You’ve got nail(s): A canvas awaits on your digits
A bubble bath, expensive salon blow-out, giant bowl of queso and an US Weekly subscription top the list of some of my favorite indulgences. Besides the semi-trashy gossip mag, one other indulgence I spoil myself with on a weekly basis is a manicure.
Most likely a point of confusion for the male population, any female out there will tell you how glorious it is to have a professional coat your fingers with a precise polish application. No matter how hard I concentrate or how steady my hand seems, I simply cannot ever achieve that same flawless look as when I fork over $15 for a polish change at my fave nail salon.
As a kid, gaining my mom’s permission to paint my finger nails was as much a right of passage to womanhood as getting the thumbs up to take a razor to my legs. Nowadays painting my nails remains as much a part of creative expression as putting together an outfit, and it acts as a punctuation mark to just about anything I wear.
Over the years, the bar for socially acceptable shades has risen significantly as everyone from high-powered executives to young college coeds sport anything from ruby red to gunmetal grey. In fact, one of the hardest decisions I face each week happens in front of the daunting polish wall at a nail salon. How's a girl to choose between the endless array of shades spanning way beyond the standard ROYGBIV palette?
Taking things to an even higher level, nail art has made its way onto the hands of many women across the country. Special tools now exist to achieve even the most intricate of DIY designs, but finding a salon to execute your desired look is easy as well. Here are a few guidelines I've compiled for those looking to take the nail art plunge:
Keep it short
In order to keep things classy and avoid looking like you just left the set of Dangerous Minds, keep your nails at a reasonably short length. Just as you wouldn't throw two coats of Blank Onyx on long nails for fear of looking like Elvira, you also don't want to decorate your digits with nail art if you're fortunate enough to maintain a length longer than my normal nubs. Either cut those pups down or wait until you run out of pre-natal vitamins before jumping aboard the nail art train.
Take a hint... from the web
The nail art craze has hit the inter-webs in full force and serves as a wonderful resource to get inspiration for your very own nail art adventure. Pinterest tops my list of personal faves, but a few recent pieces from Refinery29 and a shockingly high number of blogs dedicate themselves to the cause. Peruse ideas from others to decide what you think suits your personal style and go for it.
A chipped manicure irks even the most accepting people in the universe, but a chipped nail art manicure only amplifies that aggravated feeling. Make sure you employ the help of a strong base and top coat to keep your time-intensive design intact. Also for the DIYers out there, invest in some precision brushes and pens to make the job a tad easier.
When in doubt, fake it
If you're struggling with painting the designs on your own hands and can't lock down your artistically-gifted girlfriend to help, try testing the waters with some high-quality nail stickers. A ton of companies offer a slew of designs for you to choose from. Some of my favorites includeNCLA, butter LONDON, and Incoco.
Do you have a favorite local nail art salon that offers more than palm trees and sunsets? Please share your favorites in the comments below!