Creeping Darkness

Blackest Soul 5

Yeesh, doesn’t that sound final?  Also sounds like an affliction a Jedi might suffer from.  Emo Ren, for instance?  Now, there’s a dude who is ALWAYS suffering from a major case of Creeping Darkness.  Hot, tantrum-y weirdo.

Dec 24 Kylo Ren 2.png

Ahem!  Sorry, we’re not here to discuss the light and the dark side.  Rather, we’re here to discuss this fun polish that morphs from the light to the dark, and back again (hey, just like…!)  This is Colores de Carol’s Blackest Soul, a duo-thermal holographic topper that morphs from an ethereal, silvery nude, to a deep, rainbow-speckled charcoal.

Blackest Soul Collage

Two coats over any base polish will give that colour a neat, ombre-type effect as it darkens to black towards the tips of your nails, but I like Blackest Soul as is – it lends your manicure a very cool, sooty-and-smudgy kind of look.

I nabbed Blackest Soul from Polish Pickup during their October pre-order, along with this quartet of cuticle oils from Northern Star Polish that smell like all your favourite Halloween treats (with the exception of Clown Tears; that one smells like cinnamon hearts, which is DEFINITELY a Valentine’s Day thing.)  They’re nice and nourishing, a good blend of oils to keep your hands happy and your cuticles calm.

Cuticle Oil Set Collage

Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda Collage 1

Not-so hidden agenda for this nail art blog?  To get back to some actual nail art!  Or, to paraphrase King of the Hill’s Hank Hill, to get back to nail art and nail art-related activities.  Groundbreaking, I know!  But first the move, during which I will surely re-break all of my nails, and then we’ll be right back here again. 🙂

So while my nails are long-ish (hahahaha!) and not breaking off every two seconds, let’s take a look at this fun thermal polish I purchased from Polish Pickup, a new-to-me vendor that stocks all sorts of cool indie beauty wares.

This is KB Shimmer’s Hidden Agenda, a duo-thermal lacquer exclusive to Polish Pickup for the month of October, and inspired, if I’m not mistaken, by Area 51.  Or more specifically, inspired by that silly Storm Area 51 non-event that never actually, you know, evented.  I thought for sure we were going to see footage of people getting tased out on the outskirts of the Nevada desert, but nope – more rational heads prevailed.  Smart.  Storming secretive military installations never works out well for anyone.  Just ask Bob of Stranger Things.  Oh, wait…

Like the other KB Shimmer thermals I own, Hidden Agenda is super responsive, morphing from a shimmery, peachy pink, to an icy metallic blue.  And just like the other thermals, this one wears like iron.  Sans topcoat, this manicure has lasted chip-free for a week, even in the midst of my packing-intensive activities.  Very impressive.

Hidden Agenda Collage 2

But unlike those other thermals, I don’t care for Hidden Agenda’s texture when it’s in its un-topcoated state.  Not quite textured, but also a long way from smooth, it’s a shimmery matte that applies a touch too thickly, and dries down to a slightly pebbled finish.  It actually reminds me of very, very fine gauge sandpaper.

But I suppose the true secret about Hidden Agenda is that it’s a glow-in-the-dark polish, albeit a very, very weak one.  I wasn’t able to snap any photos of it in this state, though, as the weather’s been cruddy and overcast, and its glow powers are simply not strong enough.  Shame – what else is going to light my way as I’m Naruto running through the pitch black desert? 😉

That’s S’more Like It

Smores Collage 1

Here’s another one of those super fun tri-thermal polishes from KB Shimmer, this time That’s S’more Like It, a brown-to-red-to-berry-to-pink colour-changer shot through with golden shimmer (and yes, I realize that’s more than three hues, but that’s just what these polishes do – the three “base” colours are just a jumping off point for half a dozen or more different looks depending on the temperature of your hands.)

Smores 9

Like its collection mate, Best Buds, That’s S’more Like It changes from one colour to another, and then one more colour beyond that, in hot and cold temperatures.  With Best Buds, a blue-to-purple-to-mint green colour-shifter, I found the polish most often showed on my nails as the warm-leaning mint green, with streaks of just-starting-to-cool-off plum.

But That’s S’more Like It was alllll over the place, in the very best kind of way.  For those of you who polish seasonally, this is a nice seasons-bridger, with That’s S’more Like It showing on my hands as everything from an almost frosty bubblegum pink, to blushing peach, to strawberry, to fiery cinnamon hearts (oh cripes, I’m getting hungry here!)  My nails were also a tiny bit longer when I swatched That’s S’more Like It than when I swatched Best Buds, so I really got a lot of that edge-of-the-nail, French mani-type action with this one.

Smores Collage 3

Right after completing this manicure last week, I fell sick.  Just a cold, but it pretty well took me out for the week.  But one thing it did not take out was this mani – a week and a half on, it was still wearing like iron, with virtually no chips, dings or pulls.  Very impressive!

Smores 12

As always, I purchased this KB Shimmer polish through Harlow & Co.  For a little while there they were out of stock – of these tri-thermals, and just about everything else as well – but everything is back in stock now, so go get you some.  This is a good one. 🙂

Mermaid Tears

Mermaid Tears HandI dug this lacquer, Polish Me Silly’s Mermaid Tears, out of my stash yesterday in the hopes of using it in service of the final week’s prompt in February’s N.A.I.L. Challenge. The theme was least favourite polish, and seeing as my true least favourites (very few, thankfully) are presently gracing a landfill just outside of town, that left Mermaid Tears, a green-on-green thermal jelly sprinkled with green holographic circle glitter. I’ve had this polish for a little over a year now, and application has never been anything but a pain. The large circle glitter – lots of it, and clearly visible in the bottle – resolutely refuses to come unstuck from the sides of the bottle, no matter how long you leave it upside down, and the chartreuse-to-jade thermal jelly remains stubbornly sheer, withstanding any attempts at opacity. It was a disappointment, and being an online-only indie purchase, a not inexpensive one, which is the only reason it’s been granted a stay of execution this long. I figured I’d give it one more chance to not do its thing for this challenge prompt before sending it off to the big stash in the sky.

Which is of course the moment Mermaid Tears decided to pull itself together and become the polish I always hoped it would be. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It’s like those times my computer whiffs the big one seemingly for me and me only, because the second I show Mr. Finger Candy IT Support, it’s all “Hey, no problems here. Look at me runnin’ all fancy!” and I want to dropkick it across the room.

But I really have no complaints here. A polish I once liked enough to buy is now behaving the way it was always supposed to – huzzah! And I had to chuckle a bit when I looked down at one point and saw TWO large green circles stuck to my brush, because of course. 🙂 And I don’t know what weird confluence of events or conditions led to it finally behaving (although it is still so, so sheer) but I’ll take it! So back to the drawing board on this least favourite thing, because Mermaid Tears actually redeemed itself pretty nicely.Mermaid Tears Fingers

Mix ‘n Match

Thermals

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear, which it should be because I’ve written perhaps too many posts on the subject, I really like thermal colour changing polishes.  I’m just not sure they like me back.  It has everything to do with the length of my nails, which out of necessity and preference I keep on the shorter side.  Thermal polishes work best on long nails where the warm/cool differential can really shine, and I fear there’s just not enough room on my little nails for them to, you know, do their thang.

Although that obviously hasn’t stopped me from purchasing every fun thermal that crosses my e-shopping path, including these two picks from Polish Me Silly, Dreaming in Pink and Get Breezy.  Dreaming in Pink is an ultra girly pale lilac-to-bright pink polish sprinkled with pink, purple and blue hex and bar glitter, and Get Breezy is a light blue-to-turquoise colour changer loaded with matte neon glitter.  Both polishes actually feature bar glitter, which I feel like I should mention, as many polish mavens no likey.  I’m Team Bar Glitter so long as it’s not too long and unwieldy, and in these polishes at least, I think it adds a nice little hit of colour and visual interest.

Here I’ve shown Dreaming in Pink and Get Breezy together in one mixey-matchy mani in their warm states (the paler shades) and cold (obviously the pink and the deeper, darker blue.)Dreaming in PinkGet Breezy

Disney Girl Challenge: Peach

Disney Girl Challenge: Peach

Finding Nemo’s deadpan starfish, Peach, provided the inspiration for these nails, which feature two smirking Peaches bobbing along in a sea of turquoise blue. These nails are pretty simple, as there’s not much to Peach visually (although let’s take a moment to appreciate the pink-to-coral thermal colour changer I used here, Polish Me Silly’s appropriately-titled Peach Me a Lesson; I thought it was particularly fitting, as certain species of starfish can change their colours as a camouflage response.) But what Peach lacks in visual fireworks she more than makes up for with her withering glances, droll delivery (courtesy of the always wonderful Allison Janney) and wackadoo maternal side, like that oddball aunt everyone has that every time you see her, maybe she’s a little drunk? That’s Peach, just in saltwater!034

I Was Mint For You

Minty Madness Bottle

Some nail mail arrived today in the form of a very promising looking bundle of neon glitter toppers and thermal polishes from Polish Me Silly.  Amongst all the bright was this fun pick, Minty Madness, a mint green-to-white thermal colour changer dotted with matte neon glitter.  Minty Madness reminds me a lot of another Polish Me Silly pick, I Lost My Marbles, in that they both look a bit like bubblegum ice cream (or in this case, pistachio-bubblegum, which sounds horrendous.  It also reminds me of a fantastic visual gag from The Simpsons where Homer strides into his kitchen and declares to Lisa, who is lamenting her lack of power as an eight-year-old girl, that as part of the coveted 18 to 49 white male demographic, everyone listens to his ideas, upon which he promptly pulls a can out of the cupboard bearing a label for “Nuts and Gum, Together at Last!” and starts chowing down.  Slays me every time.)

But back to the nail polish!  Here I’ve shown Minty Madness in its cool, mint green state and then 10 or so minutes later in its warm, eggshell white state.  As always with thermal polishes, I have no doubt that the natural gradient-like effect they tend to produce would be much more prominent on nails longer than mine, but I like the either/or effect just as well – changing things up is but a hand-wash away.Minty Madness WarmMinty Madness Cool