Well, isn’t this always just the way – sit down with a bunch of polishes and absolutely no firm idea in your mind of what you might like to do with them, and out the other side pops one of the best manicures you’ve done in ages. Must be a Friend of Murphy kind of situation (as in Murphy’s Law. I always call annoying, vaguely ironic happenstances (if you’re using the Alanis definition) that don’t fall under the banner of Murphy’s Law “Friends of Murphy.” I suppose they could also be relatives. This is very clearly a Maeve Murphy situation as it applies to nail art. You know, dear old Aunt Maeve with the manicures.)
I think this post may have gotten away from me a bit.
Anyhow, I really did just sit down with a pile of holographic polishes and no real idea of what to do with them, and an hour later this is what emerged. I don’t often do much colour blending in my manicures, as I find nail lacquer a really difficult medium to paint in – it wants to dry out so quickly, I often don’t have time for proper puttering and painting. But I gave it a whirl today, and I love the results.
Also makes for a very pretty wax paper palette. Just in case you’ve ever wondered, by the way, what kind of palette I use for my polishes, I use whatever’s handiest. For the longest time I used the front or back of old DVD cases. It was fun painting blobs of polish over top of Ben Affleck’s face. But these days I use a tiny square of wax paper, a system that’s working out just fine. Less waste, mostly, but also the polish seems to dry out not quite so quickly on wax paper as opposed to plastic, which is a definite improvement in my books. What a glimpse behind the magic! 😉
Adventures in water marbling have once again produced a pretty – if ill-defined – animal that started out life as a nod to the mighty banana split and instead wound up as slushy frozen lemonade. I suppose that’s what happens when you forget the brown “chocolate sauce” polish. Also when you water marble as terribly as I do; it always seems like every nail is just doing its own thang, heedless to my pleas for nail art consistency. Although I guess screwing up every water marble mani I’ve ever done is its own type of consistency, so at least there’s that!
What started out as a (never) simple water marble mani turned into an ode to one of my favourite home fragrances so gradually, I barely noticed when I started scrounging around my house for sand, sand, where’s the sand?! And if there is any, could it be pink? Which is completely not a thing, but if I’m already inviting sand into my home, shouldn’t I be able to dictate its hue? It IS totally reasonable to have a jar of pink sand just sitting around your house, right? Then I realized I was carrying on a hypothetical conversation with DIRT. Decorative dirt, but still. Sense and reason righted themselves shortly after. At least for a while. I never did find the sand.
Anyhow, Pink Sands, a fresh, beachy floral from Yankee Candle, is an inexplicable favourite. Yankee’s website informs me that Pink Sands is a blend of melon, berries, osmanthus (os-whatnow?), spicy vanilla, musk and woods, which sounds like absolutely nothing I should like. And yet Pink Sands stands out as one of my very favourite scents, period – it’s a lovely little palette cleanser amid my usual fragrance menu of “things covered in icing.” And in the world of custom vendor wax, Pink Sands acts as an unexpectedly versatile blender scent – I’ve had great success mixing it with juicy strawberries, crisp candy apples and salt water taffy. I also think it would pair well with the usual assortment of beachy coconuts and salty aquatics (what say you, Candle Enthusiast, resident Yankee-blending authority?)
But as always, matching nails aussi, because that’s just how Finger Candy do. Also kinda the whole point of this blog, as much fun as these little sideways leaps always are. Also also always, this water marble manicure was a total jerk. They know no other way, pretty, swirly bastards. And I know no other way other than having to re-do my index finger three times. Ah, but you know what they say – consistency IS key! 😉
This swirly manicure is coming at you a day late and a (silver) dollar short; I simply had no fuel in the nail art tank yesterday and needed a day’s respite. But now I’m back at it, and catching up to day three’s Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge theme of silver with one of my favourite nail art techniques, freehanded swirls. For these hypnotic-looking nails, I topped two coats of Essence’s Colour & Go in Chic Reloaded, a purple/green-tinged grey duochrome, with some random swirls in OPI’s silver foil My Signature is “DC”. I always think this type of allover design looks like nail wraps, although if you get close enough, you can see the little imperfections that make free-handed designs a little purer, in my totally biased estimation!
The colour palette I used in this every-nail-for-itself manicure – grape purple, dark turquoise, nude, gold and black – is a rich, bold and unusual one that begs for multiple types of nail art to showcase it to its best, from stripes and swirls, to blossoms and scales. So why settle for one design when you could have a little bit of everything? I really love this type of random/not random mani that’s limited only to what you think might look nice on each one of your nails, although I think I like it even more when there’s a little bit of polish cohesion to tie the whole beautiful package together.
So it seems there’s a reason I don’t do this type of monochrome colouring very often, and that’s because it’s a look I don’t really like! Holographic polishes in particular (the type of finish specified by the Instagram challenge for which I did these nails) fare rather poorly, their beautiful little rainbows blending together and muddling an otherwise lovely design. Plus I’ve just realized I don’t particularly like one of the polishes I used here, Glam Polish’s dusky flamingo pink, Hey Mama (the other being Cirque’s cherry pink Powwow) – it’s not the most flattering of shades against my pale pink hide. Did I also mention I’m super sick at the moment and feeling quite contrary? No?! WELL, I AM! Okay, no, sorry, I didn’t mean that – it’s the non-stop coughing and sore ribs talking.
But I still don’t like this mani. Mono, D’OH!
And now for something a little different from my usual. Regular readers or repeat stopper by-ers know my taste in nail art veers towards a lot of pop culture-inspired designs and more glitter and rainbows than a Pride parade. But when week two’s theme in March’s N.A.I.L. Challenge called for gold, I decided to go with the traditional pairing of simple black and gilded gold in an array of stripes, dots, gradients and swirls. There’s a little something for everyone here, whether you like the every-nail-for-itself approach or decide to keep it simple by choosing one as an accent nail. It’s the little black dress of nail art!
Hmm, I have…no idea what I was trying to do with these nails! No, really, this was one of those instances where I started off with the very barest hint of an idea (“Orange and turquoise look good together, right?”) and somehow turned it into nail art that’s not entirely unfortunate. Not particularly attractive, but not an entire waste of polish either. But the question remains, what is it? Suggestions, as always, appreciated.
A beautiful, but temperamental, raspberry-hued polish topped with one of my favourite nail art designs, the spiral. I’m lousy at tribal designs and geometrics aren’t really my thing, but give me a clean, rounded edge and I’m off to the races. I’m like the Frank Gehry of nail art. Here I used OPI’s My Vampire is Buff over top of A England’s Rose Bower, a gorgeous but difficult to wrangle holographic polish the exact rich raspberry shade of a rose blossom.
I’ll note that after I took these photos, I went over the swirls with a textured glitter polish, Zoya’s Godiva, thinking it’d add some great visual interest and a little subtle sparkle. What actually happened was the slight grey tint of the sparkles clashed with the slight cream tint of the swirls, creating an unholy, almost greasy-looking effect that led me to angrily exclaim to my husband, “God, it just looks like someone sneezed on them!” And that’s a reaction you NEVER want to have to your nail art!
Warning: Upcoming horn tootage!
I haven’t been at this nail art thing very long (about four months, actually) but I do declare, these might just be the best nails I’ve ever done! They are in fact my second attempt at nails inspired by Queen Narissa, dragon-serpant badass of the Enchanted Universe. We shall not speak of the first ever again, but I might just have to keep these guys around, because I think I hit the nail – again, pun intended – right on the head. Yay, Team Me!