One of my favorite things about the nail art community on Instagram is just how damn much everybody wants to work together. There are mani swaps, where two people recreate one another’s designs, twin/triplet nails, where people create the same look together, and entire challenges with thousands of followers built around a weekly theme. There’s no inherent benefit to any of it but a bit of exposure and the sense of being involved. And yet loads of people clamor to join. It’s marvelous and heartening. If Congress were purged and repopulated with amateur nailistas, the country would run like a well oiled machine.
Since a handful of my mutual followers showed interest in collaborating (rather, “collabing,” because descriptivism FTW), I put together a one-off prompt of “nail art heroes.” Each of us would recreate a manicure from a person who first inspired us to try nail art. It was a chance to plumb the archives of our IG and YouTube favorites and trot out nail designs that we had perhaps not been skilled enough to try when we first saw them, or had forgotten about over the years.
I chose to recreate a geometric deign by Janelle Estep. Her YouTube tutorials were my gateway into the all-consuming love of nails.
Featuring the scrumptious polish La Paulée by Il Était Un Vernis.
I had fun doing this, but I didn’t expect the collab to become a thing.
A thing! Well, I maybe it hasn’t yet, but it has potential. A couple of people suggested that we do this each month. And I figured, why the heck not? So Nail Art Heroes became #nailartheroes, and a monthly collab was born.
NB: Incidentally, the talented ladies of the Digital Dozen did the same theme this month. This collab is separate, and not at all connected with theirs, but a delightful coincidence still. Great minds, and all that.
Anyway, here’s a collage of our work.
I love how it turned out. If you want to join in next time, follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss the announcement. And be sure to check out the pages of the other participants. They all did fantastic work.