Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life’s Significant Events
When Your Nails Need To Look Their Best

Occasional Beauty
Certain events in life demand greatness. Great hair, great makeup, great clothes, great nails and greatness. I’ve listed below some significant occasions, manicure ideas and lighthearted advice that may be useful. Remember, the best you can be, is be yourself.

1 The School Formal
Do have a ball. Surpass Cinderella’s glamour with a full set of acrylic nails in glitter or pearl. Remember your camera – a good snapshot stops the moment running away.
Don’t worry if your evening’s not so amourous. Those horny young toads you like now will likely end up marrying Cinderella’s three ugly sisters, leaving you the time and space to discover your real Prince Charming!

2 The 21st Birthday
Do be the centre of attention and furnish your fingers with some creatively personalized, one-of-a-kind nail art.
Don’t exceed your blood alcohol awkwardness level. Going beyond this point means remembering your 21st through humiliating photos posted (and tagged) by your so called friends on their Facebook timelines. Don’t be surprised if your family present a slideshow of your life complete with obligatory naked baby pictures. Avoid the disappointment of unrealistic gift expectations – a Ferrari from your Dad probably won’t happen.

3 The First Date
Do be yourself (I keep saying that). Wear your favourite manicure - the one that makes you feel the most comfortable.
Don’t worry about not knowing what to say. Unless he's the strong silent type, guys usually like to talk about themselves. Be a good listener without letting let him hog the conversation or tranquilize you to sleep with boredom. Reconsider a second date if he uses this line: “Wow, your legs must be really tired because you’ve been running through my mind all night”.

4 The Parents
Do some research. Ask your boyfriend if his parents are friendly, warm and relaxed or suspicious, cold and inflexible (or all of the above). Depending on how much you care about what they think, just wear the manicure you like the best.
Don’t mention: how sexually attracted you are to their son, the warrant out for your arrest, your favourite drugs, why you love gambling or your keen interest in witchcraft.

5 The Interview
Do dress to impress. Like it or not, most people judge by first impressions. Even if you're applying for a job that gets your hands dirty, get them manicured! Without really knowing your potential boss, it makes sense to err on the safe side with something like a clear, or nude polish.
Don’t forget to cut the tags off your new outfit before being interviewed. Resist sharing that this isn’t your ideal job but you’d take it if offered. Avoid answering your mobile phone during the interview, especially the call that “could be the offer I’ve been waiting for”. Check here for some more useful interview advice.

6 The Girls’ Night Out
Do get a strobe light friendly fluorescent manicure. Hook up with some friends and briefly forget your: aftershock-frayed-nerves, tragic workload, shrinking purse, strained relationships, stacking bills, feigned confidence, meddling mother in law, demanding kids, future fears, nagging regrets, stubborn pride, compliant neediness, inflated ego, crappy self image, hated enemies, broken dreams, enviable neighbours and darkest secrets. Did I miss anything?
Don’t be female versions of your male counterparts in The Hangover movies.

7 The Wedding
Do relish the fact that someone is promising to spend the rest of their life with you! It’s your wedding, your dress and your theme, so I won’t presume to choose your manicure. But FYI, a classic wedding manicure (with or without gel or acrylic nails) might involve any of the following styles: French (easily the most popular), Nude (Neutral), Clear, Light Pink, Pearl or Red.
Don’t panic. Prevent hyperventilation by slowly breathing into a paper bag. Distract yourself by focusing on a physical object in the room. Act natural. Open your eyes. Stop using the bag. Smile. Say “I do”.

8 The Business Meeting
Do be professional. Go with a sheer, natural pink or French manicure. Clear polish may be your best choice for business, as it’s easy to maintain and you avoid the hassle of damaging your polish just before a key meeting.
Don’t be late. Don’t remain seated when your client arrives. Don’t leave your mobile switched on or leave it on the table in front of you. Don’t forget your client’s name. Don’t forget your business cards. Don’t lose your temper, thump the table, stamp your feet or writhe around uncontrollably on the floor. Don’t share your realistic but disturbing animal impressions.

9 The Funeral
Do show respect. Wear a suitably low-key, neutral, clear or possibly dark nail polish or none at all. A funeral isn’t an occasion to wear colourful clothes or accessories.
Don’t try to outdo the family’s grief. Don’t tell everyone how much your flower arrangement cost. Don’t make statements like, “something seems fishy to me” or, “I hope they did an autopsy”. Don’t remove anything from the coffin as a memento.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Famous Artists inspire Nail Art Masterpieces

You don’t have to visit your nearest art museum for a little culture.
These nail art masterpieces are as close as your fingertips!

Sixteenth-century Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder mastered the art of the still life. Gorgeous floral bouquets contrast brightly against a dark background and high-contrast lighting. To recreate the look, layer a black or dark-coloured base on your nails, then paint on clusters of bright pink, blue, and green. Alternatively, you can also press gorgeous nail decals onto the nail as in the image above.

Perhaps the most popular Impressionist painter, Claude Monet is known for his paintings with hazy atmospheres and romantic colour palettes. His abstract and hurried brushstrokes give the viewer an impression of the scene rather than a realistic portrayal. Here, Robin Moses hand paints a Claude Monet manicure, inspired by one his most beloved works, Woman With a Parasol.

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian was an important figure in the De Stijl and Neoplastic movements of art, which sought to reduce artistic form to its essential vertical and horizontal planes. You can instantly recognize his work from the strict geometric grid and use of saturated primary colours. Create your own grid with black polish and a thin art-store paintbrush.

Mark Rothko was a 20th-century Expressionist painter who was most famous for his massive colour fields, which overlap and fade into one another without rigid borders. Nail visionaries CND tried a similar aesthetic with a navy airbrushed look at fashion designer Jen Kao’s 2012 Spring/Summer runway collection.

Another 20th-century Expressionist, Jackson Pollock pioneered the “drip” technique of painting that his work is so well known for. He was the complete opposite of the archetypal artist, preferring the floor as his easel and house paints as his medium. To create a similar splatter effect on your nails, first apply a pale, opaque base coat. Choose brightly coloured nail polishes with a runny consistency (the newer the polish, the runnier the texture) and drip the paint on your nails with the brush. The result may look messy, but you can clean up the edges after the drips dry and you’ve sealed your design with a topcoat.

Roy Lichtenstein, a mid-century Pop Artist, took inspiration from the industrial imagery of the 1950s. Like Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein used familiar commercial items (most notably comic strips), and turned them into an art form. His use of saturated primary colours and dramatic sound-effects words like Boom! Pow! and Thap! cultivated a signature retro-American style. Paint your nails in shades of neon, add striped or dotted patterns, and draw or write your favorite comic-strip characters and phrases.

Art / Nail Art image credits (top to bottom):
Jan Brueghel The Elder:
Claude Monet: Robin Moses
Piet Mondrian:
Mark Rothko: Wanda Ruiz and team
Jackson Pollock: Jessicas Nail Art
Roy Lichtenstein: Supa Nails

Original article published at