What Is the Point of Nail Art?

Illustration for article titled What Is the Point of Nail Art?

Apparently nail art is "the new lipstick," enjoying soaring popularity, both on the runway and IRL, due to nail-art-happy celebrities and the proliferation of Internet "nail porn," where devotees swap DIY tips and post aspirational photos on blogs like "Fuck Yeah Nail Art." At least, that's what CNN says. The article is well-timed; I've definitely noticed that more and more of my favorite blogs are covering the practice. But I have to confess: I do not get the whole nail art thing at all.


Sure, nail art is cool to look at, but I just can't fathom why anyone would want to spend 30+ bucks a pop sitting still while a stranger draws complicated designs on their nailbeds — especially given that, even if you're not as much of a klutz as I am, there's no way the diminutive art will last more than a week or so.

I tried to keep an open mind as I read the CNN story, which declares that "nail art has emerged as a democratic form of self-expression in which anyone can participate." Is a temporary service which, according to this article (and most of the nail salons I've been to) only starts at $30 really "relatively cheap?" And are there real women out there who delve into the wide world of nail art techniques — CNN describes "intricate floral patterns, glittery mosaics, 3-D motifs emblazoned with lace, gems, charms, foils and even magnets" — without fucking their digits up eventually? I love getting basic manicures, but I always manage to chip my nails right away, sometimes literally before I walk out of the salon. I can't imagine putting time and energy into, say, a "glittery mosaic" and ruining it a few days later! Sure, you can teach yourself to be a nail art whiz, which would cut costs but take even more time, but then wouldn't it be even more frustrating to mess it all up?

Maybe it's just me: I'm a writer, so I spend most of my day typing, and I'm a fast-paced person, so I'm often accidentally bumping into things. I'm also not very artistically inclined. If I manage to draw something that doesn't look ridiculous, I want that shit saved on my fridge for life, not flaking away as soon as I take a shower.

I don't mean to demean all you nail-art aficionados out there; there are definitely activities I spend my time and money on that other people would consider equally mindboggling. But I'm interested to know if there are others out there that share my bewilderment, or if I should just let it go and practice stenciling mini-hearts.

On main street and the runway, nail art is the new lipstick [CNN]

Image via Refinery29



I would love to get into the nail art thing. Although, I don't have the skills to paint my own nails (I don't know why, I have excellent brush control on canvas). And I haven't started with fake nails because I'm scared about gluing something to my nails.

Can anyone give me any advice to get started with acrylics?