Nails have evolved over the years and although there are still only a few nail polishes that exist, we now find ourselves with an endless range of colors, textures, and patterns that make it very easy to achieve just about any look we want. We’ve seen a rise in nail art from tattoos to paintings to even fingers and toes now.
But where did nail art come from and how did it become popular? What are the roots of nail art and where did it begin?
Nail painting is a form of art that started to appear on some fashionable female bodies in the late 1700s. It’s thought that the earliest paintings were done using early nail coloring materials but by the 1800s the use of black and white permanent nail coloring was common. The name of the painting itself is believed to be derived from French Nail étiquette which translates to “nail etiquette”.
Nail painting was done to improve one’s nails by improving the condition of the nails. The more beautiful or attractive the nails, the more attention the person was getting. This seemed to work particularly well for women and eventually, women began painting their nails as a fashion statement. Many famous artists created nail art to be sold in the form of paintings and others would paint them onto their nails.
Nail art soon became more popular and more people got into it. Some of the more successful artists were able to create their own exhibition venues, drawing crowds to galleries across the country. Soon famous art stars began to exhibit their work and nail art exhibitions became popular. In time, nail art became very much a fashion statement.
As more nail art became popular, more artists decided to do nail art on their nails. As the techniques evolved, they combined to create many new designs. To this day there are thousands of new designs, colors, and techniques available today. Of course, it’s easy to get confused with so many different designs and tones available, which makes it difficult to choose one.
The first nails painted were pretty basic but as technology advanced they became more detailed. Before long nails were being painted on the outside of the nail to give a more natural appearance. To help with this, nails could also be painted on the inside which was called “chisel work”. Today these techniques are considered to be a form of nail art and not nail polishing.
More nail polishing techniques have been developed and nowadays they are very detailed and realistic looking. A lot of these techniques require professional assistance such as all the flat nails being filed to remove sharp edges. Nail painting techniques now include adding glitter, layering of color, pinning, stenciling and painting the nail in layers of colors, and even spray painting or stamping.
Many celebrities have also taken up nail art and the trend has even spread to the men’s fashion industry. There are some nail polishes and nail paints out there that contain precious and semi-precious stones. Most of the male celebrities have come out with nail paints that make great gifts for your man.
One of the most popular nail paintings for men is their nail beds which can easily be painted onto to imitate stones, marble, or even wood grain. Others have painted their nails as a form of fashion. For example, Kanye West (not the rapper) spent months on a single nail. A lot of celebrities don’t do a lot of nail art, but they might do a little and this can be a great thing as well.
You might find it interesting to know that there are different kinds of nail finishes to suit different situations. On your nails, nail polish lasts for a number of weeks and lasts for many months with an oil-based base coat. You might find this very useful if you’re going to be out for an extended period of time, though if you’re going to be out for a night or two then you may want to opt for a top coat finish.