Adornment, accessories—just give all of your accoutrements to me. I am so infatuated with putting baubles, tattoos, makeup, neckties, hair accessories, just about anything imaginable on my bod. It's in my blood at this point and feels like a part of my identity.
One of my many peruses through Instagram had me yelling and jumping on furniture like Tom Cruise making a round of Blue Hawaii when I saw IG-famous nail artist Nina Park rocking these GLORIOUS yellow gold shield-like items.
The flyness was too real, and I needed to try them!
These nail shields, or crowns as their creator Alleycat Jewelry owner Carley Stadelmann calls them, were developed to help protect nails from breaking, and they look damned good doing it! Carley was kind enough to send me the Regal collection that I have been peeing my pants over, and I was checking my mailbox with a fury not seen since waiting for my college acceptance letter. These nail crowns are to die and go to heaven for!
Individually, the charms run about $5 to $15, and the sets are also very reasonable. The Regal set I got to try has two regular-sized crowns, one miniature, one extra-long, and two baby accents; she was kind enough to also include two of the pot leaves because how could I not rep those?
Q & A
xoDani: What inspired your designs? Specifically, what made you want to put such gorgeous pieces on nails over, say, rings or earrings?
Carley: I have a strong need to create. I love working with my hands, especially with intricate, detailed materials. The nail jewelry started when a friend of mine had broken her nail. Nobody wants to wear a finger splint or bandaid, and we can’t always make it to our nail tech, so as an experiment, we glued on a metal strip to keep it in place. It held the nail in place and looked way better than a splint. From then on, I was hooked on making that metal strip look amazing.
xoDani: Who are your favorite Instagram nail mavens that we should be following?
Carley: My girl B @classyclaws, Eva @Nailsup, and Nina @ninanailedit. All three of these IGs are absolutely amazing! They are all so talented, and I have great respect for all of them. Technical skill is great, but more than that, I really value and respect someone who is brave enough to be themselves, to be original.
xoDani:What is your favorite way to style the 420 jewels? Is that a product of living in British Columbia?
Carley: Lol. The 420 jewels just happened one night after I brushed the tips of my nails in the "green" and took a picture while wearing one. That was my favourite way to wear them—more of a concept than practical. People started asking me to make more.
xoDani: Who would you love to see rock your designs?
Carley: I would LOVE to have close up photos of my work on Jada Pinkett Smith and Rihanna. I've seen photos of them wearing my jewelry from afar, but would love to see them up close. Those two just happened, but coincidentally, they're two of the people I would name!
xoDani: What is your dream collaboration?
Carley: I would love to collaborate with someone who does concept nails for events. Fashion shows, other special events.
xoDani: Have you ever thought about making regular jewelry in your style?
Carley: Yes! I have joined forces with a friend and am in the process of designing some new pieces. Hoping to launch that soon.
How to Apply Them
To wear these babies, simply set in nail glue, top coat, or UV gel if that’s your bag, and you will get different levels of wear from a few days to a few weeks!
Though I liked the crowns as extensions for two broken nails, I much prefer the extra-long and mini crowns on my non-dominant and most decorated hand, leaving off with my old friend the seven-point hemp leaf on my "eff you" finger.
The extra-long crown is about ¼-inch longer than my longest nail, and truly has been acting as a shield; the nail feels stronger, secure, and less fragile from day to day clumsiness. They are gold-plated, reusable, and easy to clean and apply.
I think I will be wearing these beautiful babies for some time to come. They add an even more audacious and bright metallic flare to my swag, taking it to the next level.
The added bonus of reinforcement for your nails is something I appreciate greatly. I usually have super-long natural nails these days, and many of you can relate, when one (or THREE) breaks it’s hard to wait it out until they are even again. With nail crowns, you can outright mask it with an extra-long one or use an inverted medium crown to extend the length. Genius!
- What nail stars do you follow on Insta?
- This might be an excellent time to share your Instagram handle—no reason why we shouldn’t all be following each other on there, too! Mine is @danizig