Make-up just got extended to thenails too! Nail art is the latest in thing in the fashion world, and is takingit by storm. 'Nail art' refers to the art of decorating the nails of a personusing the various kinds of materials available in the market for the same. Today,technology has made it possible for one to flaunt the designs of one's choiceon his or her nails. Nails are now not only layers of keratin, but have evolvedinto the ultimate means to express one's creativity. This article studies allabout nail art from the process of its evolution to the various kinds thatare in vogue today.

Previously, a manicure or pedicure,coats of nail polish and/or henna were all one could do with one's nails.However, that is not the case now. In today's times, the art that one canflaunt on one's nails is limited only by one's imagination. In other words,nails have become a vast canvas, on which one can express one's creativity in whateverway appeals, out of the wide range of options available. People are now tryingto match their nails to the colours of the season or the colours of theirdress. Nail art today is all the rage everywhere, and is the must-do for allkinds of places - schools and colleges, offices, weddings, parties, or just forat an outing with friends.

Modern nail art is believed to haveits origin in Japan. Nail artists known all over the world, like ErikoKurosaki, Junco Ogava and Michiko Matshushita, are Japanese. In ancient India, nail art in the form of designs with henna were very popular. Some Indiantribes were also very famous for their unique nail decorations.

Nail art has become very popular theworld over in the last decade or so. Be it on the toes of one's hands or one'sfeet, nail art has emerged as a fashion statement. Simple nail art can be madeat one's home. There are several nail art studios that have come up all overthe world, which one can visit for more elaborate and professional designs.

Commonly, nail art is understood tobe painting the nails. However, in fact, nail art encompasses a wide range ofalternatives, as under:

1)      Paintingon the nails:

Traditionally, painting the nailsreferred to a simple coat of nail polish. However, today, there is a largevariety of designs that can be painted on the nails of a person. These designs canrange from flowery and geometrical ones to highly creative, funky ones.

The process of painting the nails isan elaborate one, and gives the best results when performed by a skilled nailartist. First of all, the nails are cleaned and the dead skin and cuticlesaround the nails are removed. Thereafter, a base coat of paint is applied onthem, usually of white colour, so as to ensure that the design shows up prettily. In some cases, if a natural look is desired, no base coat is applied. A coat ofactivation polish is applied on top of this, which ensures that the designdries quickly. Finally, the required design is painted on the nail. Brightcolours like silver, gold, red, blue, green, and black are preferred over lighter colours.

Digital nail painting is the latestinnovation in the area of nail art. It has made it possible for any kind ofpicture that the client wishes to be reproduced exactly on the nails. Underthis process, the design is scanned into a computer. After the activation coatis applied on the nails, the client is required to put his or her hands intothe machine, the design gets printed on the client's nails in the exact reproduction of the original.

The application of a clear coat ofvarnish over the design ensures that it lasts for a considerable period oftime.


2)       Applying embellishments:

Some people have been known to decorate their nails using different kinds of embellishments. These decorations can be anything from glitter, beads, feathers, stones or flowers, and are glued on the surface of the nail. Precious or semi-precious embellishments can be made use of.

Tiny stickers are also available, which can be creatively utilized to make an attractive design on one's nails.

Nail art can also be a combination of paint and various kinds of decorations. Paint and stickers, paint and glitter, and paint and stones are some of the most popular combinations.

3)       Piercing:

Nail piercing is another form of nail art that is very popular in today's times. It refers to the act of piercing the nail, in a fashion similar to the piercing of any other body part, and wearing a piece of jewellery in it.

Usually, small rings and other miniscule pieces of jewellery are preferred for use in a nail piercing. Wearing ghungroos is a popular fad in India in today's times.

4)       Acrylic nails:

Using acrylic nails is a perfect way of making one's nails appear longer and more beautiful. Artificial nails made of acrylic material are stuck on the natural nails of a person, giving it a longer appearance. These nails can be smoothened and given a brush of polish, which makes it look extremely natural.

Acrylic nails hide the flaws of the natural nails of the wearer. Even if a person has chipped nails, the fact can be hidden by using acrylic nails. Modern acrylic nails are quite safe and convenient for use in day-to-day life.

To nail it down

There is no doubt about the fact that the preference and incidence of nail art is growing by leaps and bounds, in all across the globe. In spite of the rising popularity of nail art as a form of artistic expression, it still remains the women's prerogative. It has not become as popular with men. Nail art has not remained restricted only to hip teenagers and college goers, but is being increasingly preferred by middle-aged women as well. Working women prefer nail art in sober colours and designs.

Before getting nail art done, it is necessary to choose a reputed nail art studio and nail artist to ensure that the process is completely hygienic and safe. It is also necessary to check whether all the paints, embellishments and jewellery used are in compliance with the health and safety standards laid down in the area in which the studio is located. If these few simple precautions are religiously followed, there is no reason why you cannot have your nails looking all glamorous and fashionable, and play safe and healthy too!

So, what are you waiting for? Get some fab nail art done, and then let your nails do all the talking for you!


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