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Nail Fail #3

Well Best City Nails doesn’t like to bitch too much, and so it’s been a while since we’ve posted in our Nail Fail category.

But this frightful sight from Allegra Mostyn-Owen – an artist and Oxford graduate most notable for her 6-year marriage to London mayor Boris Johnson – has caught our attention in the pages of the Brave Boris Promotional Pamphlet, often referred to as the Evening Standard (article here).

Ms Mostyn-Owen appeared in an interview to explain how great and funny Boris Johnson is (cheers, but we all know he’s really funny…for many people this is considered his sole redeeming feature). She also explained how into Muslims she is, and how she knows loads about Muslims, and so Boris probably loves them as well. And how she and Boris had loads of fun at university sending notes to each other and drinking wine.

ALRIGHT ALLEGRA, well we’re ALL very anti-Islamaphobia and we ALL had fun at university drinking wine….doesn’t mean we need to go around proving our fun-loving and down-to-earth credentials with a maroon manicure and a chipped, black contrast nail. WHAT THE FUCK?!

What an aggressive, classless colour combination. I mean what is this? Apart from the family jewels, this could be the hand of a scruffy rebellious teenager, swigging cider and smoking weed in the park, listening to ska punk. Which is fine, in its place.

And these sorry-looking short nails are being done no favours dressed in such dark colours. Less Avril Lavigne and more Hilary Devey, pls.

The ‘I’m an artist and I am relaxed in my own home’ is fine if executed well, but chipped nails are no friend of this blog.

HERE IS THE DIVINE DEVEY DEMONSTRATING HOW TO DO AN INTERVIEW AND NAIL-ART PHOTO SHOOT IN YOUR HOME:

CAPISCE?! Devey’s subtle pose couldn’t be further from Allegra’s ‘LOOK AT ME! Look how A) rich B) ethnic-friendly and C) nail-art-retarded I am! ALL ON ONE CASUAL-YET-VERY-OBVIOUSLY-POSITIONED HAND!’

We have to give these an epic…

0/10

I mean, what’s to like? Miley’s nails got two marks for at least not being chipped – we can’t even afford such generosity here.

Sorry Allegra; newly-appointed Evening Standard Queen of the East London Muslims you may be (lol), but a nail queen you are not.

Week #20 – Nautical nails

Farewell, my lovely Nancy, for it’s now I must leave you,
All on the salt seas I am bound for to go;
But let my long absence be no trouble to you,
For I shall return in the spring, as you know…

This week we’re serving up some serious maritime realness!

Standard skull with crossed sword and bone, the desert island and sunset (a classic 90s nail motif) a ship, circled in rope over a parchmenty effect (white dappled with yellow powder) an anchor, and some merpeople!

So far the sunset proving by far the most popular (when fingers placed together it forms a whole island, like two pieces of a jigsaw – the merpeople compliment each other in a similar way).

  

I am proudest of the ship, though, as I thought that one could go very badly.

Skull and crossbones is black painted over a white background, oddly, just because I thought this would be easier.

 

[click on above image for mind-blowing HD]

9.8/10

You love it, we love it.

 Goin this way, that way, forward and backwards, over the deep blue sea,

A bottle of rum to fill my tum and THAT’S THE LIFE FOR ME! 

Week #19 – HOW TO: Real pressed flowers

Just when you think you are running out of ideas of ways to pimp your directional nails: pressed flowers. We had this idea wondering the city streets and marvelling at all the spring blossom (most of which is gone now), but blossom from trees is, in the main, way too large to be pressed onto a nail.

Forget-me-nots, however are perfect! Directional! Editorial!

Step #1

Pick some of the flowers (respectfully!), then separate the flower itself as much as possible from the stem and bud so that it presses as flat as possible (this is much easier on the larger flowers, but we still used a couple of small ones for variety).

Step #2

Then find as big a book as you can and put the flowers between some sheets of kitchen paper in the book, and leave to one side with added weight on top if you like. A couple of days was fine for me.

Step #3

When the flowers are dry and flat, apply two coats of your background colour to the nail, wait a minute or so for it to dry slightly. Then use tweezers to place the flowers on the nail – take care not to dent the surface of the nail polish, and if you do perhaps it can be covered with a flower?

Step #4

Finally, to keep the flowers from escaping. apply a thick coat or two of a good top coat like Seche Vite.

Important Note!

Some of the flowers did gradually go brownish over time, but I would say they only became unacceptably brown around the time I needed to do my nails again anyway (i.e. at least a week) so I wouldn’t let this put you off.

The other nails are inspired by stained glass windows. The colour blocks are kind of like the glass, the and black lines are like the lead/resin-type-stuff that holds it together.

Also, we experimented further with eyes, after a successful – if slightly creepy – eye-based design in the past.

We guess the eye juxtaposed with the stained glass, and the actual flowers of God’s creation is kind of human wonderment at perception of the divine or something.

7.1/10

We like this and will probably be re-using all these techniques in new combinations in the future. The stained glass window nails could have been a little neater, however.

Celebrity Contrast Nails: Joan Rivers and Sharon Needles

Well, well, well this might just be the campest ‘Celebrity Contrast Nails’ post so far, with two inspirational figures from overseas recently championing the contrast cause.

Our previous heroes have included of course, Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams and Cher Lloyd.

Now obviously these days you can’t so much as get on the underground without spying a contrast nail nestling somewhere, BUT that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep our eyes peeled, as the gruesome saying goes, for the next big thing…

The next big thing for Joan Rivers seems to be the contrast nail being the ONLY pass-remarkable nail. Why paint ten when you can paint two? A thought-provoking look, and unquestionably a time-saving one. After all, this is a woman who constantly jokes about her proximity to death. We can see why she would opt for this.

4/10

We can’t score highly because at the end of the day, we all know this doesn’t pack much of a punch. But it makes sense. And if you’re only painting two nails, all the better that they be in this classy shade of blue which is both electric, but still dark enough to go with anything. She knows what she’s doing.

Now the VERY interesting case of Sharon Needles’s manicure. This is the man who is almost certainly about to win drag queen reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharon seems to have taken inspiration from the pink, and black’n’white check that has long characterised the promotional shots and opening credits of the show. And, indeed, so did we. A long time ago.

Now we’re not saying Sharon has had a bit of a google and copied Best City Nails.

But stranger things have happened.

As we (very generously) awarded our own original RuPaul nails a slightly ridiculous 7/10 it seems only fair Sharon gets a solid

7.5/10

As she has swapped the pink and the check round, so the check is more dominant – as well as it being a finer design.

Just like Joan Rivers, Sharon has thought practically about this; unlike my experience over the past week or so of gong around with garish Easter nails, these colours will go with all the looks she has to do in the course of an episode without her nails ever looking unkempt. It’s a win/win (and she will probably win).

Our main criticism is that they could stand to be a fair bit longer, in case they need re-purposing as a weapon of self-defence against the poisonous, childish, boring, and slightly racist Phi Phi O’Hara.

THE SHADE OF IT ALL.

Week #18 – Springtime nails

For our Easter nails we have gone for two nails decorated with patterns inspired by ones you typically find on springtime confectionary packaging, some Easter bunnies, some daffodils, and a Christian cross in springtime colours, to remind us of the sacrifice of Christ.

I am constantly amazed by the triumphs and challenges nail art presents. You would think that the white rabbit or the daffodils would be, by some margin, the trickiest nails here, and yet these designs have produced strong results, and the straight-forward looking crosses are the wonky villains letting the team down.

Sorry, but I haven’t included any instruction or photos of different stages because there’s too many techniques involved when every nail is different.

Click on image for ludicrous HD.

9/10

We’re quite proud of how these have gone, and may have even gone for a rare 10/10 score if the crosses were a little neater but unfortunately we were hurried just as were finishing those two. Not 100% sold on the gold swirly fingers, either – I would never have done a design like this if it weren’t inspired by Easter eggs, and there is a brown to purple Powder Gradient which is not as visible as hoped.

But Best City Nails is not about perfection – it is about spirit.

May the true spirit of Easter be with you this weekend.

“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” – Mark 16:6

Week #17 – My square-tip hell…

Oh hi there, welcome to Best City Nails, your one-stop shop for making the best of your bargain basement nail art products.

My last post featured Liv Fontaine‘s pink square-tips with gold and black, so we have attempted a tribute with Best City Nails stapes; glitter, contrast nail, and – more recently – masking tape.

Awarded a healthy

7.7/10

…the main things I have learnt from these nails is the powder gradient WITHIN a masking tape stripe, executed poorly on the right thumb (my actual right hand, but to the left of your vision) but really quite ok on the left contrast nail.

The glitter is not done justice in this well-lit close-up, but in normal life and particularly in the evening these clumps of glitter are a bit more dazzling, which accounts for a fair portion of the score.

Also very taken with lurid pink and greeny-yellow BUT are these nails a bit 2nd wave Nu Rave? And if so is that OK?

But by far the BIGGEST lesson I have learnt is

Square Tips are a Nightmare…

…for natural nails. Square-tip acrylics are one thing, and one day we might just have to go there.

But square-filed natural nails crack SO easily in comparison to their pointed/almond-shaped rivals. As in, the CORNERS (which you otherwise don’t have) snap off all the time, without you noticing, to leave a diagonal, literally like cutting the corner of a piece of paper. Which is very dispiriting if you wanted a row of ferocious fake-looking angles and have to gradually watch them chip into meaningless neither-here-nor-there shapes.

Also I am told, a lot sharper. Whatever.

We’ll soon be making the transition back.

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