March 4, 2012

Nailing It

With all the craziness that work has been throwing my way, I sometimes need a little escape for just a few seconds. I joined Pinterest in late December or early January, and at the time, most of my friends hadn't joined. Now, there are so many people to follow that I can barely keep up with the latest posts. Everyone I've talked to about it has said that it's addictive; "digital crack" was what one article called it. So anytime I need to put my brain at rest, I make a little trip to the world of pretty things.

One thing that I manage to make time for are manicures. I have loved the new nail art trend that seems to be popping up. I remember my first nail art when I was little; my mom let me get a little flower on my nails at the nail salon next to the Chinese food place we always ate at. It was really special, and I treasured the opportunity to make my short piano-playing nails look pretty. But now, since I am too cheap to pay for manicures, I haven't thought of it as an option for me. 

Enter Pinterest.

Daily Candy had a board titled "Nailed" with lots of cool ideas for nail art. Not all of it is stuff that I can execute on my own, but I found two specific ideas that I've tried in the past few weeks that were actually quite easy. I call the first version champagne nails. 

These turned out to be relatively easy. I already had a dark shiny gray polish from MAC and a gold polish from OPI. I even had a little sparkly gold topcoat, but it turned out that the glitter was too fine to really show up. With the help of a toothpick, I managed to make a reasonable facsimile. Here are the results of my own attempt. As mangled as I thought these were, I got a lot of compliments. From the office to the hair salon, girls everywhere were mooning over them.

By the way, I really like the blog of the woman whose site these nails were originally posted on. Check it out here.

The second set was even easier to execute. These have a sexy name that I can't take credit for: Galaxy nails.

Basically, you just need a mishmash of cool-toned colors. I used a range of blues, greens, purples, and a shimmery silver to try to recreate the look. 

Easy peasy! It's a little hard to see below, but I just applied a base coat of the Revlon navy color, and then swooped on layers of each of the other shades (in order that they are shown here), and used the silver to make a little Milky Way across each nail. Personally, I love the swirly look that I was able to achieve on mine, even versus what the original looked like. I made vertical, horizontal and diagonal strokes to make it look like some crazy aurora borealis moving across my nails. The best compliment that I could have been paid came today when I was at the register at a spa. The cashier said, "Oh my gosh, are those Galaxy nails? You did such a great job!"

One final lesson learned from this photo session is that it's really difficult to capture nails in artificial light at night. Best to leave those things to the beautiful light of day.


Another idea for nails from Pinterest led me to this little experiment. It's difficult to see in the picture, but it's a layer of Essie Chinchilly with some sparkles just at the tip of the nail. Subtle but sparkly!