Frequently asked questions

Like anyone else with pearls and peacock feathers on their nails, I attract a lot of questions. Some straight-out just ask the simple,  “…why??”, whilst others opt for a more careful inquisition. They’re definitely a talking point, especially within my professional circles, where I’m sure people don’t tend to see such things as often. I basically get asked the same three questions all the time:

1. Does it take a long time?

This also comes in the form of assuming it does and asking, “how can you be bothered?

I normally answer the former with ‘not especially’, but then add that it’s the thing I do whilst or instead of watching inane television programmes (I don’t actually have a TV, I rely on Netflix and catch-up) OR y’know… this is my hobby so… it may take longer than, say, not doing my nails, but equally I enjoy doing it. I also hasten to add that I only do my nails once a fortnight or so, maybe more, just depends.

When I’m doing an in-fill of the gel (see below) it takes about an hour or so, and then the nail art bit depends. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, sometimes (technically) two days if I want to leave various bits to dry completely.

A worthwhile investment I feel. I guess it’s how I express myself artistically.

2. Are your nails real?

Also encountered in the “yeah but… your nails aren’t real, are they?”

Now the way I go about answering this is starting with ‘mostly’ and filling in more information if the inquirer seems genuinely interested in what that means…

Essentially I overlay gel on top of my natural nails, which started off short, but because it’s a hardcore builder gel that I use, it’s reinforced them to the point that they’ve now grown out. I used to just keep them short, but longer nails mean more nail. Which means more space on which to do your art. Which in turn makes doing said art that little bit easier…

Unfortunately you do get breakages now and then, and given that I’m a fan of consistency I tend to extend the short nails by using the same builder gel and nail forms to sculpt a longer nail. I’ll probably write a blog about how I go about this and the products I use.

Here’s a picture, hopefully you’ll see what effect this gives – good enough that people aren’t sure whether the’re real, but only because they’re quite long, and seem rock hard:

Gel Nails

Gel Nails

In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at, the middle two fingernails are extended, the thumb, index and pinky fingers are real.

So I like to think that yes, some of my nails are real… others are extended. And all hail to gel for allowing such awesomeness.

3. How did you do that?!

I like to use a mixture of approaches, be it free-hand painting, glitter, using nail tape, selotape, wraps, stamps, decals, bits of lace, rhinestones, fimo shapes, crafty bits, and basically anything else I can put on my nails.

Sometimes though I’m guessing the lines of where I’ve ‘cheated’ or not can be blurred, or perhaps my freehand work is so amazing I just invite this question.

Where freehand is concerned the answer is simple ‘patience and practice’.

This is in fact the question that motivated me, having seen images and videos online of amazing nail art, to explore the wonderful world of nail art, and dabble in it myself.

I have a rather large beauty chest, dedicated entirely to nail bits and bobs, perhaps one day I’ll also show what I’ve got.