Waking the Dead

Flakie Bottle

Like most everything in life, the nail polish world sees its fair share of trends. Textured polishes were all the rage four or so years ago, followed by magnetic polishes and then thermals.  A novelty by their very niche nature, most of these polishes enjoyed an initial honeymoon period in which they could do no wrong, followed by a downfall owing to total market saturation, plus the fact that all of them have rather limited functionality.  But some of these polishes managed to extend their 15 minutes of fame, including last year’s trendy pick, the mighty, mighty flakie.  I adore my handful of flakie polishes, particularly the chromatic type. I love the way the slightly raggedy bits of colour-shifting flakes nestle smoothly into the base polish, while still looking a little bit “undone.”  And unlike their iridescent counterparts, which I’m not so fond of, chromatic flakies remove with the ease of a creme polish, a very nice touch indeed.

2016 has yet to reveal its big trend, so until then, I’m jumping back a year to a polish that I’m so glad was more than just a flash in the pan, Polish Me Silly’s Stop Flaking on Me, here over Girly Bits’ zombie green creme, Dead Man’s Toe.  One of the things I really love about chromatic flakies, and Stop Flaking on Me in particular, is the softness of the finish. These polishes always highlight and compliment the base they’ve been layered over, perking up even somber ones like this camo green one, without obscuring the original look of either polish.  Very cool.

Flakie Fingers

What a Flake!

Stop Flaking Fingers

Not that I objected to having someone else hold the creative reins for the past month of the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, but there’s a delightful sense of liberation that has come with knowing that I can paint WHATEVER I WANT (at least for the next month until September’s 31 Day Challenge begins.) And what I want right now, nail art-wise, is something simple with major kick – something pretty, glittery and beautifully eye-catching.

Stop Flaking Hand

And so to accomplish just that, I looked to a favourite rainbow flakie polish, Polish Me Silly’s Stop Flaking On Me. I have sung its praises before, but it’s a sentiment worth repeating – Stop Flaking On Me is a fabulous polish, aesthetically and, almost more importantly, in terms of its formulation, which is flawless. Stop Flaking On Me applies beautifully, to be sure, but most impressively, it also removes well – just like the creme polish you most likely layered it over (here OPI’s Fanta-hued A Grape Affair from their Coca-Cola Collection.) That’s the beauty of the colour-shifting chromatic flakies – they do not stick to your nails during (and after) removal like iridescent flakies will. And what of that fun, chromatic colour-shift? Well, it’s awesome, of course! To say nothing of Stop Flaking On Me’s native state, which I think looks like many, many, many rainbow-coloured foils ground up in a blender and added to a bottle of suspension base (for anyone curious, that’s a good thing!)

Stop Flaking Collage

The A-Team

Without getting too nihilistic on you, friends who come here to see nail art but instead get lured into 1,200-word diatribes on my cats and/or The Lost Boys, 2014 was a bad, bad year. To be sure, there were some lovely, wonderful moments – new babies! an unexpectedly fun road trip! the discovery of Misfits! – but for my family at least, and a distressingly large number of my friends and acquaintances, 2014 was a year defined by loss, grief and hardships great and small. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

Okay, so 2014 sucked. But do you know what didn’t? These nail polishes! Which seems like the ultimate in ridiculous non sequiturs, but really, in a year that’s been as unpleasant as the past one, why shouldn’t we take a moment to appreciate the things that gave us a bit of joy, even those as immaterially material as silly old nail polish? No good reason that I can think of! And so I present to you this photo gallery of the polishes that rocked my world this year, a motley assortment of holos and flakies and industrially chunky glitters that prove that good things – and sometimes good, don’t-hate-the-world feelings – truly do come in small packages. 😉

Sitting atop the heap and not included in this gallery is my pick for polish of the year, Candy Lacquer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink glitter, Candy Cane Fiesta. I’ve expounded on its loveliness – some may say at length! – so I’ll say no more before it develops a swelled head.Blue and Green Christmas

The following nine are presented in no particular order or ranking – they’re across-the-board beautiful and so well made, I’ve found uses for them in multiple manis this year, and will continue to well into the new year. Here’s to the little lacquered things!

1. Polish Me Silly’s pink, white and blue glitter topper, Mr. Bubble.Mr. Bubble

2. Smitten Polish’s red shimmer-infused purple jelly, You Saucy Minx.You Saucy Minx

3. KB Shimmer’s Hawaiian Punch-in-a-bottle, Belle of the Mall.Sparkling Strawberry

4. KB Shimmer’s grass green glitter jelly, Get Clover It.Get Clover It

5. Orly’s silver holo of the year, Mirrorball.Mirrorball

6. Dance Legend’s cobalt blue jelly flakie, Sun Still Sleeps.Sun Still Sleeps

7. Candy Lacquer’s super fruity matte glitter, Citrus Smoothie.Citrus Smoothie

8. KB Shimmer’s Frozen-in-a-bottle, Snow Much Fun.Snow Much Fun

9. Polish Me Silly’s pink-to-gold-to-green chrome flakie, Stop Flaking on Me.Stop Flaking on Me

Polish Me Silly’s polishes are available through their Etsy shop. You can find KB Shimmer’s wares through their own site if you’re an American customer, or through Harlow & Co.’s site if you’re an international customer. Smitten Polish’s goods are available through their Big Cartel site, as are Candy Lacquer‘s. Orly polishes are available at brick and mortar Sally Beauty Supply shops, as well as their website. Finally, Dance Legend polishes are best and most reliably acquired through international stocklist Llarowe’s website.

Game of Chromes

Mystery Collage There’s no mystery here as to why I love this new Polish Me Silly multichrome, Mystery, and already have plans in place to snatch up its sisters as soon as I’m flush with Christmas money – this is one stunning nail polish, and if there’s anything you should spend your holiday-gotten gains on, this is it! I have a couple of Polish Me Silly’s other multichromes, and beautiful though they are, the colour shift isn’t nearly as pronounced in them as it is in Mystery. Turns out Mystery, a purple-to-green-to-gold-leaning multichrome, is actually what Polish Me Silly calls a mega-multichrome. That’s some serious truth in advertising right there, because depending on all those fun, nail polish-appreciating factors like the angle of your hand and the quality of the light, Mystery can look like about five different nail polishes, going through the full spectrum of plummy purple, mossy green and sunset gold, with a hint of dark blue at the very edges.

Another recent Polish Me Silly purchase was Stop Flaking on Me, a multichrome flakie topper that shares a similar colour palette and chromatic effect to Mystery, and so I thought I’d combine the two, creating a delicate, shimmery effect that highlights all that mega colour-shifting beauty in Mystery. Lovely!Mystery and Stop Flaking on Me

Where For Art Thou, Chromeo?

Chrome Flakie CollageYeah, I’ve been sitting on that groaner for a while in anticipation of receiving these new chrome flakie polishes from Polish Me Silly. Flakies are all the rage in the world of indie polishes at the moment, with multichrome-packed flakies being the coolest of a pretty bitchin’ bunch. These two beauties, Polish Me Silly’s Party Hearty and Stop Flaking on Me, are just two out of a whole collection of gorgeous chromatic topcoats that are beautiful and beautifully made.

First we have Party Hearty, a clear polish stuffed with tiny flakes of purple-to-blue-to-green-leaning chrome…glitter? Except it’s not quite glitter, is it? It’s more like tiny shards of colour-shifting chromatic nail polish in a clear base. Except it’s not quite shards either. This topper behaves exactly like a regular old creme polish – it goes on smooth, dries down totally smooth and shiny (these photos show both polishes without a topcoat) and removes in a flash, no struggle, no fuss, no binding your nails in aluminum foil-wrapped acetone baths. Here I’ve shown Party Hearty over Nails Inc.’s cobalt blue Baker Street. I love how the plummy undertones of the little flakies pull out the purple notes in Baker Street, giving it a grape soda sort of hue.Party Hearty HandHere’s a nice outdoors shot of Party Hearty that shows off its textureless…ness. No pitting, no curving, no issues.Party Hearty Outdors

And here we have Stop Flaking on Me, a pink-to-green-to-gold-leaning chromatic flakie. A simple black creme background polish is always a wise and chic choice, but I think these polishes look best over darker polishes that pull out some of the complimentary colours in the flakes. Here I layered one coat of Stop Flaking on Me over OPI’s gold-tinged dark green, Live and Let Die.Stop Flaking on Me Hand

There are so many indies out there right now doing amazing things with ultra trendy flakies, but I think these colour-shifting chromatics from Polish Me Silly lead the pack – it’s hard to top a beautiful, of-the-moment look like this one, especially when it’s executed so beautifully. All-around winners. You can find Polish Me Silly’s products on their Etsy site here.