Manicures: Modern Ribbons for Jane Austen Fans?

Manicures: Modern Ribbons for Jane Austen Fans?

I love the translation of meanings in historical times to my daily life. One example? I tickle my perverse fascination with the concept of household staff in Jane Austen’s time by reminding myself of modern gadgets I own that replace the need for say housekeepers and cooks and scullery maids. I own a microwave. I own a dishwasher. I own a vacuum. 🙂

We all know ribbons were THE accessory in Regency times to take a blah dress to a new fabulousness. And perhaps the better analogy for what I’m about to propose would be modern women throwing on an elegant scarf, but I’m thinking more like Kitty and Lydia here. Most teen girls do not go ga-ga for scarves. But nail polish, on the other hand . . . Since I was a teen I have collected the whole rainbow and then some in nail polish!

And nothing makes an outfit go from funky to demure, from classic to chic, than an elegant or crazy set of painted nails!

I confess I don’t even have the patience or peace to really paint my nails anymore, but again, modern technology saves my biscuits. Being a writer, I see my nails alllllll the time, typing away. Fellow Austen Author Melanie Schertz and I even have fun on Facebook making each other earn our Jamberrys. We are both addicted.

cup of tea with mulberry
I love designs that remind me of an English Countryside. This is “Cup of Tea” on my first three fingers with mulberry lacquer!

Jamberrys are vinyl wraps for your nail. You snip it, heat it with a hair dryer, press it on, and file off the excess once it cools. You can even make your OWN designs including things like Jane Austen cameos! Both Melanie and I will have some fabulous nails at this year’s AGM to show off! Melanie loves them so much, she even became a consultant! But other authors are addicted, too! And we all share out Jamicures on Facebook in a constant of game of “ooohhh pretty!” 🙂

I don’t see many people with ribbon collections anymore unless it’s for crafting. But my Jamberry collection probably rivals the ribbons the Bennet girls had to trim their bonnets and gowns. I keep it all in a wicker basket and now my favorite thing to do is create and design MIXED manis. That means taking unrelated designs and making them work together. The process usually takes me 30 minutes to an hour, but I always feel like a young girl again, playing with fashion!

bellagio with words to wise amazon over rockstar
Only Words to the Wise is still available (the cursive words on my finger), mixed with Amazon lacquer and a limited edition wrap that was called Bellagio.


Like Lydia and Kitty, I am very often impatient with my designs and few live more than a few days before I’m cleaning my nails and doing something totally new! And like everything else in my life, I always laugh at the inside jokes I have in homage to Miss Austen. Only we get a frisson of joy at say fingernails with a peacock feather!

shake your tail feather amazon
I wore these when I was writing A Virtue of Marriage, channeling the famous Pride & Prejudice peacock cover!


Or appreciate the joke of “in the French style” from the 2005 movie of P&P when we caption our manicure with a design called “Country French” . . .

countryfrench on black a few days old
This is a Jamicure that is 5 days old. . . one of my longer ones because the delicate roses made me think of a china pattern all the time. I felt very elegant, LOL!


Melanie is mean and says I have to write 1,000 words PER finger to earn a Jamicure! 🙂 But I don’t mind, it’s nice to have a friend who encourages you and loves to swap fabulous photos of fashion!

It may not be changing our bonnets out with ribbon, but the camaraderie and sisterhood is sure felt even though we all live time zones away! I feel like I would loved the fripperies of the time period, even if I wouldn’t be so keen on the hygiene and plumbing situation. Lydia and Kitty would have to scoot on over because my bonnets would be the cutest! 🙂

So there you have it, a secret way a few Austen Authors hang out and feel free to join us! 🙂

11 Responses to Manicures: Modern Ribbons for Jane Austen Fans?

  1. Thanks for sharing this fun post. When I retire I may have time to have fun with my nails. At that point I will surely consult with you ladies. What fun designs and combinations.

  2. I have friends who do the Jamberry thing and I think they are gorgeous! I spend too much time with my hands in bread dough to consider doing that. I would be afraid of 1. damaging the manicure I worked so diligently for and 2. losing part of my manicure in the bread. LOL I do love to paint my toes crazy and bright colors though! I love hats and scarves so I think those are my “ribbons”. Redoing an old outfit needs a fresh hat and a pretty scarf. =D

    • Love it! 🙂 I understand about culinary restrictions. My sister could only wear them on her toes for a while because she worked in food prep. But they do stay on better than regular nail polish. I’d recommend getting a sample to try out. I was blown away by the quality of them. Regular nail polish just peels right off my nails, but these things last for weeks if I let them. MWAHAHA

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