Nail art requires artistic expression, not perfection


Submitted by Kate Hanf

POLISHED. Nail art can be very individualized to create any kind of design or color that fits each person. “There’s more room to be creative like that when you do your own nails. I do like little designs where I would use the back of a toothpick to create little flowers or grass,” sophomore Kate Hanf said.

Cutting, filing, painting and coating. Nails extend further than the elegant sense of style they create, as innovative nail designs have also become a way for people to express themselves through another form of art and fashion.

A huge fan of neutral color tones and pink nail paintings, one of freshman Angel Sia’s favorite designs was created with rhinestones. “I did it in pastel pink and then I would put cute rhinestones around it. I tried to arrange them into a heart,” Sia said.

Through the process of learning nail art, Sia shared her funny stories outside of the nail salon and the experience of doing her own nails. “I got my toes done for a dance in middle school. We drove for like 15 minutes, and after I got out of the car, I realized they were smudged,” Sia laughingly described one of her beginning encounters with nail designs.

Doing one’s own nails can be difficult at first, but the final result is never disappointing. “I mess up a lot. Sometimes, I’ll ask my mom to do it, but other than that, I just mainly do it by myself.” Sia takes pride in her work whenever she accomplishes a set of nail designs with her non-dominant left hand.

Rita Li

Sophomore Kate Hanf on the other hand, first started experimenting with nail polishing at the age of five. “Once I started making my own money, I started going every month to get my nails done at Grandeur Nail and it was just kind of a nice reset. But before that I used to do my own nails just as a fun thing,” Hanf said. Occasionally, Hanf would design her nails in preparation for a dance or a passing time activity with friends during hangouts.

Similar to wearing make-up, doing her nails makes Hanf feel more confident and more presentable to others. “I love bright colors. Sometimes I like trying out French nails or just trendy designs and stuff. There’s more room to be creative like that when you do your own nails. I do like little designs where I would use the back of a toothpick to create little flowers or grass,” Hanf shared.

The artistic work of nails doesn’t necessarily have to be something that requires perfection, and can be solely for self-interest and entertainment. Sia said, “I feel like there are a lot of cool things you can do if you do [nails] more often and are focused on it. But mainly I think it is just so fun.”

Both Sia and Hanf have tried out regular polish with patterns and acrylics. Despite having the option for extensive designs at nail salons, being able to venture into the fun of nail polishing in one’s own time is also entertaining.