Posts tagged “nails

Week #24 – Fantastic patterns

This ‘week’ we just decided to go for some really fantastic patterns. Just a bold colour with freehand black patterns over the top.

And with a POWDER GRADIENT contrast nail.

  

Here we opted not to cover the crystals with a top coat and therefore many of the were lost in the battles of everyday life, as you can see below.

6.8/10

We are quite into these but it is not the extravaganza we had dreamed of. Dreaming bigger for the future. You know. Soon photography standards will return to normal as well, you will all be relieved to know.


Week #22 – Eye of Horus

Today I have finally got round to two designs I have been thinking of for a while.

One is this rope/plait/chain type thing, which I have done on top of a Barry M ‘Instant Nail Effects’ cracked-effect colour.

The other is the Eye of Horus, an important symbol which I have borrowed from Egyptian myth. Eyes, triangles and motifs like this are zeitgeisty in nail art at the moment thanks to Sophy Robson. Also, Madonna at the Super Bowl and Rihanna at Hackney Weekend have both added an Ancient World flavour to their much-talked-about performances.

I have enhanced the eyes with nail art jewels from Poundland.

8/10

The second 8 in a row. These work well. Into the chains, but they probably would stand out more with a less messy background. Alternating black and white might be nice. It was also hard to draw the black outlines and detail on the chains after covering the wet gold paint with glitter, but these are the challenges we face in life.

You can see these nails in motion below:


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.


Week #14 – Disaster Strikes

Yes there have been some severe nail art setbacks, significant breakages. But now I have set the standard of honesty I am soldiering on and letting you grimace at process. The dream is now long square tips like KID SISTER. Here’s some short, some medium, mostly kinda square, raggedy cuticles…eugh it’s basically a war zone.

This was achieved with a lurid yellow base, then Barry M ‘Dazzle Dust’ and ‘Fine Glitter Dust’ in blue and pink. Then white zig zags with a gloopy old striping brush, and gold glitter applied to blobs of wet nail varnish and scruffily circled in eyeliner. Apply a coat of Seche Vite, and despair.

4.9/10

They are kind of fun, and the housemates are into them, but the disparity in nail lengths and sloppy execution really holds this one back.

A bad week.

Dark times.

Enough to make you want to go back to writing about Lana Del fucking Rey.


Popstar Nails: The Del Rey Square Tips

THE LOOK

Throughout the Born to Die video Lana Del Rey features a very acrylic-looking square-tip, with a V-shaped red at the top, giving a conventional design a very slightly sinister edge. In luxurious attention to detail, the red tips are separated from the neutrally-coloured nail with a sliver of gold.

THE MEANING

As the video begins in an embrace (the couple’s relaxed, tender, NAKED pose perhaps suggesting post-coitus) you might be forgiven for interpreting Lana Del Rey’s crimson-tipped talons as bloodied claws, dug into the skin of her partner during the freakiest throws of intercourse. This would sit well with the passion/pain duality in the song’s lyrics, which draw more from themes of mental darkness and physical death than one usually sees in popular love songs.

I believe it was the Marquis De Sade who said “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure,” Madonna who said “There’s a certain satisfaction / In a little bit of pain,” and Lady Gaga who put it “And when it comes to love, if it’s not rough it isn’t fun.” So there’s a keen Pop tradition of exploring the sexual pain/pleasure relationship.

But Del Rey is an artist people seem be taking very seriously. In her choice of nail art perhaps she is not investigating the dynamic of pain in sex, but the more fundamental one of life and death. The French have an idiom that describes the orgasm as ‘le petite mort’ – the little death, and it is easy to expand a savage, animal sexual encounter, involving pain and the expenditure of life force, into Death at one end of the equation and, of course, a possible conception of new life at the other. The ‘blood’ on Del Rey’s nails therefore can be seen to encapsulate the paradox of the song’s title Born to Die.

It is not only in life’s creation that we may see a painful element, but in its preservation, also. The 1849 Tennyson poem In Memoriam A.H.H. contains a phrase often cited in reference to the cruelty and violence we can read into the evolutionary preservation of life: “Nature, red in tooth and claw”.

In fact, Del Rey introduces the Evolution Vs Intelligent design debate in the very first verse classically asking: “Is it by mistake or design?”

But the shock of Del Rey’s death at the close of the video over-writes much of this speculation with a new layer. How has she died? Was she really ‘born to die’ as she herself suggests, if so perhaps the earlier blood on her nails is her own, and it foreshadows her death at her own hands. Perhaps she mauls and tears at herself in a fulfilment of her destiny, and a completion of the creative process. Who can say?

THE VERDICT

We may have liked to see Del Rey’s nails in the throne scene a little more extravagant, perhaps even aping the splendour in tigers or the flowers that surround her, and contrariwise maybe a second less high-concept, standard nail bar look for the car scene would befit better befit the wayward but somehow all-American runaway couple.

But maybe this wouldn’t allow for the all the business about exploring sex, violence and the harsh realities of nature, and we all know that is what nail art is really for.

Nice going, Lana.

8/10

See the nails in motion below:


Nail Street Style #3

We met our new fashion-foward friend Jasmine on the Ferry from England to Dublin and instantly fell for her look that expertly treads the line between cute and badass.

You won’t be completely Christmas gobsmacked to find that Jasmine – 18, from London – is a fashion student.

Jasmine’s paw-print nails in classic RuPaul Drag Race colours were clock-able from across the boat! As you can see, they complimented her creature hat, and there’s even some creatures on her ring. We’re particularly keen on the index finger nail.

My friends at a Christmas party last night described Jasmine as a ‘cool lady’. I feel this probably is what has enabled her to carry off Dr Dre headphones without looking like a massive poser.