If you follow me on social media, then you know that True Detective is pretty much all that has been on my mind for the past two months. I'm delirious with love, and incredibly protective of the show, and when I hear any criticism of it, I take it personally and get very cranky (sorry). So if you're not a fan, I guess now is your time to exit this article, mostly because you'll have no clue what I'm talking about below. And also, I may or may not mention spoilers, so, you've been warned.
Whew, OK! Those of you still reading, hello. You're probably a like-minded individual who has sat glued to their television (or computer) screen for the last few weeks waiting for the mystery of The Yellow King to unravel. You've probably spent the last few days shuddering whenever you think of Carcosa and those awful, dark tunnels.
I'm now in mourning, wondering how on earth they'll ever replace my boys Marty and Rust. (Though I have faith in the show runners--I mean, it's such a small crew of brilliant minds that I feel the only way it could go wrong is if they bring in new, outside voices. Don't mess with what's working, y'know?) And whenever I'm sad about the end of something, I find it best to express myself creatively. Since fan fiction is not my thing (although I do fantasize about touching Rust's 1995 hair a lot), I've gone with the next best thing: nail art.
For such a deeply complex show, my True Detective manicure is decidedly simple. I wanted to stick with a neutral colour scheme and just a few key, iconic images from the show's eight episodes.
I started out by painting each of the nails (except the middle finger, more on that later) with a creamy, opaque beige base, Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Birthday Suit.
The first image I wanted to go with was paperwork. From the 17 years of notes and files that Marty and Rust go through in their attempt to solve the case, I figured a flurry of words would make sense as part of the manicure.
When my base colour dried on my ring and index fingers, I snipped up small pieces of newspaper and then spritzed them with a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol (this helps the ink release from the paper and adhere to the nail). I pressed the snippets of newsprint down on the nail and repeated a few times with fresh pieces for a layered effect before applying a top coat to seal everything in.
For my pinkie, I went with the spiral symbol favoured by the cult. It shows up for the first time in episode one on Dora Lange's back, and we see it again multiple times throughout the season. I used a fine-tipped brush and some black acrylic paint for this little dude, and again sealed with a top coat once the paint was dried.
For my middle nail, I tried to replicate Tuttle's blue neon cross, since the image really stuck with me. I couldn't figure out how to install electric wiring into my fingernail (hurrr) so I just went with painting a shimmering baby blue cross instead.
In lieu of the beige base of the other nails I used an ivory shimmer polish from Joe Fresh because I felt it was more "holy" or something. Then, I used a fine-tipped paintbrush and white acrylic paint to create the initial outline of the cross. I followed that up with dotting on a pale blue nail polish and a bit of silver shimmer nail polish I picked up at the checkout at H&M over my original lines until they all blended together into one shiny blue pretty business. Then, of course, more top coat.
Finally there's the thumbnail and I just had to go with the antler imagery. I messed around with this for a bit, trying to draw out realistic looking antlers at first, but it wasn't looking right. Instead, I decided to use black paint and draw on sketchy antlers like the ones drawn all over the walls in all of the buildings where the cult felt like doodling. I used my fine-tipped paintbrush and black acrylic paint to draw a curly v-shape and then doodled out more fine lines extending from that to create the antlers. Top coat once it was dry, and boom--done.
So, what do you think? Do you have any theories about the show you want to discuss? Did you love the finale as much as me? I know some people were disappointed, but I felt it was a perfectly open-ended conclusion that posed a lot of questions to the audience (hey, just like real life does!) Who do you want to be the detectives next season? If you have nothing to say, then here's a picture of Rust dancing. Hummina hummina.
Now take off your mask.