One of my earliest nail art designs was Cirque’s rainbow-hued Kaleidoscope glitter topper over one coat of Nails Inc.’s Notting Hill Gate, a sheer, hot pink jelly polish (see below.) It made for a super cute mani, like those yummy-looking pink frosted donuts that only exist on The Simpsons, but my execution was ever so slightly off – the base polish was too sheer (oh, the horrors of visible nail lines!) and my nail care game was still pretty well non-existent (here’s a nail art truth for you, gang – taking care of your mini canvasses makes everything that comes after it about a million times easier. It’s very much like having a clean desk or a tidy workspace in that you can concentrate on your work because you’re not being distracted by all the mess heaped about your feet. Plus it just looks better!)
So with those lessons in mind, I decided to dip my fingers into the frosting once again and recreate that fun, sprinkled donut design, only this time with the benefit of hindsight and some appreciably improved skills. The end result? A manicure that’s really not so different from its predecessor in terms of design, but noticeably different in the important areas of execution and overall effect. Gone are the dreaded visible nail lines that came about as a result of using but one coat of the jelly polish (I actually don’t have a problem with them, but some lacqueristas RAGE when confronted with VNLs, as they’re sometimes called), the result of swapping out Notting Hill Gate for Fingers Paints’ Louvre This Pink, a sheer-ish, yet still opaque, raspberry creme that offers great coverage and frosting-like shine in two coats. Gone as well is the poor lighting and the inexplicably skewed framing, although those are issues I’d file under photography skills – not the best, but also getting encouragingly better – as opposed to nail art technique. Most importantly, though, this slightly updated manicure shows off the clean simplicity of tidy, nicely polished nails (even if those nails are sprinkled with an inch of rainbow glitter), a skill – yes, here in the nail art world it’s a skill – that has proven its worth time and time again.
One ought not judge a book by its cover, but in so many facets of life – nail art included – presentation is key. So try to keep your work clean, tidy up after yourself and look for those simple, easily achievable little ways you can update old manis to create new favourites that highlight your improved skills and breathe fresh life into designs whose only sins were being created at a time when your nail art game weren’t all that. To experience and progress – and those are sentiments I think we can all raise our pink-sprinkled donuts to.