My failed attempts at nail art
Before nail salons became a thing in Dhaka, aspiring nail artists would try things out on their own by following various DIY blogs and videos from the internet. Here are a few techniques and styles that I have attempted but failed to execute.
All I needed was a bowl of water wide enough to submerge my hands into. To attain the marble pattern, I had to add droplets of various shades of nail polish and swirl the colours around. By dipping my nails into the bowl, the swirls of nail polish would simply stick to my nails and form a twirly, flamboyant texture. The whole thing sounded simple enough, but I somehow ended up with folded sections of nail polish. If anything, my nails looked like broken marble slabs one might find on the walls of a garage. In hindsight, the failed end result looked better as opposed to my successful attempts at marbling.
As a child, I was under the impression that some people are just born with spotless white nails. You can imagine how happy I was when I learned that it was something I could acquire as well. I did not have access to stencils, so I instead opted for freehand drawing using a typical nail polish brush. Initially, I found it very difficult to maintain a steady hand. What made it more frustrating was the fact that the tips of my nails were not evenly spaced or of the same size.
French nail kits usually consist of a pink base, a white coat, and a clear top coat. If I messed up somewhere along the way, I had to redo the entire thing from scratch. However, hours of meticulous craftsmanship all boil down to futility after having one meal with my favourite curry. My spotless white nails end up with a new yellow coat.
Polka dots and stripes
There are very few things that tick me off as much as trying to get evenly spaced, identically-sized dots – that too, with a brush. After I finally accepted that I can use a toothpick instead of a brush to paint the dots, the results came out significantly better.
Painting stripes, on the other hand, has always been a whole other ballgame. They usually end up looking wonky. As for smoothness, I figured out that no matter how uneven the surfaces of my nails are, a top coat of clear nail polish does a good job at hiding it. At the time, I felt like a genius for figuring this out, but turns out it is just common knowledge. Your nails should, however, all have the same number of coats. I speak from experience when I say that uneven surface levels of nails are more visible than you would think.
After years of struggling with nail polish, have I finally become a master at the craft? Maybe not but at least I can now paint within gaps on stencils.
Bushra Zaman likes books, art, and only being contacted by email. Contact her at [email protected]