/ nerdy

40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Geek

Well I suppose these are called “challenges” for a reason. I had an idea I thought was great for these, but the execution killed me! They turned out alright, but oy, they were a headache.

So a while back I planned to redesign the look of my blog with a kind of “retro science” theme (Jeanettically, get it?) and I asked my chemist sister to make me some images of the main chemical building blocks of nail polish. That redesign never came to be, but I’m now somewhat familiar with the chemical structure of acetone, nitrocellulose, ethyl acetate, and dibutyl phthalate!

So these were round one. Actually, round two, I first tried with a regular tipped sharpie, but it was kind of old and the lines were too thick and sloppy, so I had to go out and buy some fine tipped sharpies. Which, given that until Sunday I was carless, took me a while. Seriously, I’ve been attempting this manicure for weeks now. Anyway, I acquired the fine tipped ones and tried again. Took this shot before putting on topcoat, which was a good thing, because my seche vite is thick and gloppy and streaked the HECK out of it. My index finger is dibutyl phthalate, which is a plasticizer in polish. It’s banned in the EU, but it’s a cute molecule and fun to draw, so I kept it. My middle and ring fingers are both parts of the nitrocellulose molecule, also pretty standard in making nail polish. That’s a fun molecule, the cellulose part means it can pretty much create chains with itself forever (assuming I understood my sister’s explanation correctly). My pinkie contains a mix of ethyl acetate which the nitrocellulose is often dissolved in, and acetone, which of course I’m sure everyone is familiar with.


So I tried again, using my HK Girl topcoat. Better, but that dibutyl phthalate smeared still. The middle nails don’t have topcoat yet. And again, I’m glad I took a picture, because…


Once again, the application of topcoat smeared the sharpie. I gave it quite a while to dry! But at this point, as my fourth try (I re did each nail at least once while trying to get this final shot) I was finished. I also attempted homemade decals, so I suppose I can count this as my fifth try? The decals worked well, but the ink expanded and blurred before I could even attempt to topcoat it.


I don’t think I’ll be using a sharpie for nail art again. He’s a picture of the view of Capitol Lake in Olympia, WA from my apartment to distract you from this trainwreck of a manicure. Oh well, next time will be better! I’m still happy with the idea!


Enjoy the other ladies’ geek manicures! There are certainly some creative ones!

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