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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Nails Are For Painting?!

I haven't always been so obsessed with nail polish. Looking at my current collection, it's hard to believe that my nail polish consisted of a shiny clear and a transparent white shimmer. That was it! No colour, no base coat, no top coat and certainly no clean up after. Whatever way it landed on my nail, finger and all, was how it stayed, until it started to chip. Then I'd spend the next few days, picking and peeling it off. Cringe!!! That is now one of my pet hates. Even the tiniest of chips makes me go crazy, and itching to take it off. And certainly no picking of the polish! Tut, tut.

Then I ventured into my colour coordinating phase. I'd experiment with my hair colour and discovered I could get a lipstick to match. Then holy cow, a nail polish to match the mop and pout! The result was a hideous failed vampy goth, with patchy hair and badly applied, peeling polish. Nice! But it was a start into the wonderful world of colour.

My polish collection remained safe for a long time, consisting of a blue, a red and my trusty clear and white shimmer. For me, that's all anyone ever needed. My outlook changed the day I saw my niece playing around with a Rio Nails, nail art set and I was blown away. Was this for real? You can do more than one colour? What's the shiny foil for? And what the hell do you do with the metal plate?

And so it began. The very next day I went out to purchase the set for myself. I'd sit for hours, applying, making a mess, taking it off and trying something else. It had never occurred to me to search on Google for help. At the time nail art was relatively new, so I was kinda on my own.

I started building my collection of coloured nail pen stripers, rhinestones and glitters, and continued to experiment with the limited knowledge I had. I was delighted when the niece that had inspired me to try nail art, asked me to do her nails to match an outfit for a dancing competition. That felt like a huge win to me, but looking back on it, I know I could have done a much better job.

"The bigger the nails, the bigger the canvas." I thought it would be a great idea to try nail extensions, so that I had more nail to decorate. I was told gel nails were the easiest, so I tried that first, but I didn't like the sticky mess and the long application and curing process, so I moved on to pop acrylics. Very fast, very easy, and turned out to be very bad for my nails. I went from strong healthy nails to paper thin, peeling rags. It was end of the line for the nails for a long time, and it took a year for my nails to fully recover.  :-(

Last year, I pulled out my nail stash, and slowly got back into it again. Around the same time, I joined Google+ as a shift away from Facebook. There I discovered a nail community like no other. It wasn't just a place to post for likes, and run. People actually helped you when you had a problem, encouraged you, and supported your enthusiasm. It is probably the reason I have spent way too much money on nail polish, growing my stash from 40 ish bottles to over 240! I discovered new techniques, new styles, new people, more polish, and best of all, Seche Vite! It's only now I see the possibilities are only limited by me.

I gained a bit more confidence after passing a nail art course with distinction, but to be honest, I felt what they were asking for me to do was well below my capabilities. I'm in no hurry to reproduce the designs! :-P That sounds terrible........ But it could be a future challenge for me. Recreate the designs how I would have liked them.... I do love a challenge.

So that is how my nail interest grew. From a one shade wonder of gloriously messy cuticles, to a glittery, textured, shimmering rainbow of delight.