Thursday, 22 September 2016

How I did my nails in high school

I saw this “How I did my make up in school” challenge that’s been making the rounds on youtube and really wanted to do a similar thing for nails, though I’m going to stretch the time-frame a bit. I even tried to do it using the same tools and methods I used back in the day (late 90s-early 00s) and it proved to be so much fun. I can tell it’s going to be a chattier entry than usual so I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with me.

First of all I was a really late bloomer with regards to make up and polish. In fact I used to hate both and if you knew me then, you wouldn't believe my love for them now. Though I always had long nails, usually square or squoval as that was the fashion back then, I never wore any polish and avoided beauty shops like the plague. Pearly polishes, pinks and corals were just not my thing and vampy colours were too scary for young me. 

That all changed in my last year of high school when iridescent polish became very popular. Anything iridescent catches my eye and the allure of iridescent nails was too strong. I went to a beauty store to find iridescent polish and *boom* that was it. I fell in love with all the new unusual colours that were out back then and while I started with what we’d now call an iridescent top coat I soon moved on to the sparkly dark blues, the purples, the blacks and glitters. I think I ended up having more than 25 polishes at a time when it was unusual to have more than 5. It was true love and I wish I hadn’t thrown away those bottles years ago. I’m going to talk about each style individually, though the order is not chronological. I think Hole's Violet is an appropriate song to listen to whilst reading since I loved it in HS, it's sufficiently angsty and both Courtney Love and Melissa Auf Der Maur are two of the many uber cool, wonderful and complicated artists of that time.

Thumb: The Distressed nail (A-England Camelot & OPI Kyoto Pearl)
I really didn't like pearly polish, but my godmother had bought me two. I had to find a way to use them and the distressed nail was born. I wiped off as much polish as I could and then brushed it over. I haven’t done this in years and with the wide OPI brush I couldn’t do the half-butterfly shapes I could with the much thinner brush. Plus, the OPI polish is too smooth, the ones I had had a more obvious pearl in. Yes, I am complaining that a polish is too smooth.

Index Finger: Kitty Cats (an ancient Revlon & A-England Camelot)
I love cats, so putting kitty paws and cat shapes on my nails was a very logical step. I used to do a cat on one nail and kitty paw trails on the others. It was done with toothpicks or old pens, I didn't even know things like dotting tools existed as there were no tutorials back in the Pleistocene. The base colour is similar to one of my favourite nail colours ever, Bourjois Bleu/Or, a colour I talked about on my very first post on this blog. This Revlon is a similar colour, but has none of the iridescence & none of the magic unfortunately. 

Middle Finger: Scotch Tape (OPI Moon Over Mumbai & a disappointing Shu Uemura one)
Scotch tape was my favourite thing to use. I did all sorts of shapes with it. The base colour has the blue iridescence that I liked. The dark purple has a little bit of glitter in, but the ones I had and loved had loads more. They were like Essie’s vintage Starry Starry Night in different dark colours and I loved them so! I also had a glitter polish with star shaped particles and would place a couple here and there. I have nothing like that now, so I drew a star instead.

Ring Finger: Using glitter gel pens (Korres Spring Lilac)
This was a bit after high school, but I could not exclude it. My flatmate from uni that knew my love for stationary gave me a set of glitter gel pens as a birthday present and we soon discovered that you could use them to draw on your nails and the ink kept its shape, it didn't pool in seconds and it didn't spread when you put a top coat on it. We went squiggle crazy for the rest of the year. It was our ‘thing’ and it was fun! I couldn’t find any pens now that I could do that with so I used a cd-marker and nail polish.

Pinky: Pure Black (A-England Camelot)
I was intimidated by plain black for the longest of times. I would wear sparkly black, and dark purple, but not black. And then I randomly bought a black polish, wore it and could not look away. There was nothing to disguise the absoluteness of this colour. It even looked cool when it chipped. I wore black non-stop for years after that and it coincided with the time I stopped doing nail art up till the time I discovered nail stamps many years later, but that’s a different story.

I wore this ring all the time during the last year of HS
Remembering and reminiscing about all this was fun, I don't get nostalgic very often. However, I can't believe I haven't used some of these techniques in so many years. I need to incorporate bits of all of them to my current routine!


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