Happy 4th of July, American nail art fanatics! And it’s a great day for nail art, too – lots of fun, festive designs kicking around the interwebs over the past few days (including my own vintage, deconstructed take on the American flag.)
Miraculously enough, I possess no red, white and blue glitter polish. Buuuuutttt, I do have a matte blue glitter (Formula X for Sephora’s TNT) and a scented, red and white glitter (KB Shimmer’s Candy Cane Crush) that make for a pretty fantastic and holiday-appropriate substitute when combined and layered over top a bright, summery polish like this one, OPI’s No Room for the Blues. The resulting effort is a fun, looks-harder-than-it-was, splatter-type effect that’s perfect for showing off, no matter what shenanigans you find yourself up to this 4th (and you needn’t tell anybody how easy they were; much like that dip recipe that everyone fawns over even though it’s nothing more than a tub of sour cream and four types of MSG, keep this one to yourself! Some secrets are not meant to be shared!)
These nails, a simple jelly sandwich manicure, look like an ode to antioxidants. There’s something very cran-grape-blueberry about them, no? They also look a bit like Fred Flintstone’s pet dinosaur Dino’s, um, pelt? Hide? Skin? Hmm, well, whatever you call it, my attempts at nail art should probably never make one think about the skinning of a beloved cartoon dinosaur. I think we’ll stick with the blueberry-grape thing instead.
To do these nails, I topped three coats of China Glaze’s Are You Jelly?, an orchid purple jelly, with one light coat of Sephora Formula X’s TNT, a neon blue matte glitter, and then topped the whole thing off with one final coat of Are You Jelly? The overall effect is more opaque than your traditional jelly sandwich manicure, thanks in large part to the lush, electric colours of the polishes, which in combination look nothing like the hide of a hand drawn dino-dog hybrid. No, nothing at all…
There’s something very 1980s about these nails, a throwback to the title card graphics of Saturday morning teen staple, Saved By the Bell. Being the contrary type, of course, I didn’t actually start watching Saved By the Bell (original sauce and The College Years) until a year or so after I myself had completed my post-secondary education. So long past the point of relevance, assuming it ever had any to begin with. But for a year or so there as I navigated the unknown wilds of new home ownership, “grown up job” jitters and the horrid realization that I really couldn’t cook, clean or care for myself for shit, there was no better way to start my day than with a bowl of Cheerios, a giant glass of milk and two back-to-back episodes of Saved By the Bell.
And while I’d never say that Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski and company were my preferred gang with which to hang (that honour goes to another Saturday morning NBC favourite, the Guys Next Door), there was something supremely comforting about the way life never really changed for the students of Bayside High. Episode after episode, life was little more than Slater’s wrestling matches, Screech’s…screechiness…and Zack’s endless (and one-sided) battle of “wits” with Mr. Belding. And all of it wrapped in a neon-and-acid-wash blanket of major ’80s cheese. Sing it with me now! “When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning and I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time…”
For these nails I topped a favourite bright yellow (Sally Hansen’s Mellow Yellow) with a neon glitter polish packed with fine matte glitter (Polish Me Silly’s Freckles.) Then, never really knowing where to draw the line between too much and not enough, I topped that with a neon blue glitter polish (Sephora Formula X’s TNT) and, for that extra special ’80s touch, a black and white glitter topper (Sephora Formula X’s Chaotic.) The pink I used on my index finger is another favourite, Finger Paint’s Louvre This Pink.
These nails, a bright-on-bright gradient topped with a neon blue matte glitter topper, look a bit like they’ve been spattered with paint. It’s a cool effect without having to do a darn thing other than swipe on a polish, in this case Sephora’s Formula X in TNT.