Meet Jess. She’s the Queen Bee Janine’s daughter (… does that make her the Princess Bee?) and a nail art extraordinaire. Her nails may always be black, but Jess turns just about everything else into a colourful artwork using nothing more than a few bottles of nail polish.
I started collecting nail polishes years ago. I think my original idea was to open up an Etsy store selling fake nails with my own cute designs on them but, like most of my fabulously inspired business ideas, I soon got bored.
I ended up with more than 100 nail polishes, no Etsy store, and had moved on to my next brilliant plan (don’t even ask – I think it involved baking hundreds of macarons and trying to sell them to the neighbours).
My nail polish collection followed me around from house to house for a few years – I found it impossible to throw out something so shiny and pretty, even though I was never using them (I always have black fingernails… sorry mum!).
In 2016, I moved into a house with my best friend Elle, a photographer and artist, and my nail polishes finally found their true purpose in life.
Elle can make art out of anything, and nail polish was a perfect alternative to paint – shiny, glittery, shimmery, holographic, glow in the dark, and all the colours of the rainbow. Our home polish collection grew and grew, and we now have a nail polish shelving unit and a giant bucket you could fit a human being in, as well as the everyday enjoyable surprise of coming across a bottle of nail polish where you least expect it (cue statements like, “I was looking for that top coat, how did it get in the cutlery drawer?”).
So, why do we use it? Nail polish is cheap, easy to paint with and you can use it on pretty much anything. It will go through the wash (hello, cute painted t-shirts), it will last on items that are used all the time (if you ever see me in store, take a look at my glasses – yup, nail polish), and it dries quickly. You can even fix mistakes with nail polish remover.
But the thing I love most about it is that it’s a great way to make things YOU. Paint your laptop cover, your glasses case, your favourite tea mug, your water bottle, your phone case, plant pots for your garden – anything you can think of. We haven’t started painting our furniture yet, but I’m sure it will be next when we run out of everything else.
Painting my nails has always been a relaxing self-care exercise for me. When Elle inspired me to branch out and paint other things as well, it became an artistic release and gave me exactly what I think we all need sometimes – a bit of fun, and the feeling of creating something personal and unique.
All that from a tiny bottle of nail polish 🙂