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I literally never thought I’d see the day where I’d be saying this, but I think I’ve officially been converted to a press-on nail person.
For pretty much the entirety of my childhood, the only reason I ever thought about press-on nails was because I was always on the lookout for them in my great-aunt’s lasagna (talk about disgusting). Seriously, she would be cooking and then all of a sudden one of her nails would be missing and she would say, “whoever finds it gets dessert first.” I could literally vomit thinking about it. From that day forward, I vowed that I would never wear press-on nails.
Cut-to 3 months ago when I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and I had such a busy work week that there was a zero percent chance I was going to make it to the nail salon. And, TBH, I didn’t really want to spend 2 hours in a chair and my hard-earned cash because my friend (the queen of bridezillas) wanted a uniform French manicure. This might be a hot-take, but no one is looking at our hands, Susan… NO ONE.
When I showed up to the rehearsal dinner, naked nails and all, one of the other bridesmaids came to my rescue with a little circular pack of press-ons. I adamantly resisted these nails at first, suggesting that I could paint my own French manicure that night. But, in the end the chic packaging and near-perfect designs piqued my interest—and frankly, a pre-schooler could paint my nails better than I could.
Later that night, I trudged back to my hotel room feeling resentful that I needed to spend another minute thinking about my f*cking nails. But I did it. I opened the little package and began glueing. I don’t know how to explain this, but something literally comes over you when your nails are long, done up with designs, and look, dare I say, expensive? I tried on these ManiMuse nails and suddenly I was Carrie Bradshaw sitting at a bar, cosmopolitan in hand.
First of all, they come with everything you need to make your hands look presentable. Somehow in this miniscule package, they included a dual-sided buffer and file, non-toxic nail glue, and over 24 different nails to find your perfect size. And, I really don’t care what other people say, size does matter.
I am not kidding you when I say these nails last for at least 2 weeks after the wedding. So, I went home and stalked the website so hard, Sherlock Holmes would have been embarrassed. There were countless chic AF designs that honestly look like you paid for a $100 manicure sans the 2 hour appointment. So, naturally, I ordered one in every color. To say I’ve been hooked ever since is an understatement. Even my great-aunt was impressed.
Little White Lies Press-On Gel Manicure
Shop it: ManiMuse Little White Lies Press-On Gel Manicure, $16, ManiMuse
I know what you’re thinking—that title has got to be clickbait, right? Nope, it’s not. In fact, it’s exactly as you read it. And, as bizarre as it sounds, it’s actually kind of sweet once you hear the story. Now, don’t get me wrong, putting a loved one’s ashes in your wedding nails is not something you see every day, and I’m not totally sure it’s something I would personally do, but I’m still in full support of this bride’s decision.
So the story is that this English bride, Charlotte Watson, tragically lost her father, Mick, to cancer just a few months before her wedding. Given her father’s cancer diagnosis, Charlotte and her then-fiancé, Nick, had even moved up their wedding date in hopes that Charlotte’s father could be there to walk her down the aisle. But unfortunately, he did not end up making it.
After Mick’s passing, Charlotte’s cousin, Kirsty Meakin, a popular nail artist with a big YouTube following, suggested that they use Mick’s ashes in the creation of the design of Charlotte’s wedding nails so that he could still be there with Charlotte on her special day. According to Fox News, they used “tiny bits of bone fragment” found in Mick’s ashes in the design of the nails, resulting in a glittery snowglobe-esque look that you really couldn’t even tell contained ashes unless someone told you.
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The full tutorial is up on my YouTube channel (link in bio) These nails were made with love. I created these wedding nails for my cousin Charlotte. Her father (my uncle Mick) sadly passed away at the end of April this year. He was an absolute legend, patient, kind and loved by so many. It was so sad that he couldn't be there to walk his daughter down the aisle on her big day. This got me thinking….. I wanted Charlotte to have her Father with her is some way or another . I came up with the idea to use Micks ashes in her nails. This way he would be there holding her hand as she walks down the aisle. This was an emotional day for us both and we are so please with how they turned out. I'm going to remove the nails for Charlotte after they have grown out for around 4 weeks so they will be preserved and kept in a keep sake box as a beautiful memory of the day. What better way to have used a tiny amount of ashes to bring such happiness. Rest in peace uncle Mick we love you dearly Thanks for the support beautiful people Kirsty Meakin
Not only did the nails turn out incredible, the whole sentiment behind them is really sweet. As Meakin said of her own creation, “It was only when it was completed it sank in what it was. That her dad would be holding her hand on her wedding day.”
Charlotte said, “Having the ashes attached to my nails felt like he was holding my hand. I knew it wasn’t the same as him really being there, but it was as close as we could get.” She added, “It felt like he was there.”
Mick’s memory was included in other ways on the wedding day, BBC reports, such as pictures on the back of Charlotte’s shoes, in a pendant attached to her flowers, and a teddy made from some of his clothing, but the nails are definitely the most out-of-the-box element. And for those of you wondering, after the wedding, the nails were framed to still preserve the ashes and her father’s memory. All in all, it may sound strange on the surface, but it was a creative tribute that the bride and her family found moving—the bride said, “everyone loved the nails”—and clearly it made for a good story.
Images: @kirstymeakin / Instagram; Nick Karvounis / Unsplash