I have a keratin related confession to make: I’ve only had a professional manicure done once in my life. You can pick your dropped jaws up off the table, I assure you I am not a street urchin.
I’ve just never really enjoyed the process of pampering. When I was at camp and we did massage trains (a line of cross-legged kids, giving what they think are soothing massages) I always volunteered to go at the caboose where my surely knotted back would avoid any kneading. When I go to the hair salon and the hair dresser begins to really get into it with fancy moves my shoulders shoot up to my ears in tense protestation. I twiddle my thumbs and bear the unwanted scalp hydromassage until it’s over.
I gave manicures a chance once, but the experience was so unpleasant I’ve never tried it again.
It was the tenth grade, and my friends who were super into acrylics at the time convinced me to join them one Friday night. I figured getting an innocent and simple French manicure would cause me little distress. Boy was I wrong. The establishment I went to seemed to be covered with what I can only imagine was a layer of nail dust, and the guy who ran the place, Jimmy was a Grade-A creep. He had a long, solitary hair protruding from his chin, offered us a ride home afterwards, and has haunted my dreams ever since. Obviously upon paying my $20 we high-tailed it out of there, probably chipping my mani in the process.
But Instagram and the art of nails has me interested and wanting to overcome my past primping trauma. Celebs like Zooey Deschanel and Alexa Chung are always showcasing their adorable and trendy nail art in cute filtered pics. Perusing the favourites page on the app is sure to inspire nail art envy upon every click of ‘refresh’.
I have two top #nailartofinstagram faves who I follow. First is Hannah Bronfman, a super stylish New York DJ/socialite/fashionista/beautifier whose hands constantly feature 10 little masterpieces at the end of each digit. She’s dabbled in 3D, rainbow polkadots and Kenzo inspired graphics, but the best are her lyric inspired nails. They have donned tiny painted graphics that spell out Jay-Z’s lyrics ‘I don’t pop molly I rock Tom Ford‘, as well as 10 shiny images dedicated to Beyoncé’s new album. Bronfman expresses herself everyday through her immaculate style, and she uses her nails to supplement that. Talk about head-to-toe.
The next contender is a kind of unexpected. I was perusing through my extensive Instagram stream one day when I came across a perfectly manicured hand. It was to my surprise to discover that the paw belonged to Snoop Dogg! His claws are dedicated to his *recreational* pursuits, and feature small rhinestones as well as the words ‘puff puff’. Scrolling through his profile I found that many photos featured freshly painted nails. How precious?
The two could not be more different in their convictions, but the intention is the same. Both use nail art as a way to reinforce their opinions, inspirations, and pastimes. I love the idea of it, and am happy to view others’ works of art from the comfort of my iPhone, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to part with the dough nor risk another encounter with Jimmy. Until the day comes, I have lots of time to choose a design that fits my personality, and more importantly answer the big question: what filter do I use?!