminably long Oscars telecast, I’m casting my mind – and with this Tickle Trunk-inspired manicure, my nails – back to a beloved Canadian children’s television show, Mr. Dressup. Often compared to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for its general tone and vibe (despite actually airing first) Mr. Dressup was a show that ran every day on the CBC (our publicly-funded broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) starring a man by the name of Ernie Coombs, or as generations of Canadian children came to know him, Mr. Dressup. Starting in 1967 and running until 1996, Mr. Dressup was a welcome daily visitor in countless Canadian households, leading children like me through a half hour of imagination games, arts and crafts and the basics of early socialization. He had a couple of puppet friends who lived in a treehouse in his backyard, Casey and his dog, Finnegan, and a kind of study/playroom where he’d dash together the most amazing drawings, paintings and other crafts. But perhaps best of all, he had the Tickle Trunk, a giant red steamer trunk adorned with flowers and butterflies that seemed to contain a nearly limitless number of costumes, from firefighter to wizard to chicken. Mr. Dressup would don the costume and then we’d all get a little lesson in what it was like to be firefighter or a wizard or a chicken. The Tickle Trunk actually always sort of reminded me of Oscar the Grouch’s trashcan on Sesame Street – a sort of trans-dimensional space that goes on for infinity. And may house elephants.

This manicure, which I love far more than I expected to, is inspired by the floral print on the outside of the Tickle Trunk. I love the random flowers in simple, primary colours, and I’m hugely proud of the little butterfly on my index finger. My butterflies typically come out looking more butt than fly, but this wee guy looks like the real deal, or at least the real deal as seen floating across the arched wooden top of the Tickle Trunk (an artifact you can see on display at the CBC Museum in Toronto, Ontario, should you be at all interested. And you should; this is quality Canadiana I’m dropping on you here!)

Great Egg-spectations

Sweet Egg-scape Bottle 2I’m Canadian, and because we are totally obsessed with weather, we have this weirdly random method of measuring wind chill, or the perceived temperature separate and apart from the actual number on the thermometer (also known as “HOLY F&@k, there is NO WAY it’s only -15 out here!”) I believe we might be the only country in the world to measure what effectively boils down to individual tolerances for cold, although it’s always impressively Canadian badass to shrug off what’s already a horrifyingly negative number with a simple, “Yeah, but with the wind chill, it’s really more like -30.”

It’s a weird system, but regrettably not an incorrect one. Today, for instance, the temperature is officially -19 degrees Celsius. But with the almighty wind chill (and believe me, when you live on the edge of a river like I do, the wind is indeed almighty chilly) it’s -30. -30!!! And it absolutely feels like -30, too.

So before I lost all feeling in my hands, I thought I’d paint my nails with a new polish that reminds me that it might be two more long, cold, wind-chilled months until the Spring, but there is light – and warmth – on the horizon. This is Sweet Egg-scape, another pale glitter polish from KB Shimmer’s recently released Spring collection. Like its sister, To Peach His Own, Sweet Egg-scape is super flattering against paler skin tones, its periwinkle, white, turquoise, coral and red glitters adding a speckled hit of colour for perfectly pretty Springtime nails. As always, application was easy, although for the first time ever in Finger Candy mani history, these nails required two coats of Seche Vite to completely smooth out the polish. Sweet Egg-scape seems to have no more, or less, glitter in it than any of KB’s other offerings, so that’s not it, although I will note that Sweet Egg-scape is studded with tons of tiny little turquoise stars, and I think the other types of glitter – hexes, squares, triangles, circles – might be getting stuck on the stars’ points, resulting in some on-the-nail lumpage. Simply take your time to completely brush out each layer (and maybe double up on that topcoat) and you’ll be fine.Egg-scape Bottle 1

Electric Circus

Electric CircusShow of well manicured hands if you were a Canadian teen in the ’90s who spent at least a portion of your weekends listlessly hate-watching cable channel Much Music’s Saturday night bump and grind-o-rama, Electric Circus. Actually, to be fair to the Circus – on which I was featured in about 1995 regrettably not as a dancer, but as a nabbed-off-the-street interviewer of of-the-moment R&B “sensation” Tony! Toni! Tone!, which really makes no sense because I was super into grunge and quite openly snobby about it – there was very little bumping and grinding. The dancers featured on Electric Circus every Saturday night in Much Music’s retrofitted and black-lit studios were well trained, intense and FOCUSED (very busy work is being a dancer up on one of the boxes, THE sign that you had made it in the ’90s club dance scene.) Even the kids who lined up every week to be chosen as one of the evening’s 50 or so regular, on-the-floor dancers brought their A game, and there wasn’t a whole lot of that gross thing that guys did in the ’90s where they just come up behind you on the dance floor, sock their crotch against your butt, bellow something completely inarticulate and Labatt Dry-scented directly into your eardrum before attempting some pelvic-a-licious dance maneuver, at which point you fake an aneurysm and you and your friend decamp to the bar two blocks down, which is actually just fine because you left your coats there earlier so as to avoid having to check them at the bar up the road, even though it’s -25 degrees out and you’re in your very tiniest, and tightest, baby tee, which isn’t actually yours, but you’ve worn it out so often, your best friend really ought to just give it to you out of the goodness of her heart, because it makes your boobs look really great. True story.) Ah yes, kids, improbably enough, it was a more innocent time!

Long tangent short: These nails, Dance Legend’s neon glitter topper, Rio #1, over OPI’s silver foil, My Signature is “DC”, remind me of the vibe and look of Electric Circus – lots and lots of neon and shiny, dancing stars.

Nice One, Mustard Tiger!

Mustard Tiger

I’m no rocket appliance, so I’m not sure how popular or well known they are outside of Canada, but here in the true north strong and free we stand on guard for a comedy troupe/television phenomenon by the name of the Trailer Park Boys. The Boys themselves are rum-swilling meathead Julian, the “brains” behind their many, many, MANY criminal endeavours, Ricky, quite possibly the dumbest human being on the planet, but a whiz at growing dope and mangling the English language, and sweet, kitty-loving, near AND far sighted Bubbles, who will follow the Boys anywhere (including to jail at the end of nearly every season) because they’re his family and he loves them. The Boys live in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park, a down-on-its-luck mobile home community in Nova Scotia, and spend their days scheming of ways to retire rich (“rich” being a relative term in the park, where $30,000 is enough to retire on), while getting drunk and high and trying (unsuccessfully) to stay out of prison. Despite the fact that the show contains some of the FILTHIEST language you’ll ever hear and routinely (like, every episode) concerns itself with seriously divisive topics like gun violence, prostitution, incarceration, alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness, it has, amazingly enough, a terrifically sweet heart and so much love for its thoroughly weird and broken characters (of which the Boys are only three), you can’t help but be charmed. Make no mistake, though, unedited for TV (which in itself is an experience, given that the NSFW language flies at a rate of about two “fucks” and a “cock” every six seconds) it is SO filthy, both in terms of content and language, so if you’re especially sensitive to that kind of talk…well, you’re probably already offended! I’d be; the residents of Sunnyvale are gre-eee-easy.

Anyhow, I was sitting around the other evening in my three-doored car watching The Littlest Hobo on a 16 inch television, eating barbecued chicken fingers and drinking rum and Coke out of a sawed-off 2 litre bottle of PC Cola when I thought it might be high time to tackle some Trailer Park Boys nail art. I’ve been meaning to do a series of manis befitting the Boys and their friends (Sarah, Lucy, J-Roc) and enemies (Randy and Lahey), but before I head too far down that rabbit hole, I thought I’d whip up a bit of nail art featuring one of my favourite gags from the mid-years of the show, the Mustard Tiger.

So there’s this man who lives in the trailer park? Named Philadelphia Collins? (And this one time? At band camp?) Anyhow, Phil is no fan of the Boys, particularly when they lure his grown son, Jacob, into a life of low rent crime. He confronts the Boys about their involvement with his son, which could have been a powerful moment had he not been wearing a way, way, WAY too tiny, mustard-stained tiger tee stretched grotesquely across his ENORMOUS round belly, obliterating all rational thought and prompting Bubbles, MUCH to Phil’s displeasure, to bestow upon him the nickname of Mustard Tiger. The name sticks, too, much like the stains on Phil’s overburdened t-shirt and the scratches on Ricky’s car after the Mustard Tiger, enraged by his new nickname, beats it to death with an old hockey stick.

So here, for my first Trailer Park Boys nails, I looked to the Mustard Tiger for inspiration, capturing Phil’s mustard-stained, red tiger tee, if not the man behind it (’cause there just ain’t room enough on anyone’s nails, let alone my little ones, for all that belly.)

The Beave (OMD2)

The Beave

Day 29’s theme in the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge was national pride, which is a fitting one for me seeing as in the past week, I’ve crossed four provinces in this true north strong and free, eventually landing on Canada’s smallest provincial landmass, Prince Edward Island. PEI is gorgeous – green and verdant, with a whiff of saltwater in the air and beautiful, rolling fields of red earth stretching for as far as the eye can see (although not stretching that far, as PEI at its very widest point is only 140 miles across.)

But sadly for me and these nails, which draw inspiration from one of Canada’s more iconic, tree-biting critters, there are no beavers on the Island. Or if there are, I certainly haven’t seen them. But do you know what there are in droves? Foxes. Slim, rust-coloured foxes with bushy tails and prancing gaits that lounge around the backyard like dogs on a hot summer day. Except they move like cats and seem weirdly unperturbed by the presence of humans (of course, I just found out that one of the neighbours has been feeding them weiners, so no wonder they’re just this side of domesticated. I’d hang around any place that was throwing free processed meat at me, too!) It’s bad enough that while I was outside snapping this photo, taking advantage of the early morning natural light, I kept throwing glances over my shoulder to make sure Mr. Fox wasn’t sneaking up to take a bite out of my hide.

But I don’t know how to draw a fox, and so I went with this beave-tastic design instead (although one could argue that I also don’t know how to draw a beaver, particularly that one on my ring finger that looks like a dog with conjunctivitis.)

Mint Chip (OMD2)

Mint ChipContrary to some commonly held beliefs, Canada, my home and native land, is not a frost-covered wasteland. Frost-covered, yes, but hardly a wasteland (green and verdant is our true north strong and free. Except when it’s covered in frost.) The truth is that in the summer, every part of Canada experiences a heat wave to some degree, with us soggy sods down in Eastern Ontario seemingly bearing the brunt of the humidity. Kind of like the humidity that settled over my city a few days ago and has thus far refused to leave. Which is a problem for yours truly, as I am pale and delicate and prone to wilting. I’m a pansy!

But you know what beats the heat (AIR CONDITIONING – the answer is always air conditioning)? Ice cream. So in dubious honour of the heat wave that won’t quit AND as my first entry in the Oh Mon Dieu 2 nail art challenge for the theme of mint, I submit these ice cream nails, dripping with refreshing mint chip ice cream.

Cherry Darling

Cherry Darling

In my neck of the global woods (Canada!) we are a long, long, LONG ways away from cherry blossom season. We have a few more weeks of fall before the big chill descends and we settle into our igloos for the season, sled dogs curled at our feet, as we subsist on military-grade rations of canned baked beans and caribou jerky until the permafrost thaws enough for us to rouse the dogs, hitch up the sled and travel eight days to the big city to stock up on yet more jerkied Canadian animals. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But somewhere in there we will get a few cherry blossoms, I promise. Here’s my ode to the six days in the spring when that actually does happen. 😉