Sailor Mercury Nails
Long before Lane Kim proved to be the ultimate BFF, and way before I came to the thoughtful conclusion that I was more of a bookish Elizabeth than a vain Jessica Wakefield, there was no other sidekick in my childhood memory who was more faithful and more intelligent than Sailor Mercury (click on the link, there’s actually a WikiMoon! See, “There are dozens of us…Dozens!”). Mais oui, this is an unabashed post on my nostalgic and everlasting love for Sailor Moon, and I make no apologies – LOUD AND PROUD, BITCHEZ. My childhood was pretty freaking epic once I grew out of Barbies and leapt into Sailor Moon and BB Guns (incongruous, I know…admittedly, I was mostly at the receiving end of those BB Guns): I would wake up religiously at 7am every schoolday to tune into Agro’s Cartoon Connection where the first 65 episodes would be aired repeatedly (meaning I never got past the middle of the second season), and I cried the most bitter, heart-wrenching tears a 6 year old should never learn how to muster because the world almost ended in the season one finale and Sailor Moon finally became more of a leader and less of a whiny Frodo-“Oh Sam, I fell over again!”-esque brat. I pondered upon how pissed Sailor Pluto would be once she found out her name-sake was no longer considered a planet. I had albums of Sailor Moon stickers and stick-on tattoos; episodes taped lovingly on VHS; hair-ties, bags and pencil-cases with Sailor Moon emblazoned on them; and, a singing transformation locket that my mum bought for me and an equally-obsessed school friend. Yeah, everybody totally wanted to hold my hand in line and trade lunch.
No doubt, Sailor Moon is a feminist anime for young girls (as Sailor Mercury once said: “Discriminate against women? Don’t be so medieval!”). Don’t let the combat uniform of short skirts, cleavage and knee-high booties fool you, they have single-handedly kicked plenty of male-butt in the name of love and justice. Each character exudes confidence, strength and independence, and even though their transformation from ordinary civilians into Sailor Sensei relies heavily on make-up, nails and pretty, shiny stuff, who says being a feminist means you can’t enjoy dressing up and (not ‘to’ – an important distinction to make) feel good about yourself – I’m looking at you, Greer. Wouldn’t you just love to gather all the Sailor scouts and the equally-empowering Chun-Li for a panel discussion on the topic of abortion? I would, I really would.
Let’s talk about Sailor Mercury. The brains of the team, she was the first scout to be re-discovered by Sailor Moon in episode 8 (click to watch), and is known as Ami in her civilian form. She’s got a booming IQ of 300, is studious and shy, and employs a visor and a hand-held computer to obtain and analyze data on unfortunate-looking villains. She is the level-headed peace-maker of the group, and she can harness water in all its physical forms to defeat the bad guys. According to The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, she is popular among the male audience for her computer use and, what I would think, her stellar gaming skills displayed in her debut episode. I once assigned my mother to the role of Sailor Mercury owing to their similar hairstyles and I distinctly recall her snorting with a mixture of “aww” and “children are stupid”. My favourite part of each episode was when they’d all transform and yell “Make up!”. This transformation involved a costume change and a lot of posing (nothing new for women) while getting their nails did. It never made sense since they all wore gloves, but oh, how my 6yo self delighted in the nails! Here’s a gif of Sailor Mercury’s sparkling blue tips (credit here):
THA BOMBBB! Freaking up to my eyeballs in blingtastic amazement!
And here’s my rather anti-climatic attempt at recreating it:
This is about as “nail-art”-y as it’s ever gonna get here. I don’t own any dotting tools, stones or Konad stamps as my artillery purely consists of slapping down the brush and hoping for the best with an occasional correction pen at the ready, and I’m not too ruffled by nail-art anyway. I created this blue gradient without a sponge (and therefore, without polish wastage), so yay for me – it is possible to redeem yourself from stick figures! I used Essie’s Borrowed and Blue, OPI’s Spark de Triomphe and Last Friday Night, along with one coat each of Orly Bonder Base Coat and Poshe Top Coat.
Borrowed and Blue is a popular eggshell blue creme that leans more chalky white in the same way OPI’s pink Mod About You does. It was part of the Wedding Collection for 2011 and is LE, but you can still find it online. Every time I look at the name I immediately assume Ben Lee’s swag and sing that one line over and over again from this song *grooves out* Oh, 2002. This polish surprised me because I usually find Essie’s formula to be thick and streaky, leaving unsightly bald patches like the head of a voodoo-ed Barbie, but this is dreamy creamy! The brush was not unwieldy and the polish gave a solid powdery sky-blue finish in one coat…one! Very chuffed with the application and I love the idea of wearing blue as a bride (as they say, “Marry in blue, lover be true”). I thought this colour would be too cool for me, but it turned out fine – in fact, I think it’s one of those shades that will pop against both pale and tan skin. I’ll reserve this pretty for summer because these bright shades can be a little “loud” for me.
I have shown Spark de Triomphe previously here, but I didn’t go into much, if any, detail. This was packaged as part of a Serena Grand Slam France duo set in 2011 (ironic as she barely competed last year), and is LE. It is a dense and cool-toned pale gold glitter that becomes opaque in two coats so you can wear it on its own or as a layering top coat. This is very unique to my collection owing to the dazzling combination of silver and gold microglitter with chunkier circular silver glitter. As an avid Francophile, I am partial to the name, and I love the non-gritty, smooth and fast-drying finish that is predominantly due to the two mixing balls in the bottle (I’ll get to the significance of this in a moment). For this mani, I was careful to apply only one very thin coat of Spark de Triomphe over ~3/4 of my Borrowed and Blue nails. The large circular glitter gives the gradient more dimension and texture as the silver specks peek out from beneath Last Friday Night. J’adore!
Finally, I polished up Last Friday Night by layering it twice, beginning slightly above each painted line to blend out the gradient. This LE glitter was released early in 2011 as part of the Katy Perry collection. It is a very sheer glitter jelly that is best used for layering; it has a light blue base with small electric blue glitter and larger silver holo glitter that flash pink, blue and green. It complements Borrowed and Blue well as a gradient and imparts an icy, snow globe effect that is very magical indeed. My only gripe with LFN is that is lacks the mixing balls in the bottle – this tends to make the polish thick and unmanageable, with the risk of drying out faster than bottles that do have them. My bottle of Teenage Dream, another glitter from the Katy Perry collection, also lacks these steel balls and has a similar gloopy formula. Do I have defective bottles? If anyone is reading this, let me know if your OPI glitters are deprived of these mixing balls too!
This was a fun and easy mani to create, and an almost obscene joy to blog about – maybe next time I’ll try my hand at Dark Mercury’s nails (this was when Sailor Mercury broke bad)!
Of course, my fangirl lifestyle reminiscing would be remiss without a mention of the guardian felines, Luna and Artemis! Introduced separately in the first series, these cats are mentors to the scouts, rivaling only Prince Lune and Yuki for the cutest cat coupling ever. And once you apply Mendel’s genetic crosses, you get the absolutely adorable grey-pink hybrid kitten, Diana, who first makes her meow in the SuperS series.
Now excuse me while I shamelessly break out my Sailor Moon computer game. What of it? xd
Update: My OPI glitter bottles are not defective, YAY-YUH! Despite months of inspection, I never picked out the mixing balls hidden in the thick formula. They don’t make noise when you roll or shake the bottle as with regular OPIs, so peer closely, fellow lacqueristas!