Galaxy nails were the name of the game for day 17 of the Oh Mon Dieu nail art challenge, but having done more than my fair share of celestially-inspired manicures over the past year, I thought I’d instead go back and attempt to recreate a galaxy-type design I did just a handful of days into my acetone-based adventures. The poetic idea – the first cold, white stars of the evening just appearing above a pastel sunset sky – was a good one, but my execution was, naturally, that of someone who just started dabbling in nail art the week prior. I’ve often thought I could have done better, and with this challenge I had the opportunity to do precisely that.
In that spirit, and clearly taking a major page from One Nail to Rule Them All and her series of then and now posts, I thought I’d compare the two manicures (using the exact same polishes, it should be noted) to see how far my technique has come in just one year.
YIKES, right? She’s rough. As well as heavy-handed, lumpy in some areas, balding in others, pooled all up in my cuticles and apparently photographed from the next balcony over. But as with most things – and nail art is no exception – there are lessons to be learned, the most important (and trite) being practice makes perfect. Yeah, I get how annoying that is. No one wants to be told that to be good or better at something, you have to work at it. We’re a world of quick fix seekers, and taking the time to hone a skill, even if it’s something as seemingly silly and prosaic as nail art, is a quality in increasingly short supply. But the rather unlovely truth is that to get from the nails in the second picture to the nails in the first, I just had to practice. Nothing more mysterious or complicated than simple trial and error, I’m afraid. Like, you can really see how I tried to create a smooth and seamless gradient, but instead wound up committing the error of a lump-riddled hodge podge. Just like you can see how I tried to capture my nails for photographic posterity, but erred by holding the camera approximately 50 detail-destroying feet away from its subject.
As embarrassing as it is to go back and catalogue the litany of boo-boos I made in the early days of my nail art obsession (and continue to make to this day, it absolutely should be noted), it’s a fantastic reminder of exactly how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned in a relatively short amount of time, and that can’t ever be considered anything but a positive. Learning is livin’, y’all.