Closing out this Canada Day long weekend with a nod to Tim Hortons, the beloved Canadian coffee and donut chain.
So if Canada has, as I assert, a bit of a national drinking problem (most of our holidays devolve into some sort of excuse to get blisteringly drunk whilst lakeside) Tim Hortons is the caffeine and starch purveyor that puts hangovers in their place the morning-after. I don’t love Timmies, as it’s affectionately called, as much as many of my fellow countrymen and women, although I have warm memories of my dad and I making late night Tim’s runs when I was attending university and he’d shuttle me to and from class. I’d get this powder-based “espresso” concoction that was nothing but pure, ear-splitting sweetness and watery milk; my gateway coffee drug. 😉 They also serve these little donut holes called Timbits – they’re essentially legalized Canadian crack. Perfect for putting some much-needed spring in your step the Tuesday after the long weekend, so chow down and, as always, drink up, Canada.
This looks like the display on a stereo from the 1980s. You know, something to measure the boom, bass and thuds. Or it’s the digital speedometer from a high school friend’s plush Crown Vic. My husband thinks it looks like the socks he wore to my parents’ for dinner last night. It could also be a gene sequencing test. So basically these are Choose Your Own Adventure nails – and which path will you take? 😉
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!