Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time Out Thursday - Nail Art

Our Pink Heart Society columnist Jenna Bayley-Burke dreams about taking a time-out. On the beach with a pina colada. Until she actually runs away from home, she's always on the lookout for ways to take a little time to herself, even if it's only by doing her nails.

Sure, writers can touch type and bang out an entire scene without looking. Unfortunately, we'll also spend hours staring at a blinking cursor or watching our hands resting on the keys. And since the story is stalled we'll be looking for any excuse to get up and do something else.

Nice nails are a preventative measure for me. I distract easily as it is, I can't resist nails that need filing or polish that's chipped. I mean, I must take care of it and I know how. So off I go, expecting the magic story faeries to finish my work for me.

Just since I sat down to write this blog post, I noticed my bare nails and had to do something about it. Incoco Autumn Night to the rescue! Fall has begun, after all. 

Nail art started in ancient Babylonia when men - yes, men! - would color their nails with Kohl. The colors they used were an indication of social status, a tradition which continued in ancient Egypt when women would use the juice from the henna plant. Nefertiti apparently preferred red, while Cleopatra preferred rusty shades with an undertone of gold. The everyday woman on the street, however, wasn't allowed to copy their queen.  

The Chinese made the first nail lacquers and varnishes during the Ming dynasty, mixing a combination of bees wax, gelatin, egg whites, gum arabic and vegetable dyes. Nowadays we have acrylics, gels, microbeads, holographic particles and recently some very clever guys came up with a color changing polish which will tell women if they've consumed a date rape drug.  

I love painting my nails, yet I'm not so much for sitting still while they dry. Most of the time, I opt for nail strips - dry polish that goes on like a sticker, lasts for weeks, and is chip-resistant. I've been using them for years, so I can do a French manicure in five minutes. I can't even get a base coat to dry in that time!

I do so love fancy nail designs. Polka dots and stripes, hearts and flowers. Having polished nails helps me feel...polished. And then when I get stumped by my latest story, I'll have to find a better distraction than doing my nails.

Are you a nail polish addict? Do you have a steady hand or is a weekly manicure one of the little luxury's you allow yourself at the end of a tough week? Is painting your nails on your procrastination list? Let us know in the comments.

Jenna Bayley-Burke is known for her fun, sexy romance novels, baking banana bread and over-volunteering. She thinks she has the best jobs in the world—mother, wife and author. When she’s not lost in her latest story, she can be found pursuing whatever hobby her characters are enamored with—photography, Zumba, shoes, gardening, crafts and cooking up a storm. 

Look out for Jenna's book, Just One Spark, which will be released on Kindle next month and is available to pre-order on Amazon, right now!

For more info on Jenna and her books you can visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Where do you find the nail polish strips? That might work for me. I just don't take the time to take care of my nails. And I've usually smudged at least one nail by the time I get my seat belt on.
    Have you seen Opal Carew's nail art? She collects nail polish from around the world. Sarah Raplee and I were gifted with snowmen bottles of polish she picked up from a trip to England. Very cute!

  2. Yes, strips which don't chip would appeal to me! I still remember that first year travelling to RWA where you were my roomie. I got a french manicure done the day before I left and the next morning managed to chip it lifting my suitcase into the car. Was. Not. Happy.

  3. I sure can't put polish on my own nails. And really, I never get a professional polish unless I am going to a romance writers conference! Then I go for a shellac, which lasts for a while - at least 5 days for my agitated fingernails, but the toes last too damned long. Just today I've been cursing the remnants of my blue toenails from RWA in July and peeled the shellac off. Oh dear - disaster zone.

  4. wow.. its very much attractive nail art.. this blue color looking very much royal and shiny man..thanks for sharing it.. have a good day =)