Remember when nail polish was basically just, you know, putting some polish on your nails and then maybe a clear coat on top of that? Things are a little different today thanks to the ever-evolving and hugely popular world of nail art. Going from niche to mainstream in America in only the past few years, what used to be a fairly simple process has now gotten exceedingly complex and more and more people seek new ways to express their personalities via decorative fingernails.
Nail art comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s about expressing a personal interest. Other times it’s about being festive for the holidays. Occasionally it’s just about showing off a pretty incredible technique.
Speaking of techniques, many of the methods used to achieve specific looks are very similar to the kinds of tricks used by artists or even pastry decorators. For instance, the toothpick used in this video from nail art YouTube guru Cutepolish is straight out of the cookie icing playbook.
It makes sense; like paint or thin icing, nail polish is a viscous liquid allowing it to be carefully manipulated while still flowing freely during the application process. We won’t dive into a science lesson, but believe it or not, the techniques that enable people to make their fingernails a swirl of neon colors, or even change colors like a mood ring are all deeply rooted in the principles of physics and chemistry.
And they say you’ll never use that stuff outside of school!