Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Rise Of Nail Art: Article For RetroCULT Magazine

Hi! Today I want to share something a little different with my lovely readers. You'll be well aware that one of my main passions is nail art (duh), but you might not know that I'm also a very keen writer. A few months ago, when I was trawling job sites on the hunt for the 'perfect' role, I came across an ad calling for writers to contribute to an up-and-coming magazine. I jumped on it immediately, and began creating articles to submit to the editor. Fortunately, he liked my ideas and decided to include two of my stories in Issue 1 of RetroCULT magazine.

RetroCULT focuses on popular culture from the '50s until present day. There's something for everyone within its pages, and along with stories about film, literature, fashion and sport, the first issue also includes my article...

The Rise Of Nail Art

The term 'Art' inspires visions of illustrious masterpieces: vast Impressionist canvases, intricate portraits of the bourgeois, colossal marble sculptures, all safeguarded by chrome and velvet barriers within glorious rooms of paneled mahogany, and complemented by golden plaques displaying the exotic monikers of da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. The sheer scale of a piece is an immediate indication of prestige. Recently, however, a new form has begun to subvert the mantra of 'the bigger the better', taking centre stage on the tiny canvases of fingertips: nail art.
Many consider nail art a recent trend. Famous fashionistas are often caught flashing their bejeweled talons, and celebrities regularly complement a quirky dress sense with bold, bright nail choices. The recent media frenzy regarding international fashion weeks has also continued to push nail art into the limelight. Along with the excitement regarding legendary designers, willowy models, and audiences bursting with superstars, the additional styling and accessories, including nail art, is persistently photographed, featured and praised.
Historians assume that nail decoration originated from the ancient worlds of India, Egypt and China. While the formers dyed nails with henna, thus turning them deep shades of red and brown, the Chinese combined a variety of natural ingredients with rose petals, and dipped their finger nails into the formula, turning them pretty shades of pink.
As with many ancient traditions, social rank was regularly reflected in nail embellishments. The classic red manicure dominated the time of Cleopatra, whose crimson nails reflected her position as pharaoh. Unlike the royalty of China's Chou Dynasty, however, who allowed other upper class women to imitate their choice of metallic nails, Ancient Egypt rulings forbade anyone to mimic Cleopatra's rust red manicure. The crime of copying was punishable by death.
Throughout time, advancements in technology have meant that both nail care and nail art improved. Tools were developed to buff, file and shape, and the creation of automobile paint inspired the first modern nail polish. Nowadays, professional nail salons line the high street, and customers are bestowed with impeccable manicures in a matter of minutes.
Each decade has seen the rise of its own signature nails: the post-war generation channeled Hollywood glamour in their glossy red manicures, whilst the '60s and '70s presented a penchant for nudes, pastels and earthy tones. In the 1980s, black talons matched the fashion statements of Goth and Punk, while the ravers' neon manicures coordinated with their miniskirts and legwarmers.
Now, the possibilities of nail art are endless. Striping tape, dotting tools and miniscule paintbrushes are easily accessible to pros and amateurs alike, and ensure precise, neat manicures for a purse-friendly price. Stamping equipment and transfers make for easy, professional-looking decoration, while an abundance of holographic nail polishes, glitters and studs mean your nails will stand out from the crowd. Online, your search engine is sure to find a tutorial for the more complex technique, and provide you with wealth of manicures to inspire.
The ultimate creative outlet, nail art allows your imagination to run wild, hones your skills, and leaves you with fingertips that are sure to impress. What's more, while Michelangelo would never dare lift David, and da Vinci would surely struggle to carry the Mona Lisa around, the form of nail art is effortlessly exhibited.
You can take a proper look at RetroCULT here. My stories are on pages 52 and 64 (the second is 'Student Talk', a tongue-in-cheek article about making friends when you're at university), but be sure to have a gander at the rest of the content, because a lot of fantastic writers are showcased. If you like what you see, be sure to share RetroCULT amongst your friends. It really is a wonderful magazine, and I feel so lucky to be involved!


1 comment

  1. Hello! Your nail art is gorgeous, colorful, I love it!

    Nail Supply


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