Monday, 28 April 2014

Holy Holo! Nails of the Day

I wanted to something a bit “simpler” today, but it didn’t turn out quite as simple as I had hoped.
Most people use a sponging technique when creating gradients. Unfortunately, sponging typically eliminates the linear ‘flame’ in holographic polishes, so I simply used careful application using the bottle brushes to get this look.

diffused lamp light
My thumb to middle finger required a lot of fussing.  I had to apply a lot of different shades to get a good gradient. My ring and pinky finger were totally easy and turned out exactly as I pictured in my head!

direct sunlight
Lacquers used from thumb to pinky: Colors by Llarowe Black Gold, Texas Tea, Color Club Beyond, Layla Coffee Love, Color Club Eternal Beauty, Layla Ultra Violet, Cirque Bejeweled, Glitter Gal Bondi Blue, Liquid Sky Lacquer Swerve, Layla Emerald Divine, Color Club Kismet. I had originally tried using Femme Fatale Ink of the Sea as a purple to blue transition, but it really didn’t work.

 ...and a bonus pic.


Impressionist Floral, Nails of the Day

I’ve really been on a floral kick lately! I think I’m trying to make up for the fact that the real flowers are a bit behind this year, due to such a cool spring.

I started with a taupe-y grey base of Misa Paint My Nails @Work (love the name!) I have no idea how old this is or from what collection it’s from, but here’s a swatch anyway (since I hardly swatch).

I used so many polishes for the flowers I couldn’t keep track of them all. The larger ‘roses’ and leaves were done with a tiny brush while the little orange flowers were done with a dotting tool.

I know not all bloggers paint their other hand as intricately, but I try -- I need the symmetry! But with this other hand I kept the colors slightly more muted, I can’t decide which I like better!

the rarely seen right hand!

…and a bonus pic.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sneak Peek! CANVAS the City

Hello, hello!

I'm ecstatic about showing you guys a sneak peek at two shades from our upcoming CANVAS the City Collection, lacquers inspired by our love of Toronto! We will be releasing them in 2 parts at our Etsy store, starting the first week of May.

First up is a beautiful spring green crelly with fine silver holo glitters and just a hint of holo shimmer. This lacquer really reminds us of all the vintage shades of green you'll find all over the antique shops in The Junction.

Next up is a lacquer inspired by one of our favourite Toronto events, the cherry blossom bloom of High Park. It's a milky base with cherry dots, matte pink hex, a variety of white hex and a sprinkling of brown cherry wood glitters.

Anita over at Intense Polish Therapy got an early look and sent us these amazing swatches.

Thanks again, Anita!

Look for CANVAS the City in early May.


Rebecca Minkoff Inspired, Nails of the Day

My Cynthia Rowley mani was a big hit, so I decided to do another ‘inspired by fashion’ mani.

This is my beloved Rebecca Minkoff mini M.A.C. bag. I’ve been trying to think of ways of interpreting this into nail art for months. I tried last week to do a tape mani that failed miserably.

the muse
I went with stamping instead, and I think it turned out pretty well. It’s not an exact replica of the weaving on the bag, but it captured the same essence.

The base is Quo by Orly Femme Fatale. I stamped with Vivid Lacquer 009 using bondi nyc NYPD. The accent nail is OPI (Gwen Stefani Collection) Push and Shove, it represents the signature chain and hardware on all her bags.

Push and Shove accent
Push and Shove was painted on over top of Femme Fatale because I forgot my plan when I was painting my base. The chrome finish reacted kinda weird and almost had a shatter/crackle effect! I had to paint 3 layers to get it even.

These inspired by fashion manis are really working for me!


Long Weekend, Nails of the Day(s)

I’m sharing two manis in this post since I don’t have too much to say about them. They weren’t total fails, but neither one really turned out the way I was hoping so I didn’t really love either of them, but I thought they were at least worth a quick note (plus they both inadvertently wound up with a vintage feel).

This mani I wore for Easter dinner. The stamping was really only successful on my thumb – I felt like the patterns were competing a bit too much on the other nails. However, I really do like this colour combination. The base is OPI Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, the green foliage is OPI Amazon…Amazoff, and the floral parts are Zoya Odette. I used a Pueen plate from the Buffet collection, but I’m away from them right now and can’t remember the number, sorry! I want to attempt something like this again, I'll just have to be more mindful of keeping the different colours/patterns separate.

vintage fabric print mani

In this mani I used another Pueen plate from the same collection, again, I can’t remember the number. Also again, I used Amazon…Amazoff to stamp the images (can you tell I love this polish?!) I then haphazardly tried the ‘leadlight’ technique that’s been going around (filling in stamped images with jelly polishes), but I wasn’t all that successful. I started with a bit of yellow and wish I had stopped there. The red isn’t so bad but the purple doesn’t really work, and ends up showing too many brushstrokes. When I was done with all that, I added a coat of Essie Matte About You to give it a sort of vintage tropical fabric vibe. Alana (who’s family is Jamaican), said it’s called “batik”.

batik-esque print mani
Hope you had a great long weekend!


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cynthia Rowley Inspired, Nails of the Day

I’m really excited about sharing today’s post because I love the results, it may be my favourite mani to date!
I was really stumped for inspiration. Now that I’ve been putting my nails on the internet I was having serious performance anxiety. I cleaned my nails and mulled over my options for hours. HOURS.

I finally decided to interpret my Cynthia Rowley scarf. It’s so bright and floral – perfect for spring!
I started with my go-to base, CoverGirl Silver Lining. I was getting sick of doing linear gradients so I painted a tri-colored wheel  thingy on my sponge and rotated it for each finger. The tricky part was remembering which way it was oriented when I went back for more layers!

the first stage
The colours on the wheel are bondi nyc Teal Magnolia, Duri Showstopper and L’Oreal Royalty Reinvented. I’ve used Showstopper for a number of gradients, but for some reason last night it was not behaving well. It kept balding instead of building so at the last gradient layer I added a bit of bondi nyc Fuschia-istic to make the pink as opaque as the other colours.

the final product
I pulled out 5 different stamping plates but didn’t end up using them all. I used Pueen 46 and bondi nyc The Limelight over the purple parts. I really love this colour combo, I just wish it was more obvious.  The image transferred well but it’s just not as opaque at one layer, and I didn’t double stamp for fear it would look too messy. I used the same image and stamped with OPI Amazon…Amazoff over the teal parts (it stamped beautifully and I look forward to using it again). On just my thumb I used Konad m4 and bondi nyc NYPD, as a trial. I like the contrasting accent for my thumb, but I thought it would be too bold for the rest of my fingers so I put NYPD away.  Instead I grabbed Konad m53 and bondi nyc Chasing the Sun and stamped some flowers over the pink areas. This unfortunately was barely visible, but created a lovely shade, so not a total loss. I turned to Nyx Purple instead for the flowers. Everything got topped off with Glisten & Glow HK Girl.

the mani and its muse (the scarf)
I posted this on our Instagram account yesterday (canvaslacquer), and was asked if I would enter it into a spring themed contest. The prize is basically a shoutout from 3 beauty bloggers, but it would really help the CANVAS cause so I’m going to enter. Wish me luck!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Easter/Spring Mani featuring Emily de Molly 'Frail Promise', Nails of the Day

Yay! Spring has FINALLY sprung in Toronto. My spring inspired mani ended up looking a bit Easter-y, but since it's coming up anyway I'm quite satisfied with the result!

First I started with a base of Colors by Llarowe Precious Metal (shimmery grey). My thumb and ring finger are featuring Emily de Molly Frail Promise. I only needed 1 coat for the glitter payoff. I tested this on a nail wheel previous to using it in this mani and discovered that I def prefer it at one coat, at 2 coats I found it a bit too busy for my taste - but to each their own!
I love the colour combination of the glitters, which is what lead me to choosing the colours for the gradient. The green is piCture pOlish Jade (shimmery minty green) and the pink is Duri Showstopper (shimmery pink).
I then stamped over the gradient using Vivid Lacquer plate 019 and Konad White. I was having a hard time getting the images to transfer cleanly - but that was definitely due to my white polish getting a bit old, and  nothing to do with the plate.

I don't typically show my thumb, but since I didn't get as much of the aqua glitters on my ring finger as my thumb I decided to include it, better tying all the colours together.
However, that being said, I still didn't feel it was as harmonious as I'd like it to be, so I topped everything off with a coat of KBShimmer I Only Have Ice For You, a sparkly holo glitter.

The difference is subtle in pictures but more apparent IRL. I LOVE the added sparks of holo over Frail Promise.

Here's a closer look.

Hope you're all able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather!


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Galaxy Nail Fail, NOTD

You win some, you lose some.

I've done galaxy manis before, not sure what happened this time around!

I don't mind the way my thumb turned out, but I guess my sponging on the other nails was too haphazard, and maybe my colour choices weren't great. I don't know.

abstract galaxy
I still wore this for a few days, and was still complimented at the bakery! So maybe not a total fail!?!

abstract galaxy


Do I Have A Problem?

Yes and no.

I only started seriously collecting nail polish a little over a year ago, but I already have hundreds of bottles. How I store them is pretty rudimentary; 5 large shoeboxes lined up on a table. Personally, I find putting them into a drawer makes it harder to get an overview of everything when you’re sitting there wondering, What lacquer will I play with today? But that’s not to say that I won’t ever move on to something a little more sophisticated, just not right now.

Here’s a quick list of all the brands I own (minus a few Sally Hansen’s I keep in a separate area where my frankens are).

Box 1 – I love how PERFECTLY this box is organized.  The bottles are all square, and by some miraculous coincidence I have just the right number of bottles per brand to take up every bit of space available.

Emily de Molly, Cirque, Colors by Llarowe, a-England, Cadillacquer, and Elevation Polish

Box 1
None of the other boxes are quite as beautifully organized.  It’s just not possible between the shapes of the bottles and the number per brand, but I’m trying!

Box 2 – OPI, nOPI, Sephora by OPI, China Glaze, Dance Legend, Zoya, butter London, Duri, Nubar, Glitter Gal, piCture pOlish, bondi NYC, Orly

Box 3 – Hits Specialita, I Love Nail Polish, Starrily, Scofflaw, Smitten, CrowsToes, Darling Diva, WingDust, Girly Bits, Wicked Polish, Happy Hands, Indie Polish, model’s own, Pop Culture Cosmetics, Motives, Nfu-Oh, Jindie Nails, Cult Nails, and Beyond the Nail

Box 3
Box 4 – Misa, Hard Candy, Sinful Colors, M.A.C., GOSH, Nyx, Essie, Layla, FNUG, Deborah Lippmann, CND, Color Club, Quo by Orly, Ruby Wing, NCLA, Serum No.5, Enchanted Polish, Nails Inc., Ruby White Tips, CoverGirl, Sante, Revlon, Kleancolor, Ciate, Literary Lacquers and Finger Paints

Box 5 – Love Thy Polish, Femme Fatale, Liquid Sky Lacquer, Mrs P’s Potions, KBShimmer, Different Dimension, Lilypad Lacquer, Pretty Serious, Lush Lacquer, Nail Pattern Boldness, Pipedream Polish and Lacquer Lust

I had told myself last year that I couldn’t go beyond these 5 boxes. If I want more lacquer, I’d have to clean house to make room, and not simply expand to another box. Luckily, timing for this turned out pretty well. I’m pretty close to my limit right now, but my buying has halted too because I am so focused on CANVAS lacquer.

The dream is that one day, CANVAS lacquer will be on everyone’s Stash List!


Creative Outlets with the Intern

Between all the nail stuff, I practise a little bit of origami. I'm currently working on a spring bouquet of folded flowers. It's still in progress, but Tuna the Intern decided to look really adorable under it, so a picture had to be shared.

Tuna the Intern, with paper flowers

So Shifty, Nails of the Day


Apologies for the short absence, I had long work days to contend with last week - PLUS sending out CANVAS lacquer orders!

In my last NOTD post, my vertical gradient had a faux-mulitchrome effect, and since so many brands have been releasing these lacquers lately, I decided to do a full mani with these trendy finishes.

2 coats of multichrome lacquers over black
The earliest iteration of these polishes were pretty sheer (ie Ozotic's 500 series, now discontinued), but the latest releases have pretty good opacity on their own in a couple coats.. However, that being said, a lot of bloggers agree that the shifty multichrome effect is more apparent over black. Therefore I'm showing these polishes at 2 coats over plain black (Essie Licorice).

Index: I Love Nail Polish Birefringence, Middle: I Love Nail Polish Mutagen, Ring: piCture pOlish Aurora, Pinky: I Love Nail Polish Cygnus Loop

In person, Mutagen has a subtle rose-gold highlight that is present in most light, but is apparently very camera shy.

Follow us on Instragram (canvaslacquer) to see a quick little video of these colour changes in action!

shifty multichrome mani
Look at all those colour shifts! As you can see, the effect on my index and ring fingers are very similar, but pp Aurora has added glitter...
Which brings us to a point a lot of people have been making - how unique are these releases? It is very likely that the pigments being sourced are all the same, making the combinations available finite, so it's been up to each brand to find a way to make their version unique.

My personal collection also includes multichrome lacquer from Hits MariMoon, Enchanted Polish and KBShimmer. Between all these I think I'm totally covered and won't be needing anymore, I'm pretty sure I now have all the colour combos possible and would be buying dupes or near dupes if I kept collecting (as it stands I think I currently do have a few dupes already).

Just for the hell of it, I stamped on a few different images from several PUEEN plates. My silver stamping polish of choice is Nicole by OPI Positive Energy. I have a silver Konad Special Polish, but it's not a great as the NOPI! The Konad transfers fine, but the NOPI actually has way better opacity.