Oh, Nerds, what a delightful product you are! Your baffling longevity as a major player in the candy wars is perplexing, but not entirely unwelcome, as you’re delicious. And who doesn’t love filling-busting, red dye-and-corn syrup nuggets enrobed in carnauba wax? No one who grew up in the ’80s, that’s who. And 11-year-old boys.
Despite never having much of a sweet tooth, I always savoured the Nerds my Nanny would lug home from trips she and my grandfather took down south. Grape and watermelon Nerds were all right, with strawberry-lemonade being the very best, and the possibility of finding a lone lemonade Nerd marooned over on the strawberry side always felt a bit like divine intervention from the Wonka gods instead of an issue of faulty packaging.
Here I took inspiration from a pink-to-purple thermal polish that’s always reminded me a bit of chunky Nerds encased in jelly, Polish Me Silly’s Grape Intentions, and widgeted together a couple of the candy’s lumpy little namesake mascots on my index and ring fingers.
In the past I have been hesitant to jump on board the trendy nail polish bandwagon. Textures? Why would I want to wear sandpaper on my nails? Holographics? No big shimmery deal. Colour changers of the UV or thermal variety? Gimmicky.
It goes without saying I was wrong on all those points – busy, you know, making an ASS out of U and ME – particularly on the subject of colour changing polishes, which have quickly become my favourite type of “novelty” lacquer. It’s unreasonably fun to run my hands under hot and cold water just to see what kind of cool, gradient-like effect comes out the other side.
Here I’ve shown two thermals from Polish Me Silly, a favourite indie polish maker, Mermaid Tears, a dark teal-to-celery green jelly, and Grape Intentions, a shimmery pink-to-purple jelly. The cold state is the left-hand photo and the warm state is the photo on the right. These are the first jelly-based thermals I’ve tried, and while the two-tone effect isn’t quite as pronounced as it is with cream-based polishes (particularly on my shorter nails), they still make for beautiful fingernail adornment.