After a thrilling two weeks of Olympic action, this morning I decided to show my appreciation for Team GB with a spot of Union Flag nail art. How fitting, I mused as I set up my painting station – waving them off with patriotic talons. I took a moment to think about how great they’d look as I held my Union Flag tea towel (Ikea, if you’re wondering) aloft, singing along to Spice Up Your Life at the Closing Ceremony. And this brilliant guide by The Nailasaurus made it seem so easy – I mean, it’s just painting lines, innit? Simple.
My nail art ‘kit’
Now, I’m not particularly skilled in the nail art department. Or any kind of art department, come to think of it. I am constantly amazed by the flashy fingers of Kristabel and Gem – at our last few meet-ups, they’ve both sported amazing displays of colour and pattern, whereas I’ve rocked a classic ‘painted-on-train-during-bumpy-bit’ beige style. But I’m nothing if not enthusiastic, so I jumped straight in and started on step one – the white base coat.
It started going wrong immediately. Why is white nail polish so HARD to apply? But, with an uneven and streaky base in place, it was time to attempt the red cross. Now, I don’t know if regular nail artists are just more highly evolved or if they’ve trained their finger muscles into total submission, but I found it physically impossible to draw a straight line on my own nail. My crosses looked like the work of five year olds let loose on the living room walls. Crooked, wonky, smudged, too thick – awful. I whipped them off (the Bourjois remover is AMAZING, btw). And started again. And again. And again.
On my fourth attempt my full set of Union Jack nails had been reduced to two ‘accent’ nails and my temper was as frayed as my cuticles. I had crosses. Now, I needed thinner, diagonal crosses. Slowly, slowly I inched towards my nail, gently, gently I placed the brush down, carefully, carefully I moved it across… oh, look at that. Ruined. It took all my strength not to lob the brush across the room and scream like a toddler.
After an hour spent hunched over, inhaling polish fumes, I’d had enough. I painted my nails in a simple red, white, blue and gold sequence and called it a day. Team GB, you’ve been awesome, but my Union Flag nails didn’t even make it out of the blocks.
Despite its huge popularity with bloggers, nail art is something I just don’t have the skill or patience for. I love how it looks and will happily sit still while someone else doodles on my fingers, but I’ll hold my hands up and admit – I’m terrible at it. And although I do like how my paired down patriotic nails turned out, I think they’re a bronze at best.
What about you – are you a fan of nail art? Ever created something spectacular on your own fingers? Send me your pics on Twitter!