31DC2016 · Nail Art · Nails

31DC2016Weekly 24: Inspired by a book

“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Today’s prompt (inspired by a book) is one I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for for a while now (a couple of months!). Why didn’t I just go ahead and do it earlier, you ask? I was savouring it 🙂 . For my book inspiration, I chose “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. Check it out on Goodreads here. I will try to describe how my manicure was inspired by this as well as I can manage without giving too much away.

First, about the book: if you’re into magic (and great writing!), give this one a try. It is one of those stories that breathe new life into your imagination, the descriptions rich and vibrant. The writing style is very engaging and keeps you on your toes the whole time, going back and forth in time constantly, but not in a confusing sort of way. It slows down a little just after the halfway point and becomes a little too sappy for my liking, but not for very long. 

The basic premise of the story is as such: two ancient magicians, with drastically different methods, pit their respective students against each other in an attempt to prove which method is superior. The rules of the game are unclear almost throughout the book, even to the contestants. The lion’s share (I’m being punny!) of the story takes place in a circus, called The Night Circus or “Le Cirque Des Rêves”, a world where everything is black and/or white (literally). This travelling circus is open only at night, appears and leaves each venue without warning, features fantastic and impossible feats, and is shrouded in an air of mystery. It eventually develops a fan following, a group that calls itself the “rêveurs” — founded by a clockmaker who writes about the circus — who recognize each other by a single article in scarlet amidst the black and white of the circus.

Ever since I read this book, I’ve been dying to reinterpret it as nail art, so without further ado, here it is:

31DC2016Weekly - Book31DC2016Weekly - Book

If you have read this book, you will immediately recognize the elements on the ring and middle fingers, and the thumb. The other two fingers are just the backdrop of the circus itself. The dancing couple on the ring finger depicts the two contestants of the game. The middle finger features the giant clock that towers over the entrance to the circus. If you are familiar with the story, you’ll know the clock did not actually have an element of red in it, but this was a reference to the fact that it was made by Herr Thiessen, the founder of the rêveurs. The index finger shows one of the circus tents. Finally, the thumb is dedicated to the rêveurs — a single scarlet scarf on the backdrop of a news article about the circus.

If you have read the book, pay some attention to the swirly grey background on the ring finger behind the dancing couple. Recognize what’s going on? Hint: It’s a nod to the eventual resolution of the story. Also, the scarlet scarf is a reference to one of the main characters. Here’s another look:

I stamped on all fingers except for the pinky, on which I did a watermarble. I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with watermarbling and have been incorporating more of these into my manicures. Also, the flowy pattern of a watermarble seemed to fit right in with the circus. I did several layers of stamping on all the fingers, with the exception of the middle finger. I used a bunch of different polishes: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out and Insta Dri in Black to Black (for stamping only), Sinful Colors in Snow Me White, Maybelline Color Show in Paint The Town and Bold Gold, and Revlon in Holographic Pearls. I also used several stamping plates: BP-L010, Née Jolie L-004, BP-x07, BP-76, and BC-06. Whew! {In case you want to buy any of the plates at the Born Pretty Store, feel free to use my code ACJ10 for 10% off on all original-priced items!}

There are just so many details and elements to the story that I could possibly feature on my nails, I might go back and do a series as soon as these challenges are over. I took my time with this manicure and what you see here is the result of many a trial and many more an error! Regardless, I had a blast doing this!

Let me know how you like this! Have you read the book? Are you waiting for the movie (the rights to which have been sold, but no news yet on the production)?

If you would like to join in this weekly nail art challenge, post your pictures on your blog or other social media and tag the picture with the hashtag #31dc2016weekly. Check out my other looks for the weekly version of the 31-day challenge under the nail art tab [Nails → Nail Art → 31DC2016].

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