Happy Valentine’s Day!

VDay Collage 2016

There’s still two hours and 45 minutes left in my time zone on this Valentine’s Day thing, so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the absolute bounty of pink, red and white manicures I completed in the run-up to the big day.  First thing tomorrow, everyone’s focus will shift to St. Patrick’s Day, so best to get these hearts in while I still can!  Xs and Os to you all – I hope your day was a happy one. 🙂

Just the Two of Us

Peaceful Valentines

Yes, I do wish you a most lovely and peaceful Valentine’s Day, friends, but there’s a far less warm and fuzzy reason for the two-finger V-Day salute – chiefly that the three-year-old nail strips I had intended to use in this manicure, Incoco’s Love is in the Air, were completely dried out and I was lucky to get the two fingers’ worth of mani that I did.  So what’s the lesson we’ve learned this Valentine’s Day, class?  That most beauty products have some wiggle room in terms of their best-by dates, just not years of wiggle.  Use it when you got it, folks – hoarding (or simply forgetting a thing exists) never pays!

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

Love Letter

Love Letter fingers

This mani is a love letter to you, dear friends, followers, readers and occasional dropper by-ers. I care about you so much, I went out on my balcony in what with windchill amounts to -40 degree temperatures – that’s minus! negative! really effin’ cold! – to take some well-lit photos of my most recent creation.  And I don’t just chance frostbite for anyone, you know.  Must be true love. 😉

Lilly Roses

Lilly Roses

These were supposed to be just straight up Valentine’s Day roses, but when I finished this manicure, I realized I had created a pattern most reminiscent of those ungodly expensive Lilly Pulitzer dresses people shank each other over on eBay.  I remember a year or two ago Lilly Pulitzer released a capsule collection with Target, and it sold out in stores and online within seconds.  And everywhere across America, then-pointless line-ups of enraged, colourfully-attired women shrieked in fury.  I jest because Lilly’s not my jam, and there’s not a thing on earth I want to purchase badly enough to take part in that kind of tomfoolery, but I’d be SO pissed if there was something I really wanted and instead it was nabbed in the first 10 seconds of store opening by some reseller who then turned around and jacked its price on eBay by 3000 percent.  Not cool. But at least there’s always Lilly-inspired nail art – and a veritable bargain compared to the clothes!

A Minnie-Style Valentine

Minnie Style Fingers

Continuing with this week’s unofficial theme of Valentine’s Day, here’s a jammy-looking mani featuring an OPI oldie, pink-red-and-white glitter topper Minnie Style.  This polish was released in 2013, and for a three-year-old glitter polish, it’s still doing pretty well for itself – no glitter curling, and the base hasn’t dried out or thickened up.  The one ding against this oldie but goodie is that over time the hue has leached out of the pink glitter, staining the once-clear base a rather vibrant rose.  Absolutely not a problem if you’re layering Minnie Style over a pink or red or some other dark hue, but be mindful that it will add a pink tinge to whites, pastels and other pale shades.

Minnie Style Bottle


I *Heart* You

I Heart You

And I heart this manicure, too! Like stars, hearts are one of those things I don’t free-hand particularly well. But I am powerless to resist a pink, red and white colour combination (here a pond manicure using Nfu Oh’s cerise-hued jelly, JS24) which always calls to mind very Valentiney things, hearts included. So I went all-in, painted on an allover heart design, and in the end I think things turned out quite well. My husband said they look like nail decals (well, he said “decnals” in the vein of the Trailer Park Boys’ Ricky, a man who mangles the English language with tremendous flair) which is just about the best compliment I can think of. 🙂


Cat Fur Conversation HeartThat would be Sealed With a Candy Kiss, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, too! I’ve been hoarding these conversation heart nail strips from Incoco in anticipation of this Valentine’s Day, and now that they’re adorning my fingernails, I’m delighted, both because the printed design is so, so cute (and how about that lovely pearlescent shimmer?) but also because I kind of wasn’t expecting them to still be functional. These strips are well over a year old, and as the nail polish urban legend goes, nail appliques left unattended will most assuredly shrivel into tiny, dried-up wads of noxious chemicals, too bad, so sad. But these nail strips, safely ensconced in their sealed pack, fared perfectly well in my super casual storage setup for 365 days and then some, so great on Incoco for promising and delivering on a really beautiful, and beautifully made, product.

This particular conversation heart print is unfortunately no longer available (don’t know why they didn’t keep it around, because it’s adorable!) but Incoco has hundreds of other beautiful designs and lacquer colours appropriate for V-Day and beyond, for fingertips and tootsies. You can find their products, made from real nail polish, here. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends – kiss kiss!

And as a small note, I’d just like to thank my cats for their sweet V-Day contributions of a cat fur in every. single. photo I took of this manicure. I’d brush them off and they’d reappear on another finger. So thank you, girls – it wouldn’t be a Finger Candy manicure without your furs making it into the shot. 🙂Conversation Heart Fingers

I Love You Beary Much

Beary Nice HandBecause teddy bears need love come Valentine’s Day, too, here’s a much loved bear surrounded by wee hearts that comes straight from the heart – literally, because I made this glitter polish! All nail art bears should be so lucky, Valentine’s Day or no, to be sharing space with one of my favourite homemade creations, Sweet Weege! Every one of the handful of polishes I’ve made are a labour of love (and sometimes accidental chemical fume inhalation), which seems quite befitting V-Day (the lovin’, that is, not the huffin’…although on that point, I guess it all depends on how your Valentine’s Day goes, right?) Beary nice! 😉Beary Nice Fingers