The Art of the Digital Nail Community

It all started two years ago as a cost efficient means to an end to get myself to stop biting my nails. I couldn’t justify my frequent trips to a nail salon when I would end up just picking the polish off at the end of the day.  So I went out and picked up 10 or so bottles of nail polish on sale from a beauty supply store and started painting my own nails.

At first, it was a total disaster. It looked as though someone had just dumped the polish across my hand and called it a day. I figured there had to be some tips and tricks out there, and off to google I went. This is when I first realized just how big of a community the nail polish world was, and I couldn’t get enough. I read through as much as I could, absorbing all these tips and tricks and ideas like I was a sponge for all things nail polish and nail art. Pure acetone vs. non acetone? Using a base coat AND a quick dry top coat? Clean up brushes? What? Who knew there could be so much involved in a simple manicure!

It wasn’t just simple manicures though. I started to wander around on nail blogs, discovering the many, many DIY nail art tutorials. The things you can do with nail polish and a bit of scotch tape? Truly amazing. Before I realized it, I’d stopped biting my nails completely, and nail art became something of a creative outlet/way to unwind at the end of the day. I soon found myself completely immersed in this little community.

Dalek nailsOver the next two years, I learned just how endless the possibilities were when it came to my nails. It was no longer a chore to paint them, they were another accessory! I would find myself inspired by everything around me. Nature, art, fashion, movies/tv shows (we’ll not get into the bit where I turned my nails into mini Daleks and galaxies for the Season 7 Doctor Who premiere). The most random household items also proved quite handy in some of the more unique nail art adventures.

saran wrap nails 2Did you know that using crinkled up saran wrap dipped in one color of polish over top another color of polish will create a really interesting marbled look? Neither did I, but it looks awesome!

Getting into nail art was also a bit of a crash course in social media for me. I joined some communities, learned what tags to follow on tumblr to find the newest, neatest nail art ideas and inspirations. Instagram was no longer just somewhere to show off photos of my pets. I learned to find the happy medium of using various nail art hashtags without going overboard. nail art tagsI’ve even started my own blog, and the organizational skills I’ve acquired through working for Metaverse have helped immensely with managing to split time between work and hobby. Even when I don’t intend to, I find myself having at least three future nail art adventures planned out, or at least something to inspire some nail art.

Starry Night nailsNail art is starting to really catch on in a more mainstream way, too. If you go to your local drug store, you will see kits full of loose glitter with inspiration photos. Row after row of nail art pens and new, unique ways to make your polish pop. Even celebrities are getting into it! For example, if you check Zooey Deschanel out on Instagram, you’ll see that she loves nail art. Red carpet events now often come with a ‘Mani Cam’, where celebs can walk their hands down a mini red carpet to show off the work of their manicurist. Gone are the days of simple red nails (although a good red is always nice to have), bring on the glitter, the tiny designs, even the studs and crystals! Danielle signing out. If you need me, I’ll just be over here painting my nails (again).

Danielle Ditto
Assistant Project Manager

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