Friday, 31 October 2014

2x1 Halloween Hearty Nails & Books: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Halloween calls for monsters. This has a particularly popular breed of monsters: vampires.
As I've said before, vampires are so overdone. Nowadays I rarely find a vampire story worthy of holding my attention.
Well, this one. This one held my attention just as much the second time round as it did the first. No joke. I read somewhere a reviewer saying this book is the vampire story for the people who have lost hope in vampire stories, and I agree. 
Wait, but what book is this again?

It is Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Yeah, I know, the title is rather silly. In fact the very first thing that made me curious when I saw it was what kind of book would have such a title? But after reading it and seeing why it's called like that, well, let's just say I learnt not to judge a book by its title.

I find the opening scene is pretty telling of the kind of story this is. It begins with Tana waking up in a bathtub, the morning after a crazy party. As soon as she walks around the house for a bit, she discovers that all of the people present have been murdered by vampires. All her friends dead (minus one who was away at the time of the party), her ex-boyfriend Aidan alive but infected, and she's only survived because the vampires didn't bother to look behind the bath curtain.
I really liked that beginning, sets the tone very effectively. I liked how it starts as a perfectly ordinary situation, only to reveal a massacre by supernatural beings they all knew about (but were too drunk to make sure all the windows were closed and secured).
As you can guess, this story does not skimp on the blood and violence. It does not romanticise vampires. Anyone who romanticises vampires here will die an ugly death. Including the vampires who romanticise themselves. I can't exactly explain how satisfying that is. If you read it, you'll know.
The vampires themselves were nicely done, I thought. Red eyes, non-retractable fangs (seriously though who thought of retractable fangs, it sounds pretty nonsensical to me), none of that we glitter in the sun nonsense, none of the I can't get into your house if you don't invite me first rubbish (I honestly think that started out as a way to make people think they'd be safe home, but there's no real reason for it), and also none of the I get scared by a crucifix bullshit. They do get hurt by rosewater though, of all things. I guess they needed one weakness. Apart from sunlight of course.
I liked the characters as well. Tana is badass but not Mary Sue-ish, and her emotional reactions are believable (basically she spends the book in one big adrenaline rush and always on the brink of a hysteric breakdown). Gavriel is endearingly insane (yes that's ridiculous), Aidan is a jerk, but not reaaaaaally. Special mention to Lucien (who IS a jerk, to nobody's surprise) because I kept imagining Kamijo whenever he was mentioned LOL.

I really have nothing bad to say about this book. Nothing I disliked. Even the title doesn't seem quite as silly after reading it. So let's go on with the nails.

I got inspired mainly by the cover of the book. Since I can't do the hand and title, I chose to do the background, that damask-like design. Though, I will admit, I made up most of it, because if you look at the cover in person the background is all blurry so you can't really see much of the design.

The pinky got a plain gradient in matching blues, because I have tiny hands and there's really not much space in my pinky nail.That gradient is the same I did as the base for the vampire fingers. Here's a rundown of what I used (base & top coats included!):

Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Base Coat (uh, a green bottle)
NYC 302 Black as my base colour on all the nails.
Sephora L16 Curaçao on the very tips of the gradient nails.
Essence Midnight Date sponged roughly, covering the brighter blue.
All nails but the pinky were then mattified with an Anonymous Claire's matte top coat (because Tartofraises said that using acrylics on mattified polish is easier, so I tried and I think she's right).
Acrylic paint for the details. White, red, black and a blue I had to mix myself were used.
A WYNIE red glitter numbered 027 was used just for the blood on the index finger, over red acrylic, the way Robin Moses does, because it's prettier than without the glitter (duh).
Then I topped it all off with a coat of WYNIE clear polish.
And to finish it off, Essie Good to Go.

Yes, I use two top coats. I like having one thinner first, to make sure the design doesn't run or anything, and then a nice thick one. I use a cheap one as the thin one always, it's my it's-ok-to-mess-up clear polish. The thick one needs to be a good quality quick-dry one.

That's all for today! As a final note, let me tell you, I was very amused at how the amount of blue in the pictures made my fingers look even more ghostly than usual.

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