Saint(s) and Sinners

saint-bottle-1

Despite the fact that this gorgeous Zoya polish is the exact pink-tinged periwinkle of a perfect Bachelor Button, the name of Saint is an apt one – during the Renaissance period, these sorts of blues were reserved for paintings of only the highest ranking of biblical figures.  Blue pigment – particularly that of the cerulean or purple-leaning variety – was both expensive and exceedingly difficult to come by; as such, only your top tier saints were garbed in blue.  So there’s a fun little trick for picking out the important people in Renaissance paintings.  The things you learn in a day, right?

And what I learned today is that this polish, a very recent purchase from Nail Polish Canada’s Black Friday sale, is stupendous.  I adore polishes like Saint – clear, vibrant jellies infused with pink micro-shimmer.  The resulting look is quite oil slicky, with a deep purple streak that makes the polish look like it’s glowing from within.  One of my favourite polishes to use this effect is Girly Bits Cosmetics’ Dead Man’s Toe, a dark khaki creme that looks like queasiness in a bottle (and I mean that in the best possible way!) But Saint, with its pink-hued shimmer and glassy, periwinkle hue, is beauty divine, no caveat (or names that invoke cadavers.)

saint-fingers

Except here comes one small caveat.  Being a jelly, Saint wants to pull back from the edges of your nails, an effect that’s exacerbated by quick dry topcoats.  So when applying, run the polish (I used three light coats for this manicure) right up to the edges of your cuticles. By the time it’s dry, it will have shrunk a bit, leaving you with a nice little frame around the edges of your nails that hopefully won’t require too much cleanup.  Zero sinning.

saint-bottle-2

A Speckled Egg of a Different Sort

Speckled Egg Shiny

Yeah, you don’t see them in electric cobalt blue all that often, do you?  I certainly can’t deny that the overall look of this manicure – Ardene’s black-and-blue glitter topper, Following, over Nails Inc.’s blue creme, Baker Street – is Easter Egg ramped all the way up to 11, first with a glossy topcoat, and then dialed back a bit with the addition of a matte topcoat, Zoya’s Matte Velvet, to highlight all that nearly-hidden blue glitter (matte topcoats, as always, also destroy your manicure; I’ve yet to encounter one, no matter the brand, formulation, age, etc., that doesn’t deposit white fleckies all over your hard work. It’s a cool look, but regrettably also a destructive one.)

Speckled Egg Matte Ruined

Disney Girl Challenge: Patchwork Sally (Again)

Sally Hand

Small administrative note: I posted these nails earlier on this afternoon, and owing to what I’m assuming was a glitch in publishing, they didn’t show up in the WordPress Reader or in any other meaningful way until about half an hour ago. So I’ve deleted the original post and replaced it with this exact copy, in the hopes the admin issues have sorted themselves out – with apologies to the folks who were kind enough to like this post as originally published.

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My goodness, does our girl Patchwork Sally have an affinity for the muted print or what? At one point whilst doing these nails, I think I had about 15 different polishes open and on the go. The lady’s got a busy, busy wardrobe.

I attempted a Sally design as part of my self-imposed Disney Girl Challenge very, very early on in my nail art-ing career, and I still think it remains a pretty decent effort.

I actually thought I had left that original effort glossy, but it turns out I had the foresight to matte it up even back then, because I really think all Nightmare Before Christmas manis should be in a hazy matte finish, don’t you? The one change to this updated Sally mani that I thought was sort of inspired, though, was my choice of holographic polishes, which take on a cool, textured look when topped with a matte topcoat. I thought that was a great choice for Sally’s cute, but totally burlap or itchy wool, sack dress.

On that somewhat related note, I’d like to sing the praises of my new matte topcoat of choice, Zoya’s Matte Velvet, which, as the name suggests, gives your manis a matte, velvety sort of look. I used to be quite loyal to Essie’s Matte About You, but as you’ll note in the older Sally manicure, it had the unfortunate habit of depositing tiny white flecks all over my hard work. So I tried out something a little new, and so far, I’m super pleased with Zoya’s topcoat – soft and satiny smooth.

Cyclone Pop

Cyclone Pop

More wishful thinking expressed through my nails, as it’s presently crapping icy precipitation all over the city. Again. Usual weather-related pessimism aside, I’ve really tried to stay positive throughout this never-ending winter, but popsicle season still feels a ridiculously long way off.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t jump the gun ever so slightly, which is where this fun manicure comes in, a Cyclone pop-inspired gradient using a trio of summery textured polishes from Zoya (the sparkling champagne shade, Godiva) and OPI (I’m Brazil Nuts Over You and What’s a Little Rain Forest, the hot pink and turquoise shades from OPI’s four piece Beach Sandies collection.)

I’ll also point out that my husband had no idea what that little animal on my ring finger is. It’s supposed to be a Cyclone popsicle, although his first guess (delivered with a kind of wild eyed, “Oh my lord, I have to say something positive here, but WHAT is that thing?” sort of intensity) was “Hey! Cute…um…caterpillar?” Okay, sure, we’ll go with caterpillar; makes as much sense as a popsicle!

Red Velvet

Red Velvet

Two new-to-me polishes came my way this week, A England’s holographic Rose Bower and my first Zoya polish, Godiva from the Pixie Dust collection. In the interest of saving a bit of time in testing, I thought I’d put them together into one manicure featuring a little sugar-dusted gradient work and some freehanded hearts. The end result is something highly reminiscent of red velvet cake, ubiquitous mainstay of most modern bakeries, coffee shops, grocery stores, patisseries, donut shops…seemingly there’s a red velvet for all occasions, including your nails!