After posting a tutorial of my own yesterday, I thought it was high time to tackle another manicure from a Hello Kitty nail art book I was gifted over the holidays. The first mani of the book was a classic Kitty desgin – red and white polka dots, yellow-nosed and red bow’d Kitty.
The second design of the book keeps things similarly simple, this time introducing bold horizontal stripes in the classic combo of black and white, with just the barest hints of candy floss pink and glittery gold accents. Another easy tutorial to follow, resulting in a very pretty Kitty, indeed!
While I was looking up photos of jawbreaker candies for this sweet manicure, it struck me just how much of a safety hazard these candies really are. All of them start out life tooth-breakingly hard, but when you add in the sheer size of some of them – about the size of a child’s fist – I don’t know how they’re not sent off to the same prison as Kinder Eggs for choking hazard crimes. They’re basically dental work-destroying, candied ball gags.
But cute? So cute! And at the end of the day, still candy, so ignore all that prior talk of busted teeth and blocked trachea, huh? Also a great excuse to use the so, so messy splatter technique for this manicure, which involves blowing nail polish out the end of a straw and onto your nails (always blow, never suck; these nails just look edible!)
Mr. Finger Candy likes to joke that my taste in video games is completely schitzoid – it’s either totally family-friendly, G-rated fare (currently working my way through the PS4 reissue of the Lego Harry Potter series) or it’s a blood-soaked, LSD-fueled descent into Victorian era madness (I’m awaiting 2017’s release of We Happy Few, a gorgeous, Bioshock-ish game about a filthy, dystopian version of 1960s London where everybody pops a super mood-enhancing drug called Joy to distract them from all the real activities going on in dirty, dystopian London, which would be mind control and slaughter. Good times!)
2011’s Alice: Madness Returns, a favourite of mine – indeed, I launched this blog with nothing but those first rough Alice designs – falls squarely into the latter category. It’s beyond messed up – rough subject matter, abject cruelty, nasty blood and gore. Cripes, why would I play such a thing? Well, I haven’t, not since I platinumed it back in 2011 (yes, I just used “platinum” as a verb.) But Alice ranks as a favourite simply by virtue of its beauty; it’s the most gorgeous video game I’ve ever seen, filled to the brim with mesmerizing visuals. Sometimes I’d just park Alice on a cliff and randomly swing the camera around, taking in every inch of the sick (in every sense of the word) artwork.
Getting down to these inspired-by nails, our girl Alice wears black and white striped tights. And since American McGee’s version of Alice can’t seem to take two steps without running something through with her Vorpal Blade, I added a bit of blood spatter. Finally, when Alice needs to take giant leaps across immense chasms, she busts out this nifty little double-hopping float that (usually) lands her gracefully on the other side. The best part of that move (aside from the physicslessness of it all) is that when she hops, she’s swept up in this pretty little tornado of blue, black and white butterflies that guide her safely to the other side. So I added some of those boosting butterflies – can’t be too careful when you’re running (floating) through Wonderland hacking and slashing. 😉
Day 25’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge was fashion, and the outfit I chose as inspiration was a dress recently worn by singer Rita Ora to a taping of America’s Next Top Model (I thought that show ended a few years ago. I…guess not?) I saw the striped, diaphanous dress on Ora in this Go Fug Yourself article, and I was immediately smitten – it’s very 1970s, updated with a more modern colour palette in shades of shimmering black, silver, turquoise and purple. Very groovy, baby.
Except I have no bloody clue who designed this dress. Neither does Go Fug Yourself. And the Internet seems just as oblivious, if my half hour of unsuccessful keyword searches are any indication. I have no idea what gives; why all the mystery? This is a beautiful dress, and whoever designed it should be celebrated! So if you happen to know who’s responsible for this very pretty gown, please do let me know. For now, though, I’ll have to be content with this inspired-by manicure. I think I can manage that. 😉
For last year’s theme of fashion in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge I did a manicure inspired by the gorgeous Naeem Khan gown actress Ellie Kemper wore to the 2015 Emmy’s. Studded with intricate beading, the solid stripes and chevrons of the super slinky, very retro gown glimmered with sequins in shades of dusky blue, plummy purple, shimmery nude, rusty orange and bubblegum pink. The dress itself was gorgeous and Ellie, of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, looked like a stone cold fox (an adorable, super floofy fox, maybe; Ellie Kemper is like a human ray of sunshine and I have a hard time associating her with anything other than cute, cute, CUTE!)
But my favourite part of that particular outfit was, hands down, its terrifically unique colour combination. Really, stormy blue, dark purple, light pink, rusty orange and nude should not be colours that work beautifully in tandem, and yet here we are! But I wasn’t hugely fond of the job I did on last year’s manicure – lining up all those chevrons, horizontals and verticals without the aid of striping tape was a pain, and the end result was kind of sloppy.
But with my free-handed striping game now so much better than it was this time last year, I thought I’d take another run at the Naeem Khan gown, this time in a series of bold vertical stripes for day 12’s theme of – yup, you guessed it – stripes. Final verdict? MUCH better – kind of like the striped pattern on an amazing pair of pjs from the 1970s – and still my vote for the coolest, most unique colour combination you’ll find in fashion or nail art!
These were supposed to be violet nails for day six’s theme of violet in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge (actually, they’re supposed to be this purple and green Waverly fabric (and wallpaper, and matching border, and frilly bolster pillow, and…) I was obsessed with as a kid, hence all the green in these supposedly purple nails) but they came out looking more like Johnny Jump-Ups. Which is actually quite fitting, as Johnny Jump-Ups are an incredibly invasive – but adorable! – species and they tend to run allllll over anything they’re planted near, beside or in the approximate vicinity of. Including apparently my nail art!
And yeah, I was totally the kid that lusted after co-ordinated floral textiles. Laura Ashley was my jam when I was little! Cabbage roses everywhere…
That’s one of my favourite lines from Angel, the spin-off television series to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an incredulous observation made by Lindsay, the sometimes evil, sometimes one-handed lawyer, in assessing Team Angel’s chances in the finalest of the final battles (Spoiler: He’s totally right! A dragon-slaying, demon-decapitating, double door-kicking circus, and my favourite episode of the entire show.)
It’s also the theme of this end-of-summer, carnival-themed manicure AND my thoughts on how the month of September is going to play out, as I’m participating in two different blogging challenges/round-ups, with lots of fun – but time-intensive and potentially insanity-making – activities at hand and ON my hands.
On the nail side of things, I’ll once again be taking part in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. This will be my third year participating in the challenge; it’s always a lot of fun seeing what the other participants come up with. If you’re interested in joining in on the reindeer games, you can play along, too – the 31 Day Challenge is super informal, and you can push yourself as much or as little as you’d like. The daily themes don’t change from year to year (day one is always the colour red, for instance) but the graphics certainly do! Here’s this year’s (pretty) guide to playing along at home:
Then on the slightly more off-topic side of things, I’ll also be participating in a kind of Fall blogging round-up with a bunch of cool folks whose blogs range in topic from nails and beauty, to bath and beauty products and perfumes, to scented wax and cute craftables. That starts on Thursday the 1st – more details to come!