This cool polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space, looks like two totally different polishes depending on whether it’s in the sun or the shade. Under direct light, its bronze micro-shimmer gives it a rich, almost chocolate brown hue, whereas in the shade, it’s a dusky charcoal grey.
And the perfect palette on which to display these silver nail charms from Daily Charme. It’s a little bit of Black Widow mixed with a little bit of Brown Recluse, and it’s Halloween mani perfection.
Holographic spiderwebs, no less.
This is not the first time I have attempted a spiderweb design, although this is absolutely the best it has ever turned out. Like stars and leaves and anything vaguely “real,” depictions of spiderwebs do not seem to be in my wheelhouse, which is a shame, because my actual house (well, apartment building in which I own a condo) is positively covered in them. Covered in the spiders that made those webs, too – something about the grooved stone cladding on the outside of my building makes for some very desirable arachnid accommodations. I apologize if you’re spider-phobic and feeling uncomfortable with this discussion. You’re going to like it even less when I note that these spiders are like extras from the Lord of the Rings crossed with Harry Potter.
So webs aplenty, and now they’re on my nails as well, in shimmering silver (Liquid Sky Lacquer’s Dream) on a bed of multichromatic blue (Enchanted Polish’s Across the Universe.)
They spun a web for me, as the only Coldplay song I like goes. Actually, The Scientist is pretty great, and so is Green Eyes, neither of which have anything to do with arachnid-inspired nail art. Sorry, my bad.
One March Break when I was very young, my mom and I spent the week reading Charlotte’s Web aloud to one another, during which we discussed some of the book’s more complicated themes of birth and death and that often horrible state in between that we call living. Pretty weighty – but important – stuff for a children’s book (side note: heavy-handed moralizing is actually the bread and butter of children’s literature, dating back to the early 1800s with the Brothers Grimm’s terrifying tales of what certain horrors befall misbehaving children. And believe me, it was usually nothing so Disney sanitized as one of Cinderella’s wicked step-sisters feeling humiliated at the big ball; try one of her step-sisters having her eyes pecked out by birds because she was jealous of Cinderella’s successes. Cripes, one of these things is not like the other!)
But before you run out and retroactively report my mother to the authorities, bear in mind that the two of us making our way through that book together is one of my favourite childhood memories, while the book itself remains to this day one of my all time favourite works of literature. It’s just so simple and uncluttered, with a terrific heart – even when it’s breaking your heart – and a voice that doesn’t speak down to its young readers. It’s children’s literature perfection.
So in honour of selfless Charlotte and opportunistic Templeton and some pig Wilbur, I created these nails featuring the best descriptor Charlotte spins into her web to describe Wilbur, “radiant.” How a pig can be considered radiant is beyond me, and initially it’s beyond Wilbur, too, but in the end he makes it work, standing in his pen at the fair with good posture and a pleasant expression on his face, attempting to emanate a glow from within. It’s pretty solid work for a pig with zero opportunities before a kind spider came along and changed his destiny.
But I can’t talk about the ending, because I will dissolve into a mile deep puddle of ugly, salty tears, and nobody needs that, least of all my cats, who are not fond of getting wet (seriously, the waterworks Charlotte’s Web touches off are second maybe only to The Velveteen Rabbit, which is sadness plus PLUS. A few months back I described it for my husband, who had never read it, and even my highly glossed-over version set me to sobbing. It’s THE WORST. So is Watership Down.)