If someone asked you what you could usually be found doing on a random day at home, what would you say? Binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix? Cooking and doing chores? (I’m sure some people do that.) Spending time with your family? If so, I’m happy for you--those all sound great.
If you came over to my house on any random day of the week, you would most likely find me in the middle of an epic battle against an army of ladybugs.
This usually happens every spring at my house, but for some reason, this year, it’s been going on all winter. As soon as the sun comes up, they swarm around the windows of my bedroom and the kitchen below it. Apparently, the man who lived here before us cultivated a ladybug farm of some sort, and for that I hate him with a burning passion.
A lot of you may be wondering, But why? Ladybugs are so cute! OK, no. Just stop. Ladybugs are the devil. Yes, they have a cute name. Yes, they look cute with their little polka dots. Yes, they’re good for nature or whatever, I guess. I DON’T CARE. I hate them. I hate the way they smell (it’s very pungent, especially if you freak them out for some reason), I hate the way they scare the crap out of me by randomly buzzing loudly past my ear, I hate the way they occasionally fall into my bedside glass of water and then end up in my mouth. Yes, that happened. You don’t want to know what a ladybug tastes like. It’s worse than the smell.
Still, I’m trying to make peace with these dumb insects, mostly because everyone makes me feel really guilty whenever I break out the vacuum cleaner to suck them up. Sorry, I’m a monster.
The past few days, it’s gotten warm enough to open my window a bit and shoo them outside where they belong. There’s been a lot less of them lately, too, for some reason. Maybe they finally noticed my systematic massacre of their buddies and wised up. Whatever the reason, I can appreciate them a lot more when there’s only one or two crawling around.
That’s when I had the idea to do ladybug-inspired nails, as a way of showing them that I’m looking forward to spring as much as they are (and possibly also as a way of camouflaging my hands when I’m trying to trap them).
Now that that long-winded introduction is over, here’s how you can get some cute ladybug nails. I’ve seen ladybug nail art before, and it’s usually way too childish for my taste, with little eyes and antennae drawn on, and every nail in the same bright red shade. News flash: ladybugs come in a variety of colors, from brown to reddish orange.
To get as close as possible, I decided to use three different red and orange shades as base coats and then tone them down into earthier colors with a brown nail polish. Pick one red or orange color for each nail, and don’t worry about doing them in a certain order. The random-er, the better. I used Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast Salon Nail Color in Club Havana, Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild Nail Color in Everyone’s A-tomic, and New York Color Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Red Velvet Rope. Red Velvet Rope was the only one that didn’t need two coats.
Next, it’s time to add some earth tones. Simply painting some brown nail polish on top won’t work because it probably won’t be sheer enough. At this point, we have to do some mixing.
For each nail, I plopped a dollop of brown polish on a scrap of paper--I used Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild Nail Color in Pumping Gas, which is the least appealing nail polish name ever.
Then, using the brush from the previous red or orange shade that I used for that particular nail, I mixed the two shades together on the paper before painting it onto the nail. This gave me just the right amount of brown on top of each color to tone down the original vibrancy.
After that I added a top coat, New York Color In a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish. Then I broke out my black Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pen and (shaking it constantly as I went) carefully made little black dots on each nail. I tried to be somewhat symmetrical with the dots on each side of the nail because I feel like it looks better. I don’t care enough about ladybugs to look closely enough to see if their dots actually are symmetrical.
You could stop at this point if you want, but I felt like it was missing something. At this point I just had polka-dotted nails in weird colors. Like I said, I didn’t want to go full ladybug cartoon on my nails, so I decided to stay as minimal as possible and simply draw a thin black line down the center of each nail to represent the divide between their wings.
Finally you’ll probably want to add another clear top coat. Just make sure the black polish is 100% dry first to prevent smearing the design.
To really get all method with this manicure, you could add a little dousing of an earthy scent such as Demeter’s Firefly cologne. I don’t think they have a ladybug scent, but trust me, this one will do. It’s a very earthy, pungent smell, just like these dumb ladybugs.
Now, you guys won’t believe this but when I was taking pictures of the final look, THE CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED. A bunch of ladybugs just flew over and started hanging out with my ladybug nails.
It was truly beautiful. We had finally reached an understanding and achieved peace. My heart swelled as one little guy clambered over my fingers.
OK, I might be exaggerating some of this. The truth is I forced them to pose for these pictures, they hated it, and then one ladybug pooped on my hand so I flushed him down the toilet in retaliation. THE WAR RAGES ON.