by Kiani Ned
I’d like to describe myself as the typical girly-girl, but I’m just not. I love heels, but sometimes my combat boots just do the job better. I love wearing skirts, but I enjoy a nice pair of black slacks. One typically girly activity that I happen to be obsessed with is making sure my nails are painted at all times. It really makes no sense because I’m always fussing with some wire, paint, building and sawing wooden things. There is no doubt that my extra-curricular activities do some damage to my nails, but I always always, always make sure they get back to their pristine condition (and sometimes that means letting them breathe from the damage caused by one too many coats of nail polish).
I often get comments from my floor mates about how I even have time to do my nails because I often sport an intricate design done in several colors. Ladies, I make the time! The 30 minutes to an hour it takes me to clip, file, soak, paint, design and dry my nails is a part of the limited time in the school/work week that I have to pamper myself and express my creativity in the same stroke. I say we all take at least an hour (hell, I would prefer at least three) to do something good for ourselves—whether it be painting our nails or fixing our hair in new ways or just giving our brains time to relax. It’s healthy, and therefore it’s necessary!
The art of doing nails has transformed from a simple pampering procedure into a kind of “vogue” activity. Now, more than ever, I have begun to notice girls’ (and guys’) nails. The beauty industry has really begun to cater to this renewed interest in the strict care and creativity involved in the upkeep of one’s fingernails. Polishes that contain glitter have always been around but now makeup companies are starting to produce very unique nail polishes. Revlon recently released a line of nail polishes that are magnetic and contain special particles that cause the pattern of the nail polish to change when a magnet is waved over the nail. Other companies are producing matte nail polishes or matte top coats that instantly change your shiny red into a subdued red. Additionally, salons around the world are making big bucks for their gel manicures, velvet manicures and special nail art. The average gel manicure runs about $40 and one can buy a velvet manicure set from Sephora for around $20.
Personally, I welcome the change in this art form! Everybody likes to look nice, and nail art is just another way to express oneself. Here are some photos I’ve compiled from several nail of my nail art experiments and real-life nail art inspirations!
Kiani Ned is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Photos courtesy of Kiani Ned and Alexa Sanchez.