Monday, December 10, 2012


I know you've all probably heard about the monkey found wandering around the North York Ikea earlier this morning, and I just could not resist this incredibly topical manicure.

This is so ridiculous, I can't stand it.  My favourite headline is in the print edition of Globe and Mail, which says "Escape From Planet of the Drapes". LOOK AT THAT SHEARLING COAT! ON A BABY MONKEY! I would love a monkey so badly, much to the bewilderment of many people.  Anyway, couldn't help it.  This monkey is just so fancy!

Brothers Grimm!

I had the distinct pleasure of getting to see the 500th performance of the children's opera 'The Brothers Grimm' at Daniels Spectrum Community Theatre Friday night.  I knew I needed to do a manicure.

There was a bit of a struggle deciding what to put on my nails, as there were many things I wanted to draw, but am just incapable of doing so. That aside, I'm loving some of these.

First off, my thumb is a tribute to hands down my favourite character of the show, the pirate. Brilliant.

Then we have one of the many books the brothers had strewn about their workspace. 

My middle finger is a crown, as royalty features prominently in these fairy tales.

Next is a witch, Rapunzel's mother! Oooooo!

Finally, I did my last nail with newsprint.  Stay tuned for an entire "typography" manicure later today.

Anyway, I loved the show, it was absolutely hilarious and even educational.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I like goldenrod. I like saying it. I like spelling it. I like looking at it. I do not, sadly, own a goldenrod scarf.

Anyway, odes to goldenrod aside, here are some purple nails, with goldenrod polka dots (look at how perfect most of them are) and on my ring finger, a gold leaf. It's hard to tell exactly, but I couldn't get a picture without the glare obscuring my beautiful golden leaf. 

I love this!

No frills nails

There is a bit of a story here, folks.  There is a lady who works at my local No Frills grocery store.  She has a very... intimidating persona.  Lots of tattoos, piercings, generally unpleasant demeanor, and she's huge. Tall and broad and very muscly.  I was checking out yesterday, and noticed her nails were done, and in a neat way that caught my eye, so I was looking intently at her hands to get a better look.  She, of course, noticed, and asked in a very scary way, "What are you looking at? Can I help you?" and I, of course, felt like I was going to be beat up in the No Frills.  When I said I was looking at her nails, she put her hands behind her back and said "Really. Right. Okay" and I ran away.

My writing skills do not really capture the fear and terror of the situation, but just use your imagination.

The point of the story now is, these are very close to what I think her nails were.  So these are tribute nails.  They're close, but hers were really quite neat looking.

Poorly painted snowflakes!

Okay guys, no judging. I did this one in a hurry, and whilst I like the concept, the execution leaves something to be desired.  I just do not have any kind of artistic skill, so it takes me a long time to draw anything in a visually pleasing manner.  This came out in about 3 minutes, so whatever. I'm okay with it. It looked excellent while my hand was in motion and about three feet away from my face, so I'm calling this one a WIN!

Also, I got the chance to use my new OPI Russian Navy Suede polish, which has the neatest finish I've yet encountered.  It almost looks like denim painted on your nails. It has an interesting texture too. How delightful.

Tiny polka dots!

I've decided to keep on trying polka dots until I can make them follow my wishes. Not quite yet. But I will keep on trying. And trying. And trying.  I even got some right-hand action in with this manicure!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shout out!

I just wanted, nay, needed, to give a big welcome to whoever is visiting my blog from Mongolia. 

Ugluunii mend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sassy half moons!

I was needing some "serious" nails for a night, but I still wanted something a little special. I've been meaning to try the half moon manicure for awhile now, so I seized the opportunity!

To get the half moon shape, I used those stickers you puy around the holes in 3 hole punch pages. You can get hundreds for a mere pittance. You need to snip a little section of the circle out to make it more flexible and away you go!

I used one of my favorite polishes as the "moon", Quo by Orly Chestnuts Roasting, and the purple glitter is Fantasy Makers Rest in Pieces (I believe). I'm at the airport and can't double check. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Water marbling... now with mustache detailing!

This marks my fourth attempt at water marbling, and the most successful thus far!  It gets a little better each time, so I guess I'll keep trying.

I used a base of OPI Skull and Glossbones, and used Revlon Lilac Pastelle, Plum Seduction and Impulsive to do the marbling.  Same colour combination I used a few days ago, I realize, here. I guess I just couldn't get enough.

The beauty of water marbling is that it's so easy, I can even do it on both hands! For once a matching manicure.

And in keeping with the theme of Movember, I added a little Mario-esque mustache action.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Neon leopard print!

It's time again for leopard print.  After a day of watching Twilight (hey Claire!), I had no creative juices flowing in the slightest.  Not even a trickle. It's not until you watch several Twilight films in a row that you truly realize how repetitive the dialogue is.  There are really only so many times you can hear "I can't let you risk (yourself/your family/your wolf pack) for me." without going crazy. And that is once. One time.

Anyway, this is cute and fun and loud!

Mo-vember, mo-nails

Here's the first of many tributes to the wonderful month of Mo-vember.  I love all things mustaches, and just wanted to start simply.

The base coat of the accent finger is actually a really disgusting colour.  Here it is on all my nails until I was so repulsed that I had to take it off immediately.

You can't even tell how gross and peach this is, but trust me. Yuck. Essence Modern Romance!

Black Friday!

Instead of going searching for great deals on black Friday, I decided to theme out a manicure.  I'd seen people playing with matte/glossy, and gave it a go.

I have really, decidedly, (irrevocably) not mastered the art of the dotting tool.  All my dots are awkward and different sizes.  I love the stripes though, just perfect!

As a side note, I really need to find a better mattifier.  I'm using the Color Club brand matte top coat and it cracks much like one of those "crackle" top coats.  Very streaky and unpleasant.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best of... so far!

If you're new to the blog, welcome!  I thought I'd do a short post for new visitors and link to some of my favourite exploits in nail art so far.  Here they come!

Purple flower stars
Harry Potter! 
Leopard print 
Tape mani 

... and my two favourites:

Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a Frankenstorm) 
Nightmare Before Christmas 


Also, feel free to comment and let me know any requests! I'm currently working on an Arrested Development theme, so you have that to look forward to.

Stars or flowers? Who knows!

Here is a mani I am so in love with, I left in on at least three days.  It is so cute!

First, I started with a base of my favourite neutral ever, OPI Skull and Glossbones.  It is the perfect greige (grey + beige).  On top, I used a dotting tool with Revlon Lilac Pastel, Plum Seduction, and Impulsive in a very... impulsive manner.  I didn't really bother cleaning the dotting tool between colours, so it just kept building up and mixing colours, and it looked really neat.

I will definitely be remembering this one for awhile!

Revlon Whimsical

A gorgeous colour I've seen around the internet for a couple of years now, but I just found it in Rexall this very night.  I didn't know they were still selling it, to be perfectly honest.

It is incredibly sheer, this is four coats (to get tons of glitter on there) over Quo by Orly The Blue Box, which is just a Tiffany blue colour that every brand is making right now.  Super cute, and I love the idea of a pastel colour in the middle of fall, something unexpected!


Another iPhone picture!  I really loved this manicure, and I wanted to get a picture, but I was on my way somewhere and didn't have my camera, so this is me at the airport, trying to get a decent picture in the brightest sunlight ever.

They are just silver, neon pink and midnight blue (which is so dark, it is essentially black).  This one got a lot of comments and was very fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This is the moment.... do a Jekyll and Hyde themed manicure!! Do you see what I did there? Anybody? Nobody. Just a little musical theatre humour for you.

I was lucky enough to get back in town in time to see the new production heading to Broadway and I wanted to theme out my nails.  What we have here is some blood, Lucy's corset (which, admittedly, looks more like a converse), the syringe that was missing from this production (I was upset), and the Jekyll and Hyde from the CD cover, which is actually pretty accurate.  I would be the only person who would know that, but I still appreciate it.

The production was a hot mess, but I still loved elements of it. I shall list them:

1. Constantine Maroulis's high belt.
2. His wicked rock Hyde. Best Hyde I've ever seen or heard, hands down. He even beats the Hoff.
3. Lucy. Such a great voice I didn't hold it against her when her accent started coming and going.
4. Steampunk aesthetic.  Simon Stride had dreads I'm pretty sure. Dreads. In the 19th century. Dreads!

Some of it was pretty laughable, the Confrontation scene comes to mind.  I'm glad I was sitting at the back because I was giggling uncontrollably.  Probably loudly.  

And now I have to direct the final portion of my blog directly to Constantine Maroulis (because I know you're reading this, of course). Why must you do so many slides? Why do you have to start well below the correct pitch and then eventually make your way up to the right one? They aren't really even slides. You basically just do appoggiaturas, clean and simple. It is so annoying and distracting! I will grant you leave to do that twice per song for dramatic effect.  No more.  I just listened to a bootleg recording of you doing it earlier this year and you weren't doing that. Come on! Don't get sloppy on me!

Anyway, I'm glad I saw it, I got so excited when I read eons ago that there was a new revival coming.  It's still not right, but I could talk about this all night. I won't, I promise.

Two attempts at purple...

I wanted to do a purple-themed french manicure, but couldn't come across a colour combination that really went with the outfit I had in mind.  Or that I even really liked looking at all that much.

What we have here are some Revlon polishes, Impulse and Plum Seduction, with an incredibly unnoticeable French manicure on my ring finger with Kiko Violet Orchid Microglitter and Fantasy Makers Rest in Pieces, all pictured below for your viewing pleasure:

I do love the tombstone - it made my roommate laugh uncontrollably.

Not a huge fan, so I tried another possibility, this time with glitter! Who doesn't love glitter?

I think the answer is me.  But I haven't made up my mind one way or t'other yet.  I left the ring finger the same, and changed up the others by making the Kiko microglitter the base, and Fantasy Makers Nail in the Coffin as the tips. This one was better, but still not my cup of tea, so I jumped ship and went back to my lovely Quo by Orly Chestnuts Roasting.

I have to say, I LOVE the Kiko polish.  I bought it in Verona two summers ago, and I remember it being very affordable.  It's almost opaque in one coat, and very much so with two.  It is really stunning in person, perfect for pedicures!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The New Black Midnight Blue Swatch and Review

It was so hard to get a half-way decent picture of this because it is so shiny!  There is so much glare coming off my nails right now, and I didn't even put a top coat on.  It's hard to tell the true colour in the pictures, it's just a bit deeper, practically black.

This polish was a breeze to apply, no streaks, fully opaque in two coats, and the finish is just so perfect.  It dried very quickly too! Usually if I do my nails right after dinner I will get some smudges because I invariably end up doing other things that endanger them, but these ones are still going strong four hours later.

There's a slightly better representation of the colour, plus my super-cool accent nail, which is an un-named polish by Bonita.  It is basically holographic hex glitter of different sizes and microglitter suspended in a black jelly base.  That's just one coat, it looks really sharp too.

Success! I love this colour, and I got it from this month's Glymm box. I'm sad it's only a mini bottle, and I haven't yet found a website that sells the full-size bottles at a reasonable price to Canada.

Also, it's vegan!

Looking for the perfect neutral...

Apologies for the blurry photo, it's the best my iPhone could muster up.  I spent the afternoon at Sephora looking for a nude that had a nice colour, but was also capable of being opaque.

On the pointer finger we have NARS Orgasm, which was a general all-round failure of a polish, in my opinion.  It's a gross colour, this shimmery peachy orange, and was not able to be opaque.

Middle finger we have the winner! Dior Safari Beige, too bad about the price tag.

Ring finger is the runner up, Sinful Colors Show Me Some Skin, for 1.99. I like the colour, but I prefer the lighter Dior for my skin tone.

Pinky finger is Nailtini something.  I didn't write down the name, because I didn't care for it.

Here's another shot of the last three:

And that brings me to thumb.  What's that, you ask? I found a bottle of OPI Skull and Glossbones! At a Duane Reade, it was hanging out in the pharmacy near the Tylenol! This may not seem like a big deal to some of you Americans, but I have been all over Toronto looking for this baby. And now it's MINE! Happy Ending.


I have some pictures coming very soon, I promise! I was in New York for a few days, and I have some pictures from some swatches I took at Sephora, much to the chagrin of the sales people. I had to try EVERYTHING!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day mani

Well, we have some poppies, a maple leaf, a cross, and then I ran out of ideas, hence the '11'.  Whatever, it works.  Probably if I was going to have this on for a couple of days and really let people see it, I would just do the poppy on the ring finger, and maybe write "Lest We Forget" in script on the thumb just to stay subtle.

In other news, I am obsessed with the nude colour I used as a base.  It came in that big set of Quo by Orly polishes I got and is called 'Chestnuts Roasting'.  I will even let you see a picture of my poorly-painted right hand to really get the effect.

It's also incredibly awkward to get a photo of that hand, but alas, here we are.  It's an even more perfect colour in person.  This is what I was looking for all summer when I had to wear neutral polish, I just didn't know what it was yet.  I hope that this is part of the regular line of Quo by Orly full-sized polishes.  And then, I hope it goes on-sale, because I think this could be my go-to nude base nail polish colour.

Speaking of base nail colour, I'm still searching for a bottle of OPI Skull and Glossbones.  Where can I find it?? Sob sob sob.

Courtesy of
The most perfect colour.

Harry Potter manicure!

Today I felt like a Harry Potter mani.  Primarily because I wanted to use two colours I bought at the Dollar Store (Revlon! They're on my middle finger), and for whatever reason I thought blue/grey, I thought Ravenclaw, then I realized I should just go all in, HP-wise.

Hard to tell with that glare, but the HP in the Harry Potter font took me three tries and it's still not that great.  I have a really poor brush for detail work, I need to find something a bit better before attempting anything like this.

Here are the polishes I used:

Slytherin: China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep

Ravenclaw: Revlon Timeless, Revlon Fashionista

Gryffindor: Mix of OPI Manicurist of Seville and Essie Lacy Not Racy (I think) and mix of Color Club Editorial/Snakeskin (no label... problem with polishes from Ross) and NARS Kismet.

Hufflepuff: Rimmel Black Satin, OPI The "It" Color

The label on my Essie polish fell off, and judging by their website, I have it narrowed down to about five possibilities.  'Lacy Not Racy' seemed to ring some sort of bell with me, so I went with it.  As for the Color Club, I personally don't think it is Editorial or Snakeskin, but the good people of the internet seem to think it so.

Anyway, love the manicure!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Funky French!

Ooh-la-la! I wanted to try a French manicure but switch things up a bit. I love it!  The grey is L'Oreal Greycian Goddess (the names, the names), and I recently switched to Rimmel Pro Finish Black Satin.

Nothing too exciting going on here, but I even managed to do my right hand this time.  The left hand I free-handed, but made good use of Scotch tape for the right.  Easy-peasy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Leopard print!!

Today, I went for leopard print!  How exciting!  Let's have a look:

I started with a base coat, then painted on three coats of Essie Mint Candy Apple.  I'm going to say this... I strongly dislike every single Essie polish I've ever had the misfortune of using.  They go on streaky, globby, uneasily, and chip immediately.  I haven't tried all of them, obviously, so I can't make a blanket statement, but come on.  This one needed four coats, but I couldn't be bothered.  

Anyway, I blobbed on dots of OPI You Don't Know Jacques Matte, and then added some plain ol' black.  I am loving the colour combination.  Next time I might make the blobs a bit smaller, but I really like the effect of these.

I have no facility at all on my right hand, so I never really know what to do with it.  I guess I'll just paint the Essie on, but it won't look very good, as it is already an incredibly hard polish to work with.  

This mani deserves another picture.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Daisies!  Something like that, at least. I don't know any black daisies, but whatever.  Use your imagination.  I did them in a bit of a rush, so they're not quite as perfect as I'd like.  Next time.

I was looking at paint sample booklets during the day, and there was a beautiful picture of greys and purples in a house, so I suppose I was inspired by that.  You can't quite tell, but there is a really pretty purple on those flowers.

The base is this colour:

mixed with some white.  Such a nice grey!! It came in a set I bought at Ross in San Francisco, all grays and mother of pearl type colours.  Some glitter too.  8 polishes, and nicely, no top coat.

How pretty!  I love these flowers, they are cute and very eye-catching.

Monday, November 5, 2012



I was in love with this gradient mani, but this was a few weeks before I had the brilliant idea for this blessed blog, so I apologize for the bad picture and the major tip wear.  This was at least four days into the mani, so it was still pretty good.  

My pinky was painted a beautiful elephant grey, and had a cute blue heart on it.  Here's how to make an easy heart, courtesy of The Beauty Department.  And I have to say, I never would have imagined that I would love love love a blog from Lauren Conrad ever, but it's totally my jam.

Easy-peasy!  To achieve the gradient, I first painted my nail the lightest shade of blue.  Then, since I was using several (five, which is TOO MANY), I painted each other colour directly on the sponge and then went to town. 

The ombre nail kit I got at Shopper's (on clearance, natch) was perfect for this gradient business, ideal, actually! Much better than as an ombre manicure.  Here's a crappy picture:

Hastily taken, just minutes ago.

Gradient turned into drip mani!

Here's my first attempt at a "drip" manicure!  It started out as a gradient manicure, but it looked like bubblegum and was far too subtle for my dramatic tastes.  I turned it into this drip mani, but I could do a lot better version next time.  My pointer finger nail broke and is now dreadfully short.

There has been a lot of activity going on in the house the past few days, which is why I haven't had the chance to do my nails quite as often.  Stay tuned, more nail polish is coming!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tape manicure

I used my handy-dandy striping tape, direct from China, which arrived today!  I always attempted tape manis with thin stripes of tape using regular Scotch tape, but I do not have any skill in cutting the perfectly equal stripes of tape.  Enter the striping tape.

A little portrait view, anyone?

The China Glaze Patent Leather Top Coat is so shiny! Equally so as SV, I have to think.  Delightful!

As for the colour scheme, I was watching 'Repo the Genetic Opera' whilst lacquering up, so I can only assume that's where those colour choices came from.

Such a good film! But only if you're into weird things, don't mind musicals, and can handle gore.  It's a cult classic already, I think, and honestly, Giles from Buffy is in it. And he sings and sings and sings.  He also played Dr. Frankenfurter on the West End.  But I digress.  Nail polish!

Rimmel Stiletto Red, Rimmel Black Satin, China Glaze Top Coat
I think I just might even keep this manicure on for a day or two!