Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Book review - The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art

[I had meant for this post to publish while I was on holiday, but for whatever reason the scheduling didn't work and I've only just realised. So here it is for today - consider my nail art attempts to be the ta-dahs!]

I was kindly sent this book to review by publishers Hardie Grant - it's proved such a popular title that I had to wait for another print run to be completed before I got my copy - but it was certainly worth the wait.

Written by Sharmadean Reid, founder of ultra hip London nail salon Wah Nails - this cute and compact hardback is a little gem if you want to get professional nail art results at home. You'd have to have been living under a rock to fail to notice the rising popularity of nail art over the last few years, and Reid was the driving force behind its transforming nail art from 'tacky and ghetto' [her words] to its current status as fun and fashionable and approved by Vogue.

Following the introduction and a pictorial guide to the 'tools of the trade' used within, the book is mainly a succession of double page spreads - with step by step instructions as to how to achieve each of the 25 of the salon's most requested looks. The models used tend to be a) achingly cool and b) in their teens or early twenties, which is unsurprising but did have the unfortunate side effect of making me feel like a loopy great aunt attempting to keep up with the kids. So no change there then. There are also stickers in the back. I'm a bit gutted I don't have any new exercise books to decorate for the new school year. [Do school kids even use exercise books any more? Maybe I'll stick them on my laptop]. But hey, it's probably not aimed at me. I'm 35. I should be keeping myself busy buying orthopaedic footwear and visiting stately homes.

Anyway, on to the designs. I figured I couldn't really review the book without trying out the designs myself, as if they weren't actually easy to achieve it would be an attractive coffee table book but fairly useless for the non-professional nail artist. I was pretty smug pleased with the way the ones I tried worked out.

This one was super effective and easy-peasy. It got loads of favourable comments.
Bit girly for usual outfits but I will admit to being quite taken with it. Fairly easy to do on your 'other' hand.

Leopard print
I love this one. Easy to do but looks impressive. Someone actually asked me if this was nail wraps and was amazed when I said it was free-hand. Surprisingly easy to do with my left hand [I'm right handed]

The book showed the zebra but suggested the tiger colour-way as an alternative.
Not too bad a job on both hands but it's tricky to get it looking realistic enough for my liking.

Shatter type polish is fairly fool-proof and available for all budgets. I need to practice the colour mixing though.

You'll notice I'm only showing you an arty shot of two of my fingers. I have ten. You don't really want to see the others. Needs more practise. Cool effect if you can do it without messing up though.

And speaking of those which need more practise, here's a few I haven't attempted yet. I reckon there's something for everyone here.

Total comic book geek heaven. Lichenstein would approve of this pop-art 'Pow!' design

Really not a fan of the 'talon' trend for pointy claws, but the design is pretty genius.
If tattoo style lettering is too tricky to pull off with nail art pens, I reckon a scrabble style font would look just as good.

Double Studs
One of my favourites. Time consuming and high maintenance? No doubt. Eye-catching and awesome? Definitely.
Rock chicks don't do dishes anyway.

One for the Cath K crowd.

Title - The Wah Nails book of Nail Art
Author - Sharmadean Reid
Publisher - Hardie Grant Books
Hardback ISBN - 9781742703206
Price - £9.99

A definite recommendation if you fancy a little bit of individuality on your nails. Or it would make a brilliant Christmas present for anyone who doesn't have an allotment teenage girl.


Sorry for tardiness of Ta-dah! Tuesday (you're all going to show me sensible grown up things like master bedroom repaints and prize winning carrots aren't you?) and for the lack of time I've had for blogging recently. Please don't give up on me - just a slightly tricky time with school holidays and now the smallest starting school. And a deluge of spam on the blog has put me off a bit. [If you need any Viagra I know of at least a thousand people willing to hook you up. It's completely screwed up my email account as well, apologies if I've missed anything - try my FB page if you need me]

Lakota x


  1. SO, so impressed with your leopard print and also your basket weave!! Steady hands required!! The candy striping is lovely, may have to give that a whirl once I own more than 3 nail polishes. I actually credit you with the three I have bought recently - your nails always look fab in your posts. I was inspired :-)

    Jem xXx

  2. Wow! I'm impressed! I love the leopard print - looks like nail wraps!

  3. I really liked the candy stripes.
    I always am crazy about Leopard, Zebra or Tiger nails. I swear they are my fave to do.
    I could not even IMAGINE my "other" hand doing that basket weave. My left hand isn't very good in the art of painting. *hahah*
    I love those comic nails they are so cute.
    I hope you don't have to worry about Ortho shoes until you are at least 65! MAYBE OLDER!

    darnit I forgot to get pictures of the prize winning baby carrots at the grocery store!

  4. that book is great! I'm not so brave when it comes to nail art, I use rainbow coloured nails, but never pushed too far drawing lines or leopard spots
    (when you have kids if you go wrong means to go out with messy nails !)
    I must try the candy stripe and the leopard manicure, wish me luck!

  5. I'm not a decorated nail person at all (sorry!), I even find normal nail polish feels 'odd'...

    No matter, I enjoyed seeing the arty side of it. (Did you have to contort yourself in strange positions to take the pics or did you have a dashing assistant?)

    Re the spam, I've started getting loads since I came back from holiday too, grrr! Luckily Google get rid of it before it gets on the blog but it still gets in the Reader! We need to be able to block it completely!

    Hurry back, you have been missed. x

  6. Spam emails are a complete pain in the backside so sorry to hear you have been having problems. That book looks very interesting i loved your candy stripe nails ;-)) Good enough to eat. Take care, dee x

  7. Ooh I'm well impressed! The whole nail art thing has passed me by - I get very discouraged by the fact that they look great until I go to bed and wake up with a duvet cover impression in the varnish :( Perhaps I need a topcoat made of diamonds or something.

  8. I am hopeless at nails! Loving your candy stripes!

  9. You are clever! I've never really been keen on nail art but you're bringing me around to it, after all every other part of me seems to be decorated in weird and wonderful patterns. The candy stripes are my favourite. x
    PS The spammers are in overdrive at the moment, don't let it get you down.

  10. Welcome back home, derar Dakota.

  11. Hey! Nice to see you back, I missed you (am in need of an Ebay post- please oblige- you could do a 'back to school tat' special?)
    Very very very impressed at your nails- I painted my toes for the first time in about a year and they were total cack- a 2year old could have done better!!

  12. This looks great, I've only just started experimenting with nail art, and only then when I have time, but this book would be really helpful.

  13. Very impressive. If only I had nails.

  14. Very impressed with your handiwork. I think I actually like the tiger one the best. My fingernails haven't seen nail polish since I was 14 and I don't think they will any time soon. I do paint my toenails so my feet look less like cave man feet and more like cave lady feet :) I guess I could always go for artistic cave lady...

  15. Although my nails arn't really upto much, I love the look of this book. The candystripes are gorgeous xxx

  16. I'm in love with the leopard style! Pretty good price as well. I wish I had patience for nails. DIY yes, but nails are a different story for me! Welcome back and happy weekend! xx/ Madison

  17. There's a fine line between a good nailart and bad one. But it's also true that some things which you like might not be liked by me. But decent insight nonetheless.

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  18. I love the allotment bit, lol.
    I cannot wear long nails, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  19. argh, I'm really not neat enough to do my nails like this, you lucky wench, they look fantastic!!! x

  20. Lakota my dear, you are right, it has been too long! Ugh. I cant imagine how you do it with 2 boys at home, I can barely handle 1 baby girl that sleeps 18hrs a day! Any who you are a very talented nail artist. I could never do my own. I told my baby daddy today, "Im going to paint my nails white and write 'nacho' on one hand and 'Sochi' on the other." He said, "You are?" and I said, "No, you are." So that is what I will try to get squeezed in before her next feeding. xoxoxo. My long lost friend.

  21. Fabby dabby dabulous! The candy stripe and leopard print are my faves - and I LOOOVE the LOVE HATE! Sarah xxx


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