Black and Gold Nail Therapy

gold leaf gel manicure

Wouldn’t this be the perfect manicure for a “gold-digger” Halloween costume?

You guys, can I get super real here for a minute? Today is exactly a month since our accident, and this recovery business is really, really hard. With so many broken bones (22, or 10.7% of the bones in the human body), every little thing is difficult. Even just sitting up in bed in the morning is a challenge. I broke ten ribs on the right side and four on the left, and some are broken in the front and back, plus my sternum, my right shoulder blade, and both collarbones. Most normal activities involve some of those bones, so even putting my hair up is difficult. I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than five pounds. Everyday, regular things like getting dressed or making a cup of coffee are a struggle. Plus, since I shattered my left kneecap and broke my pelvis, I’m wheelchair-bound until those bones heal, which will be months. I’ve joked with my family that my life feels like an obstacle course right now, and my house literally is one. We have a large basement, which is where my workspace and all of my craft supplies are, and our bedroom is on the second floor of our house, but since I can’t walk I can’t get to any of those areas. My desktop computer is on a standing desk–it’ll be months before I can stand, so it’s sitting there, unusable. Without the ramp we had put on the front steps I wouldn’t be able to leave the house, and as it is, I don’t go out much except when my parents drive me to doctor’s appointments or the store occasionally. As you might imagine, lately it’s been pretty easy for me to feel down about all of these things. Yet there’s still so much to be grateful for.
It’s so hard to have perspective in this situation. Steven or I could have been killed, or permanently disabled or disfigured in the accident. But we will recover, in time, and according to our doctors we’re both doing really well, all things considered. All of those ribs sacrificed themselves to protect my vital organs, and they did a pretty damn good job (except for the collapsed lung, but that’s okay). There are a million ways in which things could be worse, but when I’m thinking about all of the things I can no longer do it’s so easy to forget that I should be grateful that I wasn’t injured even more seriously. So I try to take comfort from little things these days. It makes me happy when I can go outside to see my neglected vegetable garden, or make myself a cup of tea. And even though very few people will get to see it, I decided to give myself a festive manicure. A little glamour is just what I need in my life right now to distract me from my problems.

If you want to give yourself a similar manicure, you’ll need black nail polish, gold leaf, a clear topcoat, scissors (the smaller the better), and tweezers. I used gel polish so that this look would last, but you can definitely use regular polish, instead. I used this gel kit (on sale right now!) with polish in black canvas and gold leaf from this kit.

Before you start, use the scissors to cut up tiny pieces of gold leaf. You won’t need much, but cut up more than you think you’ll need because once your nails are wet, using scissors will be a challenge. For the next steps, I highly recommend you do one hand from start to finish before you start the next. If you’re using a gel kit, paint your nails as usual with the basecoat and color coat (“black canvas,” in my case), curing after each coat. Then before you do your topcoat, use the tweezers to stick tiny pieces of gold foil onto your nails. (It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s the perfect activity for listening to a podcast or watching a show that doesn’t require too much attention.) The polish will be a bit sticky at this point, so the foil should readily attach, so much so that you need to be careful where you place it, because once it’s on, it’s not moving. When you’re satisfied with the foil, do two coats with the topcoat, curing between each one.

If you’re using regular polish, you’ll want to do a couple of coats of black, let it dry, do a topcoat, then stick on pieces of gold leaf while the clear coat is still wet. Let it dry, then do another topcoat or two to seal in the gold leaf.

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3 thoughts on “Black and Gold Nail Therapy

  1. Oh man…I can see how easy it would be to get depressed! This was such a smart, fun pick me up! If there is anything I can do…send cards, letters, care packages just let me know! Wishing you well!

  2. Hi Rachel – I just was checking in with your blog and saw what happened to you. I am so, so sorry to hear about your accident! You have been through so much. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with. Ff there’s anything I can help you with for your blog (design, technical help etc.) please feel free to ask and I will gladly help you out! Best wishes for a speedy recovery – my thoughts are with you!!

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