Frenching Beetlejuice: A Then and Now Post

Beetlejuice 1

Lordy, that’s a BAD title!  Almost as bad as the nails that went along with it, a messy, dark and smudgy effort not remotely befitting one of my all time favourite movies.  And so I took another stab at turnin’ on the (Beetle)juice to see what shakes loose, tidying and brightening up this black and white striped French mani inspired by the sandworms of Saturn.

Beetlejuice 2

Along for the ride to the Neitherworld is a clamshell of Beetlejuice-inspired scented wax from Super Tarts, a fun and thoughtful gift from one of my cool online friends, Jay of The Candle Enthusiast.  Do I think Beetlejuice smells like the very yummy combination of apple butter, iced oatmeal cookies and buttermilk pancakes that Super Tarts suggests? Probably not, although I do appreciate that they didn’t go for heavy realism with this inspired-by scent – I imagine that Beetlejuice smells pretty rank.  Dude doesn’t look like he bathes very often.  I mean, he does have moss growing on his skin.  Never a good sign. 😉

Care Bears: A Then and Now Post

care-bears-fingers

So it would seem that the third week of November is apparently the time when a nail blogger’s thoughts turn to Care Bears, because the last time I did a Care Bears manicure – just a few months after launching this blog – it was the third week of November immediately after the year’s first snowstorm, and oh look!  Here we are again.  So much snow and cold today, icicles have already formed on my balcony.  What. the. frig?

There are approximately 3,000 different Care Bears, once you start factoring in Cousins, friends and casual acquaintances, but for this updated manicure of an earlier design, I went with four of the originals, Grumpy Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Good Luck Bear and Funshine Bear, the Care Bear I was pretending to be when I inadvertently got my tongue stuck to a frozen metal well cover when I was a kid (and I know I’ve mentioned this incident before, but getting your tongue stuck to a dirty old metal well cover – face down in the snow, you guys – tends to be one of those formative life experiences, you know?!)  Silly old Bear.

Disney Girl Challenge: Dory (One More Time)

Dory Hand

So Finding Dory is going to make allllllll the movie money this weekend, yes?  Not bad for an animated Blue Tang with short-term memory loss.  And so in honour of the little blue fish that could, I thought I’d update an earlier Dory design of mine that I always felt was not quite up to snuff.  Besides, in that last manicure, she didn’t even have a face!  I didn’t do faces with my Disney designs back then, mostly because I’m sort of terrible at recreating animated figures.  I’m not sure *this* face is all that better, because as it turns out, drawing an animated fish face dead-on is actually pretty difficult!  But I do love Dory’s fins and the markings I painted on my other digits, mostly because cobalt, yellow and black together are just spectacular.  Quite the fetching fish, that Dory.

Dory Fingers

Improved Soap Bubbles

Soap Bubbles 2.0 Side

I feel like Mr. Clean (Mrs. Clean?) coming at you with mad promises of 57% more scouring power per scrubbing bubble.  But actually, this manicure is an update of one I did a couple of weeks ago, this time subbing out the polishes I used from colour-changing multi-chromes (which were so cool, but terribly difficult to photograph) to a multitude of frost-type shimmers.  Both polishes capture the gorgeous iridescent quality of actual soap bubbles, although I think I prefer this look – in real life AND photography, it still looks pretty cool.  Can’t ask for much more from a mani than that. 😉

Soap Bubbles 2.0

Rip My Heart Out: A Then and Now Post

Fleshmaiden Hand

And now for a very different sort of Valentine’s Day manicure!  Years ago I was completely enamored with a video game called Alice: Madness Returns.  It was a very NSFW, possibly NSFL (Not Safe For Life), retelling of Alice in Wonderland, if Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale were chockablock with mutant baby dolls, Victorian era sanitariums and monsters who look like they were pulled apart and stitched back together again with pieces of other monsters.

My favourite thing about the game was Alice’s wardrobe, which leaned heavily towards the Gothic Lolita and was wonderfully, blessedly free of the all-tits-and-ass style favoured by other video game heroines.  Alice had something like 12 different costumes, including six downloadable-only outfits that gave her special powers, as all great outfits do.  Perk-wise, my favourite was the Caterpillar dress, which enabled Alice to shrink down to itty bitty insect size to creep through tiny keyholes.  But for my visual money, I always chose the original meat dress, Alice’s Fleshmaiden costume, an outfit that really looked like those inside-out monsters I was mentioning earlier.  Power-wise, the Fleshmaiden costume (ugh, that name, though) enabled Alice to slip effortlessly into Hysteria mode, a kind of abstract, black and white (and red) world that looked like that metallic taste you get in your mouth when you’re so angry, you kind of lose your hearing.  If the DLC items could be said to belong to any given level, the Fleshmaiden costume was the domain of Queensland, a meat and tendon and blood-soaked hellscape ruled by the Queen of Hearts.

My for-a-time obsession with Madness Returns happened to coincide with the earliest days of my all-the-time obsession with nail art, and indeed, I launched this very blog with those initial hesitant attempts.  So it felt quite fitting to revisit one of those designs for this Then and Now post that really puts the “anti” in anti-Valentine’s Day.  Anyhow, happy day to you, friends, no matter how you choose to acknowledge the day (although hopefully it doesn’t involve wearing your enemy’s heart on your lapel like a brooch.)

Fleshmaiden Fingers

Disney Girl Challenge: Rapunzel (Also Again)

Rapunzel HandInside Out is getting all the Disney love this weekend (I know they’re sitting atop that large and glittering heap of Marvel movie money, but how badly do you suppose they want in on all that sweet, sweet Jurassic cash?) but I thought when it came to some nail art, I’d take another run at a slightly older Disney property, Tangled, and its heroine, Rapunzel. I love Tangled – there’s phenomenal songs, Zachary Levi Flynn Ryder is a big time cutie and Maximus sets the standard for wise-beyond-his-looks animal familiars. Mother Gothel’s a stone cold bitch, though, even if she does have the movie’s best song (when do the villains not have the best song?) The only thing that’s missing here is Rapunzel’s trusty frying pan, every princess-and-doesn’t-know-it’s greatest weapon!

Lavenderly Lovely: A Then and Now Post

Lavenderly Lovely HandLast year, for the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge, the ladies of N.A.I.L. set lavender as one of the daily themes. Lavender is indeed lovely (gourmand lavender scents, like lavender pound cake, are some of my favourites) so I can’t blame them for coming at it again, this time as week four’s theme in May’s nearly-finished Nail Art Challenge. This is especially great news for me, because it gives me a chance to redo the lavender nails I submitted last time, which were awful. No, really (see below.) I even remember thinking at the time that I had whiffed it, and I could have done so much better.

So I did! This time with the help of some of my holographic friends, including three Enchanted polishes (deep eggplant February 2015, dusky purple Dream On and pale lilac Time to Pretend.) As nail artists and nail polish aficionados, I think we sometimes hoard our holographic polishes for special occasion manis, but with their built-in shading and highlighting, they’re perfect for detail work, like these tiny lavender buds. Ahhh, MUCH better.Late Lavender