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Nail Therapy

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Before the pandemic, I would get my nails done every once in a while — I wasn't one of those people that had to have nicely manicured hands all the time. I mean I would get them done, just not consistently.

During quarantine, like all of us, I was in the house a lot. I started thinking about a self-care activity I could dive into. I noticed that one of my high school friends converted her Instagram to a business nail page — I instantly fell in love! I've always been a classic nail person – either red, nude, or french tip. But I suddenly felt inspired by the bright colors, bold patterns, and textures featured on the page.

When things started to reopen, I made a decision that getting my nails done and trying new looks would be a new form of self-care and expression. At first, I was overwhelmed with the number of nail trends that are currently out. I decided to breathe (LOL) and made the decision that I would try a new look each visit. Here are the different types of designs I’ve tested out so far:

  • Nail Art/Design: I love a good design! I usually make 3-4 of my nails a solid color and let 1-2 stand out with an eye-catching design. It can be dots, swirls, prints – you name it!

  • Ombre: This style lets you have an endless sunset right at your fingertips. The base of your nail starts off as one color and slowly transitions into a different complementary shade.

  • Matte: There’s a lot of color popping going on these days, but don’t sleep on a good matte design. The muted colors are their own unique look and make me feel more sophisticated.

  • Abstract: When I choose to go abstract, my nails look like they walked straight out of an art class and I love it! No nail is the same, but they all follow a certain theme that ties it all together.

  • French tip: I know I said I’m trying to switch things up, but french tips are just such a solid design! I’m doing things a little differently now by allowing the nail polish colors to be different. So instead of white tips, I’ll opt for pink instead. This looks especially nice when I do a different nail shape than a traditional square nail.

  • Stripes/Polka Dots: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I wanted to mention it anyway. You can’t go wrong with this basic design!

  • Stamping: Take nail art to the next level and get stamping done. Your nails will all have a uniform pattern. For example, you can have your nails all in a flower stamp.

  • Marble: This design will have your nails looking like a pristine marble countertop. You don’t have to stick to traditional colors to do this either.

  • Splatter: Imagine throwing different paint colors at a wall and letting it splatter everywhere – that's what this design is. If you’re looking for a party on your nails this is the one for you.

When coming up with your design, you’ll probably also want to play around with your nail shape — especially if you’re getting acrylics. The best part about acrylics is that they give you the freedom to try something new. You don’t even have to mess around with your own nail shape to do it! Currently, these nail shapes are in my rotation: almond, stiletto, and rounded. It’s almost like I get to be a whole new person whenever I switch it up.

We’ve all been a little stir crazy during the pandemic, so I’m grateful that I’m able to turn to nail care as a form of therapy. A lot of our normal routines have fallen to the wayside this year, but making nail care my hobby has given me something to look forward to. It's been months and this has been one of my greatest forms of relaxation and self-expression. I look at nail designs so often that my Instagram explore page features all designs :-)

What are your favorite ways of self-expression? Maybe your thing is retail therapy. Whatever it is, let me know in the comments!

Interested in seeing more of my nail designs? Follow me on Instagram at @lovelife_jay and check out my “Nail Art” highlight section for more designs.

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