This month’s Bibliotheca’s theme is “Self Care.” You find all the other posts at the end of August on their website, and sign up for their newletter to get all the blog posts delivered to your email.
With lolita fashion’s focus on physical beauty, it’s easy to get caught up in negative spiral. So it’s good to take some time for yourself every so often. One of the things I’ve used most for self care this year and in the past is nail art. The act of sitting down and focusing on a simple, repetitive tasks is very meditative for me. When I’ve been in terrible mental states, nail art centers me. It also makes me feel a little more feminine and put together, even when otherwise I’m spiraling.
If you’d like a little bit more of a challenge, here’s a tutorial for two ways to make your nails berry beautiful.
Strawberry French Manicure
Dotting tool (a bobby pin will work)
- Start by prepping your nails as desired. When I remember, I put on cuticle cream or hand lotion about 10 minutes before I want to pain my nails. I shape and buff my nails. My nails are short, so I’m just going to round off the edges and straighten them up. I also apply a base coat and wait for it to totally dry before moving on.
- We’ll be doing a French manicure. If you’d like, you can paint your nail with a nude or light pink. I’ll be leaving my nails bare.
- Chose a bright red color. Created a “smile” at the tip of your nail for a red French manicure. I start just below the white of my nail near the edge and drag my brush towards the center. I taper the line as I go. If the polish gets on your skin, use a thin brush or Q-tip to clean it up later. Repeat on the other side. Continue doing this one all nails you want a French manicure on. Apply a quick dry top coat (I like Seche Vite) and allow your nails to dry and harden before moving on.
- Chose a white or cream color. Take a small dotting tool and pick up some of the white. I blot my dotting tool once or twice before I begin on my nail. This helps me see the size of the dots before it goes on my nail. I also keep a cotton ball soaked in acetone handy to clean my dotting tool between nails. Try to keep the dots randomly spaced, small, and uniform. You can always add more if your nail seems sparse. Continue on all nails. Allow the polish to slightly dry then top with a quick dry top coat.
- This manicure is pretty mature and understated, so feel free to add charms or decals to spice it up.
- This manicure requires a little more dexterity and looks better with a small nail art brush. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have those tools. I’ll demonstrate with and without a nail art brush.
Strawberry Accent Nails
Nail art brush
- Start by prepping your nails as desired. Apply base coat.
- Chose your red color. Paint your entire nail red. Coat the brush in a generous amount of polish. When you hold the brush pointing down, a thick bed of polish should form at the end it without falling off. Paint a stripe down the center from nail bed to tip, then use two more strokes to paint the sides. Apply two coats this way. Top with a quick dry top coats. Allow the polish to dry completely.
- Chose your white color. Get your dotting tool and load it with white. Blot the dotting tool to ensure your dots are the size you want. Keep a acetone soaked cotton ball nearby to clean the tool between nails. Apply small, randomly space dots for the seeds of your strawberry. Avoid the top ¼ of your nail, where the leaves will go. When you’re satisfied with your seeds, apply quick dry topcoat. Allow the polish to dry completely.
- Chose your green color. Load your nail art brush with green. Begin to draw the leaves of your strawberry. I recommend 2-3 leaves per nail. Apply pressure near your nail bed to make a thicker line, and slowly release pressure as you drag the brush down and towards the sides of your nails. The thinnest point should end approximately ¼ of the way down your nail. Repeat for all your strawberries. If you’re feeling daring, use a thin liner brush to add highlights to your leaves. Apply a quick dry top coat.
Enjoy the process
I know that everyone will complicated designs relaxing, but I encourage you to just putting two coats of paint on your nails and see how you feel. Even if you end up taking the polish off, try to sit for 20 minutes and only focus on the act of putting on polish. When I was first learning to do nail art, performing this physical act over and over was great for promoting mindfulness.
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