The Hand Book: A Guide to Nail Art

· Thursday November 8, 2012

My first brush with nail art was c. 1996 at my aunt's hair salon. Around this time, her friend Tracy set up a table at the front of the salon and started doing people's nails. Now, Tracy was a legit nail technician. I'm talking airbrushed Caribbean sunset talons and constant clouds of toxic acrylic dust. I was pretty nuts for it though. One clientless afternoon, Tracy humoured me by painting two tiny dot flowers on my thumbnail. Whoaaaaaa, tiny flowers! It blew my little brain! I tried recreating the art for countless weeks later but I was betrayed by my chubby baby hands and relative ineptitude. Nail art was dead to me.

I was reintroduced to nail art six months ago when I got a manicure from the doyenne of Melburninan nuevo nails, Chelsea Bagan of Trophy Wife. Chelsea has paired up with Anna Ross of Kester Black to release The Hand Book: A Guide to Nail Art. Perfect for those who like a bit flavour on their fingers but more dash than cash, the book is a how-to guide on 15 of the ladies' favourite manicures. The step-by-step tutorials include slime hands, geometric tape shapes, and wee watermelons. The instructions are easy to follow and not super didactic, so it's simple to riff and adapt the manicures depending on your taste or lack of equipment slash skills. I just wish I could post a copy to my embittered eight-year-old self.