I’m going to add more Instagram-related stuff here, as that’s something I offer as a service. There will still be plenty of dessert stuff, I promise, I just want to add information on being a better Instagrammer while I’m at it. Yay!
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve upped my nail polish game a lot over on Instagram. And here’s the thing: all of it? Planned.
I regularly get asked if I just use whatever I have on, and the truth is that I rarely paint my nails for fun these days. I have fairly flat nails, so stuff flakes/chips super fast. (Like Simply Nailogical did that test where she wears gel with a peel off base coat and it lasts a few days? Umm, I get a few hours of wear if I’m lucky.) Also, painting my nails takes time I could be spending eating.
So yes, my polish is planned. But that’s also because I’ve found that just grabbing a random polish can be really bad for an image. The short answer is that some polishes don’t help an image, but it’s easier to see it than explain it.
Check out these two similar shots with chocolate chip cookies:
Same rough hand position, same object type, approximately the same subject colors. On the left, I used a bright blue holo polish. On the right, a pale pink glitter polish. In comparison, the pink is not as neat a photo (even ignoring the melted chocolate). But why?
Here are some answers:
- The pink is too close to my skin tone against the cookie, so there’s not enough contrast. It kind of looks like my skin just got pink in the thumbnail.
- You can’t see the chunky glitter well, so to me the shot kind of looks like I messed up on the polish.
This isn’t to say that I can’t use that baby pink polish again; it’s that it looks bad for this subject.
Here are my tips for choosing a polish! Pick colors that:
- Stand out against your skin. I’m super pale toned, so I need brighter/darker colors.
- Stand out against your subject matter. Tone on tone matches look super bland.
- Are holos/chromes instead of glitter. Holographic polishes, or holos, will look like glitter in most images. Actual glitter polishes often don’t shoot well unless your nail is a large glitter shrine.
- Don’t match your previous post’s polish. Unless you want to show how much you did in one day or want to rock a distinct look, it’s nice to have a change every post.
- Make you happy! Why put on a polish you don’t like? Even if it’s ‘just for the shoot,’ unless a client is paying you to do it, why?
Here are some of the brands I use:
- ILNP: Reigning home of indie holo polishes. Will kill your budget, especially on release weeks when they offer stuff at $9/bottle. Also really great multichrome polishes, if you want your nails to shift color as you move them.
- Lucky 13 Lacquer: A local polish brand with large glitters so they won’t get lost in the photo. Really nice people to boot.
- Julep: Local polish brand that I wouldn’t necessarily call indie at this point, but still on the small side. Good range, especially for solids/shimmers.
- OOO Polish: Excellent polishes, developed specifically for women of color. Nice chromes, good coverage. Need to play with their line more, I just haven’t seen a lot recently that match my needs. May that change.
- SuperChic Lacquer: Home to my favorite (and cheap!) quick drying top coat, and one coat holographic wonders. Also, they sell a diamond dust polish that freaking blinds people on sunny days. (It’s really fun, but I feel bad wearing it in the summer. It’s so shiny!)
- Rainbow Honey: Even more indie glitter polish, in case one wasn’t enough. Their Mystery Bags are super fun.
Do you ever plan your nail polish for shoots? How do you choose?