I kind of hate myself for this. I pride myself on being a ‘Man Girl’. That means I don’t do sleepovers, I don’t do toilet seat debates and I don’t do make up. That said, I DO bite my nails, and the only thing that will keep me from chewin’ those babies right off is a pretty manicure. Now, don’t go thinking I’m happy to sit in a chair and pay someone called Kim to ‘chat’ to me about holidays while poking me with little sticks of wood. Hell NO. I’ll do it myself and clean the messy blobby bits off after. I have limits.
Nails are very big business right now. Everyone’s gone a bit nail art crazy – even Man Girls like myself have started attempting the odd DIY masterpiece. It goes hand in hand with the friendship bracelet thing – think Virgin Suicides, think hippies, think back to summers as a 14 year old. The world of fashion can be so serious and up its own arse that everyone enjoys a little bit of FUN once in a while. Here are a few of my faves:
Odd one out
I love this. It makes for a quirky (ugh) look that people always seem to notice. It’s so FREE, and I love the colour combos it leaves you to create for yourself. My current favourite is a block colour on every nail except the ring fingers, which I’m always moved to paint with gold glitter. The great thing about this is that the small sparkle injection will catch the light from time to time, giving you a little pick-me-up of OMG cuteness. After all, you don’t get to stare at your pretty shoes ALL day do you? It is frowned upon in most workplaces.
Yeah, yeah I know. The OLYMPICS again. But it’s so easy to do and people actually think you paid for it. HA. I paint my nails one bold colour, then when it’s TOTALLY DRY (and I mean that), I put Sellotape on my nails to give me a guide (you can get actual ‘nail striping tape‘ but I think it’s for GIRLS), then paint over. When it’s almost dry, peel off the tape, then paint over with clear top coat. Don’t fiddle about with those nail art pens. They’re messy and stupid. I have other stuff to do, like Pinning pictures of other people’s nails that look better than mine.
Y’all know I love it. And it is actually super easy. Paint your nails a block colour, then use a bent bobby pin or an old felt tip to dot on a darker (or neon – OOOOOH) colour in leopard print shapes. Copy a picture – it ain’t hard, I promise. The beauty of DIY manicures is that it may look complete shite to you when you’re doing it, but to other people it looks amazing. Suckers.
The knock out
This one is guaranteed to have people saying annoying girly things to you like ‘Ooooh, great mani, who do you go to?’. Or is that in the world in my mind where I live in LA? Maybe. Anyway, this involves transferring newspaper or an INK JET print out on to your nails. We used to do this kind of thing when I was doing Foundation Fashion Textiles and it got you pretty high, so I’d suggest a well-ventilated room unless you like that kind of thing. You can either use acetone (hardware store – may melt your fingers and make you hallucinate) or vodka, and if you use the latter then you can carefully sip a vodka tonic while you wait for your nails to dry. I’m an unsung genius of my time, I know.
So paint your nails some light colour, then choose whatever you want to transfer and cut it into small bits. Soak your nails in vodka, then press a cutting on to each nail. It’ll go see through and you need to press on it HARD but not for very long. Peel it off gently and leave to dry, then paint over with top coat. Everyone will think you’re amazing and you can send my thank you present care of HOWL Magazine. You’re very welcome.
Well, I got through that without vomiting, and hopefully you did too. It’s perfectly OK to have beautifully painted nails, just as long as you don’t TALK about having beautifully painted nails. It’s like Fight Club, just with less blood and hallucinating (unless you go with the acetone, in which case – I did warn you).
You can see more of my nail art crushes on the HOWL Women’s Fashion Pinterest board.