Monday, March 11, 2013

Bio-Art: Snakeskin Nails.

***NOTE: Apologies for not doing an entry yesterday. There were two successive power outages that more or less prevented it from getting posted. Tuesday will have a double-header to make up for it. ***

As a person, nail art is one of the few forms of "makeup" I get remotely excited about. Time not withstanding, it's one of the easier types of body decoration out there. I also happen to be a reptile keeper who enjoys the aesthetic qualities and personalities of her serpents. So, naturally, snakeskin as a nail design tool caught my attention.

To clarify, this is not done with the skin of the snake as seen on handbags or shoes. Snakes occasionally shed their entire skins, leaving behind ghostly husks of their former selves that quickly dissolve into nothingness. This habit of appearing dead for a few days and emerging from the shed with a shiny new coat of scales has led the snake to be seen as a symbol of immortality.

The first technique I heard of involved, somehow, heat-cracking the snakeskin. My immediate thought was that this would make fragile, lacy skins shrivel up and burn after just a few minutes. Maybe this was just in order to sanitize the sheds, but it did not make initial sense. It makes more sense after seeing how it was done in this video:

The technique is actually simple, albeit time-consuming: cut some shed skins to the parameters of your nails and stick 'em on, sealing them with either a fancy sealant like Terri has or, for us cheapasses, with clear nail polish. Try it with a colorful undercoat if you're feeling creative; the hint of brown or gold natural in pigmented sheds looks quite cool. (Yes, I just tried some of my own sheds on my nails.)

The bitch of the treatment is the price: 300 USD and over two hours' worth of time. Also, you'd think that this woman could market it better; just call it "dragon nails" instead of snakeskin and a whole new pile of money would appear. Plus, it's Year of the Snake; this woman should be rolling, just for finding a use for a skin that most people would toss into the trash.

P.S.- Yes, there are easier, cheaper ways to get the snakeskin look. I found a few red herrings while looking for that link.

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