Action packed drama! Suspense and thrills abound! Read the scintillating details! Eat hot soup and scald your mouth! The drama, the horror! Too crazy to actually be real! Stories out of a Hollywood screenplay! Front page headlines! (Danny Dannels modeling Pozzolana and Panorama.)
It was a dark and stormy night, not unlike the ones you read about in old black and white comic strips, like the kind that nickel pulp fiction writers have already written about since days long since past, cliche with a side of cheese, wine, and a violin. It was dreary and black like a cold cup of coffee you left in the microwave yesterday with the thin ring missing, so you can't just pretend that it was from today. And it was stygian black on a moonless night, except for the faint blue glow on the edges of the clouds from LED street lights that beat relentlessly in through the windows of people that refuse to give in, to the stormy blackness and it's long, heavy drops of water beating down on the city. It was the kind of rain that people in Portland, Oregon scoff at, and go grab a taco before heading out for a Mass Effect bicycle ride. Yeah, it was dark, but man was it ever cold.
And forbid the thought of anyone unlucky enough to be caught in its untoward sodden tragedy. She didn't care about the rain though. She paid it no mind, because she was above such petty affairs, as if she was on a different plane of existence. You conveniently forget about all sorts of things when you've been through torrents of salty encrusted downpours that she's seen, and the bagged trophies she's claimed. It makes you oblivious sometimes to the kind of personal pain one only understands when they have felt pain on the inside, the kind that ties all humans together.
She also wore polka dots well, except it was more like she owned polka dots, the way you own a look or a glance, or the way a woman owns a room. They were hers and you knew it. Oversized blank white circles starkly captioned against a blood red field, and the matching bow just slayed me. I was captivated from the moment I saw her, hook, line and sinker.
I said, "Who are you?"
She said, "I'm Betty."
I said, "Yes, you are. How can I help you?"
You got a smart mouth, pretty boy. I could hear you coming. (Hillary Dannels modeling Neon Blue Opaque with Funhouse.)
She said, "Help you? You're standing in my doorway dripping water on my tile. Stop being a moron and put up the groceries."
It appears she hadn't been listening to the story I was telling myself in my head. She never does, but she's learned to play along really well with her majestic broadside interjections into my imaginary life, or perhaps it's my meandering sideswipes into her reality that she finds amusing. Either way, it makes me lucky.
I find wandering around in the rain like a zombie to be the perfect opportunity for fanciful storytelling to yourself without someone to talk to. I like her, even after all these years with her sassy comebacks and so-called facts for her debates with me. Bah!
Like when I told her that we should become zombie hunters. She didn't even blink or look away from her Acer Chromebook. She flatly stated. "I want cosplay outfits."
"Steampunk. I want to build things."
She's always so much cooler than I try to be. I have to work at it. She calls bullshit on me with unerring accuracy. I usually end our so-called debates with "You're lucky I love you."
Yeah, okay, but you wait. I'm in making up new stories in my head and you're gonna laugh at me some more. Yeah, and I've got the groceries, so you just wait, for dinner. I'll have it ready when it's darn good and ready.
"You still talking crap to yourself in your head in there?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"I said shut up."
Better get the cannon, just in case. (Danny Dannels modeling Kaolin and Panorama)
The rain in Southern California is unnatural. It's cold, like the arid high desert at night, except the sun is out and everything is gray instead of being eye-glaringly washed out like over saturated eyes in the dusty wind-blown scape on the in-between decades. And then there is the humidity. It's just weird. When it's not like this, the colors on the mountains cling in layers of browns and reds of iron-stained granite. Instead, the slopes of the desert are clad in green, with vast swathes of brilliant orange and reds blooms painted solid from afar.
The rain is foreign here, like being a traveler in an unknown land without your Frommer's travel guide, but less so, actually far less so. It's more like it's Taco Tuesday and you pull your full on ninja skills to secretly go back for a small salad after dinner is over, only to find a surprise in your bottle of salad dressing.
"Who's been in the Haribo gummy bears?"
"Where did you find them?", she called from the next room.
"In the Hidden Valley Ranch."
"Ah, that was mine. I wondered where that went to."
"Well, as long as it wasn't one of the kiddos, I guess that makes it okay."
"It kinda was. The baby threw it in the fish tank. I thought I accidentally ate it."
"But, how did it get in the ranch?" (tosses bottle of dressing in trash)
"I had a salad before you got home while the kiddos were watching a video."
"You kiefed a salad without sharing with the kiddos?"
I don't know what her reply was, because my head was in the refrigerator looking for another bottle of salad dressing. The hum of the refrigerator and the din of children made for a perfect little storm of noise to leave me oblivious. I was, as usual off in my own little world, thinking about zombies and giggling to myself from the witty retorts in my head that she'll never hear. She tells me I should write these things down, because my words make her laugh at me. I giggled because I amuse myself to no end sometimes. The tapping on my shoulder shook me to reality.
"You should shut up."
You wouldn't shoot me, would you? Who's gonna bat their eyes at you while pointing this other second gun at you? (Hillary Dannels modeling Agent and Panorama)
The refrigerator freezer is a wondrous place to be when you wanna shove your head in a small box and escape the realities of life, like escaping to Wisconsin for the winter, or vacationing in Antarctica on a treasure expedition. Show shoes, a chisel, and just a little perseverance, and you just might recover that chili you put up last month, or run across an errant uneaten tamale. That's when I heard her small voice calling out like an angel, a fiery little angel with a raging demonic side befit her three foot stature, like some herald of noble truth.
"Daddy, Mommy gave us your Haribo gummy bears."
"I see that. Honey, where's the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?"
Betty chimed in, "You take too long at the store. You should tell yourself fewer stories and you'd be faster."
My keen sense of sarcasm detection kicked and I could see there was no use arguing with her. So, I sat down with my bowl of salad and closed my eyes to savor the textural contrasts between the crisp garden greens and the tangy aromatic creaminess of a new and freshly opened bottle Hidden Valley Ranch when I started to giggle again about becoming a zombie hunter.
Yeah, I was gonna be a dark reluctant hero in melodrama action comedy with a cool outfit, someone you could root for, even if you hate them just a little, or a lot, whatever. And steampunk, she'd see. I'd get a cool top hat and we'd make some really cool outfits to go shoot Nerf guns in. It was going to be so awesome.
"You know I can kick your ass at zombie hunting. I get to be the hero, so don't even start."
She always gets me. Damn! (Danny Dannels modeling Kaolin and Panorama)
So, that's how we got started. I mean not really, but who knows. I mean, in 20 years when we're telling grandkids about our adventures hunting zombies, does it really matter? We survived and went on to tell stories and share our brand with the world. We chose to be bold and be notorious, rather than fading away like some wilted wallflower. It's definitely a story about the underdog rising above goliath-sized opponents, and smashing them into bits. It's about being strong inside, in your heart and your mind and refusing to bow to the bullies. Never give up your dreams. Refuse to be a wallflower. Be notorious, and the world will never forget your story. Never quit, and you'll be the one to get to write it. We get to be steam punk zombie hunters in the next chapter of our story and we couldn't be more excited about it.
We didn't choose the zombie life. The zombie life chose us. Hillary Dannels wearing Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection, topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection in full California sun.
The world needs zombies, the living dead, the undead, in-laws, disembodied spirits. Nothing truly ground breaking gets done without them. Our Mentality Zombie files thus are filled with salutes to our favorite zombies. From the endearing Zombie Boy to the blood-crazed toothless grandma in Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, we celebrate them all. However, being inspired early on in life by Dawn of the Dead, I'm gonna throw my lot in with the hunters, and also avoid elevators like the plague.
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone Collection serves as the base for all the manicure pictures on this blog, photographed in full sun, which kinda flips my camera out later on.
Zombies are uber-cool, like we all wish we were. I mean, take your average zombie, which is more likely to go out on the town all night, spend time at the mall or an amusement park, and get to meet Hollywood mega-stars like Woody Harrelson, than to ever sit quietly on a farm and drink beer all day like the cult hero Zombie Boy. I'm sure you have your own opinion, no matter what your take on cold beer or Twinkies are, but even Bill Murray aspired to be a zombie, which is a terrible choice when your friends are zombie hunters. Alas, zombies and their ilk are prone to terrible decisions to be capitalized by the nascent zombie hunter in each of us.
That's because when the end of the world is nigh, each and everyone of us out there, without there even being in the realm of a possibility of it ever occurring, have already made plans for the coming zombie apocalypse. We've got our own bag packed with useful gear, just like so many of you do. We've foregone the brass knuckles and K-bars that everyone post to Instagram though, because we don't need them. Our dystopian end times are instead gonna be brightly colored and packed full of painted middle fingers held high in the air kind of attitude. We find that Nerf Guns are perfect for that type of ensemble. We also keep Kool-Aid pouches and Pringles as well in our bag, because if the end of the world is coming, all diets are off the table, and if we live long enough to pass those Pringles, well then that's a well-deserved half hour out of our lived-through-zombie-apocalypse day. Except Nutella, that stuff is just unhealthy for zombie hunters. You have to spread that stuff out between two slices of cake to thin it out, and milk is heavy in the belly. You have to consider that not every zombie is a walker. Runners are a real pain when you've been nomming on Nutella.
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection in full sun. I tried to focus on the flakes and it flipped my camera out. (secretly nomming on Nutella)
Disclaimer, we do not have any endorsement with Nerf, Nutella, Kool-Aid, Kotex, Rogaine, or anyone else. It's a blog. It's called humor; stay calm and we'll all get through this. Well, most of us will. The rest have already begun outlining written responses. I'll have directions in this blog later on our favorite follow-up methods.
And Nerf are just our favorite foam dart guns. These are our own and we shoot our own zombies targets with them. We've tried those other brands, and they're crap. You're just going to have to throw it away, because that's what you do with crap, which encourages a whole vicious crap cycle. Don't be a zombie. Buy good things to start with, like Nutella.
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection in the shade. You can see the color shifting in the flakes.
Zombie hunters everywhere have their own take on the best gear bag set up. Our bag matches our mentality. These are two from our arsenal. You cannot have enough foam dart guns or foam darts when the zombie apocalypse comes.
Now, for all the sensitive types, we operate under the assumption that every zombie wants to return to a normal life. That's why we choose Nerf darts over the usual slash and hack jobs you see in the movies. No blood and guts for us. A quick foam dart to the torso and our zombies simply walk away and return to normal life.
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection in full sun.
We've even found that the foam dart method works for internet trolls. Simply set up your monitor at a reasonable distance and shoot the offending troll with your foam darts until you've achieved the proper level of butt-hurt relief. We understand if this requires a succession of reloads. We understand butt-hurt, as we too have privately filed our own butthurt report forms.
We have found the best results to trolling butthurt threads to be to not respond. But do not be decieved. Oh no, I am the ultimate in butthurt recipients. You gotta print off a copy of that form, fill it out with a ballpoint pen, and then mail it to your US Congressman. I mean, make an actual federal case out of it. And don't just hand it off to the mail carrier. You have to take it down there yourself, just to make sure it gets mailed. And don't forget all the hot emails you have to send. Super ultra mega anime butthurt is a real disease that requires real attention. You can't just spray some Dermoplast on that and expect relief.
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection topped with Red Glaze in full sun. The flakes underneath took on this deep orange glow from the Red Glaze, and the green end of the color shift changed to a red-obscured green black. It was really trippy to look at.
Gosh that takes a lot of time, but our favorite projects need that special touch. That's why we've converted to shooting our computer monitor with foam darts, which is way more efficient than actually engaging trolls through words. We've also found that animal crackers goes perfect with just a smidgen of Nutella to make our own butthurt subside in a reasonable amount of time. People who we've never even met before can say ugly, terrible things with their words. Nutella makes us feel like hugs. Nom nom nom nom ...
Caution! Foam darts should not be applied directly to affected areas in an attempt to relieve butthurt, nor should Nutella, on yourself or anyone else. Serious consequences may develop, including but not limited to nut allergies, deep personal embarrassment, and/or assault charges. Butthurt incurred through exposure to trolls should only be confirmed in public by experienced troll hunters. Remember, sharing is caring. Let us in on that butthurt too. We all actually want to know. Otherwise, it is always best to not engage a troll directly with replies or eye contact. Unfortunately, most trolls become disengaged on their own and thus disinterested if not directly addressed. (pokes trolls with stick)
Cocciopesto from the Matte Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection topped with Red Glaze in full sun and out of focus, which makes the silver accent in the glaze stand out.
And last a final love note for all y'all zombie folks that were over at Arminex, bless your hearts. We promised to dance a waltz on your corporate graves, but instead our accountant made this lovely card for you. See y'all next time!
Wish you were here! Cocciopesto from the Earth Tone collection topped with Carnival from the Crystalchrome collection, and then skittle topped with Neon Red Glaze, Neon Orange Glaze, Neon Green-Yellow Glaze, Neon Green Glaze, and Blue Glaze. This manicure was just crazy to look at with the color shifting below the neon.
Memes are the most important cultural expression to come out of the age of the internet. Memes are the obiter dictum ephemeral byproduct of our innate need to share our thoughts and feelings with other humans while interacting in the cold and brutally insensitive arena that is social media. Memes serve as permanent avatars and virtual emotional gladiators in the colosseum of public opinion. Memes wage wars in instances of perfect raw emotion, echoing resolutely across the digital divide, and are thus immaculate.
Memes serve to enable our conscious desire to reach out and touch the lives of our fellow human beings, coupled with our collective inability to find anything good to talk about. Hence our fascination with talking about the weather. "Oh, um, hey, person with a name I'm supposed to know. Gosh, the sun's out, isn't it?" Responded with, "Yup." Back in the day, you'd have to go out into your front yard to get such deep down feels from a passerby, but now people we've never even met before can inspire us into noble pursuit or fits of keyboard smashing rage, all while nestled comfortably from their couch and ours.
Meme's inspire us to be better by pointing out our weaknesses as a species, glorifying our noblest pursuits, and also to catalog to verify the number of things that Chuck Norris can punch out of existence. "Here's your official list of things Chuck Norris is tougher than, Dr. Holmes." "Ah yes, the complete list of things in the known universe. Thank you, Watson." Yes, the internet has been very kind to Chuck Norris. And, um, for good reason, Mr. Norris, sir.
Memes often serve as messages to the future self from a moment in time when some brief clarity overtakes a person, whoever's fault that might be, and guides them to find an insight that is not to be forgotten. Usually this is a message to the self, such as to hang on to the rope, or to remember that someone loves you, especially when some insensitive cretin manages to suck all the air out of the room, even when that someone turns out to be you.
So, we have two memes for this blog. The first is our mantra. It has been the last two years of our lives, and is an expression who we are as people. This concept has guided us into the many projects that we now endeavor in. It is about being stronger than you realize that you are, and then living in the skin you are in. It is about walking the walk, and also owning it, because failure is a possibility, but refusing to get back up when you're face first in the dirt is not an option.
Never quit, even when it hurts, especially when it hurts, because survivors keep getting back up, and leaders do not fear falling down again. Never quit.
The second meme has a UFO vibe. I wanted a 1950s sci-fi movie, desaturated kind of feel to the meme, like 50 Foot Tall Woman meets Lost in Space.
It is in homage to the estimated 1000 bottles of Mentality Nail Polish in the square bottle that are in the hands of the public, that were made in non-Arminex base and thus not part of the ridiculous scandal that company created in the indie nail polish scene. I mean seriously, had they never heard of the FDA? GTFO of here, Arminex! We kicked you off Etsy, and then kicked straight out of business. No one even wants to buy out your brand, even in court-ordered bankruptcy liquidation, punks! (cracks knuckles) Excuse me, I'm a bit passionate about that subject.
People who don't believe in aliens have probably never had an anal probe.
So, what remains for now, is some of the rarest and most exclusive polishes that ever existed in the indie nail polish scene: Mentality Nail Polish in the square bottle. And yes, there is a unicorn out there. There is a single complete collection of Mentality Nail Polish in the square bottle. We named it The Braun Collection. We believe it is the most exclusive nail polish collection in the world and represents all of our gloss, holographic, stamping, matte, you name it. No one else has the complete collection, at least for now. It is from the last run that we made before we closed up shop to kick Arminex's rear end into Chapter 7 oblivion. (insert sound of Arminex swooshing into trash can from 3-point range) Booyah!
But, enough about that. We'll divvy up the details on the manis for these two pics, and their related manis in our first installment of the Mentality Zombie Files, coming up next. See you then!
Hillary Dannels modeling her manicure featuring a base of Mentality Nail Polish Expunge (Green Yellow Matte), dry brushed with Opaque Neon Orange, Green, Blue, and Purple, sealed with Matte Top Coat.
Welcome to our blog. Where to begin? There are many stories, so many rumors, drama, intrigue, asses kicked, and egos perma-bruised remain. Still Mentality stands, because it is an extension of who we are. Do it right, the first time and every time. Be persistent, resilient, and make sure you have your shit in order so that when that bell goes off, you burst out your corner fighting. And, when it's all said and done, wear your scars like badges of honor. That's our Mentality. What's yours?
So, I think you gotta ask yourself this. When somebody comes to take your dreams away, do you fold like a deck of cards? Do you take it? Does the bully get to win again? Well, it happened to us and being a tiny little obscure micro-niche cosmetics company at the time, we were probably supposed to just fold up shop and fade away like some tired punks.
Well, we're obviously no shrinking violets, so we whipped up a hornets nest, grabbed that mess with both hands, dragged it out into the streets, and beat it with a stick until dead in every social media back channel we could. And then to make sure our message was heard, we went ahead and called out all the catty bitches in every public and private nail polish social media group we could, so as to make sure everyone was good and mad that we were completing a voluntary recall at our own expense in order to file an immaculately complete FDA complaint on our base manufacturer. (adjusts and pops collars)
Dry brush matte manicure using Mentality Nail Polish Neon Matte and Opaque polishes. Photographed on a slightly rainy day in southern California.
Remember that hornet nest? I mean, boy they were pissed. That raging mob went on a berserker scorched Earth campaign like none ever seen. They told everyone. IT WAS AWESOME! It made Cosmo, Huffington Post, and every two-bit blogger that wanted to make a name for themselves writing hateful spew and making fallacious accusations. Amazon and Etsy even got together and changed the way that they operated with homemade cosmetics. Lots of little companies folded. Anyone with anything to hide or be worried about was burned in effigy by the internet groups and/or complained upon by the raging masses. No way that little obscure insignificant unheard of cosmetics company was gonna die in peace. This was war.
I have often heard that if nobody hates you, then you've done nothing with your life. Well, it feels a whole lot like we went off and changed the world. Life is weird like that. And, I admit it was a gamble, but when you grow up fighting, staring down the next epic battle square in the eyes seems like the most reasonable thing in the world to do. It's just like yesterday, tomorrow and the next day. So, we came out of our corner swinging and threw solid gold knockout punches every single time. (ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding)
Dry brush manicure photographed indoors under 6500 K fluorescent lights.
Well, that pretty much sums up the last two years of Mentality. Nobody expected us to survive, much less win, except for our fans. Thank you to everyone who sent words of encouragement. Thank you even more to everyone that sent us those creatively worded attempts to encourage us to walk away from our dreams. We cannot tell you how amazing it feels to actually stick our thumbs in our ears and wave our fingers at you. Neener, neener, neener. (checks off item on Bucket List)
So, thanks for coming here and reading our story. Keep coming back to the blog for more appropriately interesting content and pictures of nails did. We'll get back to making nail polish for the store soon enough and we'll blog all the juicy details as we do. We have a complete nail art palette that we are bringing to you: a plethora of stamping grade polishes, Glazes, Neons, Earth Tones, Crystalchromes, Metallics, Holographics, Tetrachromes, Jellychromes, and all of our Matte nail polishes. This collection can't be found anywhere else. It's uniquely Mentality Nail Polish.
Preview of the Mentality Zombie Chronicles. Photograph shown featuring Mentality Nail Polish Neon Green Glaze with Crystalchrome Funhouse and Neon Orange Glaze with Crystalchrome Carnival jelly sandwiches.
Mentality Nail Polish, we're not for the weak of heart. If you have the audacity to stand up for yourself, be yourself, and make your own decisions, we applaud you. Live life on your own terms. Be stronger than you ever dreamed you could be. Never quit.