Bah, another gloomy, overcast start to the week. Looks like this is a job for a cheery – and cherry – pink holo, kind of like this holo, Cirque’s perfectly pink Powwow.
I’ve actually never featured Powwow on this blog before, and I don’t quite know why – how did I manage to overlook this beauty? It’s such a gorgeous colour, a true cerise pink, and the linear holo effect is just stunning. Like all of Cirque’s holos, this one went on a touch thick, but in a way that made application smooth and precise as opposed to gloppy and lumpy. And the smell? Divine, and that’s saying so much given that we are still talking about nail polish here. Cirque’s holos are all scented like fresh freesia, a fragrance I find particularly intoxicating (especially the white ones that smell like black pepper.) When I wear these polishes, I really have to sort of work at keeping my fingers away from my nose, lest I fall into severe Mary Katherine Gallagher territory (I mean, I’ll walk into walls because I’m so busy staring down at my pretty, pretty nails, but I draw the line at surreptitiously huffing my nail polish!)
Happy (evening of) the 4th of July, American blogging friends and nail art aficionados! These simple nails – nothing more than three coats of Mentality Nail Polish’s blue glaze topped just at my cuticles with KB Shimmer’s red and white (and peppermint-scented!) Candy Cane Crush – took next to no time at all, which is perfect if you have July 4th plans you’re dashing out the door to attend to and have no time to wait around for perfectly patriotic paws. Good Independence Day, all!
Actually, no, that’s a lie; I totally think you’re ready for this jelly! This is Models Own Rhubarb and Custard, a sweetly-scented, strawberry daiquiri-hued jelly sprinkled with ultra tiny white matte glitter. Released last year as part of their candy-scented Sweet Shop Collection, Rhubarb and Custard, a lush, super saturated candy apple red, applies with the typical ease of a jelly, drying down to an ever so slightly textured finish on account of the matte glitter. A coat of Seche Vite tidies that up in a flash, though, lending this polish all sorts of interesting visual interest and depth, with the glitter doing that fun thing where it looks as though it’s suspended in the polish itself.
And what of the scent? Very nice, actually, and fairly unobtrusive. Scented polishes can often be nauseatingly cloying, but Rhubarb and Custard, while smelling neither particularly rhubarby or custardy, is pretty in an unidentifiably sweet way, and not the least bit affected by the addition of a topcoat. You can find Models Own polishes, including this candy-coated beauty, at Nail Polish Canada, Harlow & Co. and Llarowe.
This textured gradient mani is meant to look like those little sugar-dusted gummy cola candies my friends and I used to buy from the 7-11 for a penny a piece (heavens, that was a very “old timer” kind of statement – what are these mysterious pennies and 7-11s the daffy old lady is nattering about?) and is indeed inspired by the brown base polish I used here, Models Own cola-scented Fizzy Cola. It’s a cute look, albeit a tad washed out, but regrettably not worth the hassle of working with Fizzy Cola.
I’ve commented before that I’m not a huge fan of crapping all over a polish or a polish maker just for the sake of being disagreeable – to each polish their own and all that jazz – but when my experience with a product is overwhelmingly negative, I feel like I ought to say something, if only to give people a heads-up as to what they may be running into. Call it a PSA – a Polish Service Announcement.
And what you’re running into here is maybe the poorest polish I’ve ever worked with. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve purchased very few dud polishes – just a handful – but this one really stands out, and not in a good way. Which is a shame, as my experience with the Models Own brand has been a good one (love their fruit-scented, pastel collection.) As you can see, the colour’s quite nice, a cool, mid-toned brown shot through with gold and silver shimmer. The scent’s pretty great, too, a smell I’d describe as being caught somewhere between cola and chocolate. But the consistency and ease of application? Those things that absolutely make or break a polish, no matter its pretty colour or scent? Terrible. Thick and almost lumpy (a giant, disgusting blob oozed off the brush and back into the bottle with an audible plop, putting me off all creamy foodstuffs for the next few days), it dried in visible ridges the second it hit my nails and left thin wisps of polish along the tips of my talons where the brush left the edge of my nails. It’s also completely unsuitable for nail art detail work, as it dries far too quickly for you to do anything other than marvel at its glue-like qualities.
As always, I like to point out that batch lots can find one dud bottle amongst 1,000 winners – there’s always that chance that you got the crap bottle – but over on Nail Polish Canada’s site there’s a review of Fizzy Cola that’s pretty much in lockstep with mine. I can’t say what the issue is with this particular polish, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be racking up the fans. Save your money on this one. And here’s to the second polish in the candy-scented Models Own collection I bought being nothing like this one!
Miraculously enough, I possess no red, white and blue glitter polish. Buuuuutttt, I do have a matte blue glitter (Formula X for Sephora’s TNT) and a scented, red and white glitter (KB Shimmer’s Candy Cane Crush) that make for a pretty fantastic and holiday-appropriate substitute when combined and layered over top a bright, summery polish like this one, OPI’s No Room for the Blues. The resulting effort is a fun, looks-harder-than-it-was, splatter-type effect that’s perfect for showing off, no matter what shenanigans you find yourself up to this 4th (and you needn’t tell anybody how easy they were; much like that dip recipe that everyone fawns over even though it’s nothing more than a tub of sour cream and four types of MSG, keep this one to yourself! Some secrets are not meant to be shared!)
What’s black is white is red (all over?) in this simple, glitter-based manicure that flips between the dark and the light (with just a touch of peppermint-scented red, because hey, just like your nails, life’s not always black and white…nor does it always smell all that great!)
Here’s a sweet and simple, July 4th-appropriate manicure featuring the last polish in my KB Shimmer throwback haul (in that I finally caved and bought a couple of polishes from last winter’s holiday collection), Candy Cane Crush. It’s your pretty basic red and white matte glitter topper, with the twists here being a) it’s positively stuffed with itsy bitsy hexes, giving the polishes it tops a sort of splattered, speckled effect and b) it smells like peppermint-vanilla! Simultaneously refreshing and subtle, it has a sweet, pleasant scent, not a bit cloying like some of the more traditional scented nail polishes on offer (and here I’m thinking of the polish I once regrettably purchased from a junk jewellery store that smelled exactly like electric bubblegum on crack. Plus it was an ugly colour.)
B-A-N-A-N-A-S! The fact that I have a category of nail art entirely devoted to food and candy-themed nails suggests that I’ve done more than my fair share of sweets ‘n stuff-type manicures, but I think these wee little sprinkle-topped banana split sundaes (and one of my father’s preferred desserts) are my favourites. It’s just an added bonus that as the base colour I used Models Own scented polish in Blueberry Muffin, which doesn’t smell a bit like blueberries, but gives these nails a fun and fruity scent just the same.
Now if only I hadn’t top coated an errant cat fur onto my thumb, we’d be all set! Huh, a cat fur in my mani – must be a day ending in Y. You hear me, pussycat and polish lovers; I know you hear me. So many manis ruined by one floating fur. 😦