This month's writeup is sponsored by Rose of Battle.

June 2021 Writeup: Ophilia and Pai

Once again, I've recorded one set of my nails and one set of Ali's nails for your reviewing pleasure while I gather materials to create and fix cosplays! With your support, I was able to save up for a nail dust machine, which should hopefully make the process of drilling and dipping much more environmentally friendly (even though I'll probably still wear masks for... ever!). I'll report back on that and the new drill after the next set is complete, whatever that ends up being!

Pai (World's End Club)

We played World's End Club over the hazy 1-week period between Fanime and SVAA classes, so it was all I could think of when I set up my next nail set. The challenge for this set was that the brand-new drill I had bought for the previous set suddenly died at the start of cleanup. I also had to complete the set in a shorter time window than normal and I rushed a bit.

From pinky to thumb on the left, descriptions. Blue dip base with a simple white encapsulated butterfly near the cuticle. Yellow dip base with a chevron French tip in a beigey yellow. Flesh dip base with a beigey brown gel on top. On top of that, I hand-drew what looks like an exclamation point in white, but is actually the design on Pai's shirt, just not repeated. I'm very proud of that one! Then, blue dip base again with a white gel outline. I really like the way it looks for nail designs, although I have to admit I'll need some more practice for it to look just right. Thumb was a flesh dip base with the same beigey brown gel on top, then on top of that, I put a green foil (it was the darkest green I currently have). I set the foil, then drew little pink swirls, as seen on Pai's purse. I wanted to embellish it a little more, but by the time I was done with that process, the nail was taking a long time and it looked good enough to me to leave as is.

Now on the right side, from thumb to pinky. The thumb was the first to go because the encapsulation actually didn't cover the butterflies all the way. But the idea was flesh dip base, beigey brown gel, then encapsulation of three differently colored butterflies to mimic what looks like the butterfly in her hair (it actually represents a boar's nose!). Forefinger, yellow dip base with the same shirt design in white gel as the middle finger on the left hand. That one was by far the hardest because I had to draw with my left hand, and I'm a righty! But it turned out better than I could have expected. Middle finger, flesh dip base painted with a lighter green gel and topped off with three pearlescent studs in a bronzy gold color. Then, yellow dip base with an outline in pink--also difficult due to freehanding. Lastly, blue dip base with encapsulated green circles like in the Fanime nails, which represent the strap of Pai's purse.

I thought I would use some form of stamp, perhaps one with a butterfly motif, but I ended up skipping that process for simplicity's sake. I also thought I'd use more of the brown color than I ended up using, but it turned out okay regardless. Also, I would say this set disintegrated about as quickly as the Titanic set, so I'm glad I took some photos right after I did it!

Pai was another character I wasn't sure about (e.g., Diana from Zero Time Dilemma) when I first saw her in the art for World's End Club. Being that I, too, am a Person With Thighs, I liked the idea of being able to pull of that element of her cosplay without having to change anything about myself. But I didn't know what she was like. Normally, I would be drawn to a character like Nyoro: sleeker, stylish, and those HEELS! But although I really like Nyoro, my heart was drawn to Pai in the demo. It's kind of the same effect I experienced with Zero Time Dilemma, actually! I'd estimated Mira would be the one I'd want to cosplay first, but Diana came along and I had to upend other plans to fit in constructing the cosplay because I just loved her so much.

I know I'm known for exploring more adult characters in series, but between Mizuki from AI: The Somnium Files and Pai, I think I'm finding something healing about the prospect of cosplaying 12-year-olds. When I was 11 years old, I think I was the most confident about who I was and my place in the world than I have been since. I think cosplaying these characters will probably bring out a little bit of that unmitigated life-is-good feeling. It's little surprise that the next character I'm bringing into a nail set will be...... nope, guess!

Ophilia (Octopath Traveler)

Y'know, it's always easier taking photos of someone else's nails than your own! I'm happy with how this set turned out, especially doing a few of my favorite techniques on someone else for the first time.

Speaking of Zero Time Dilemma, Ophilia reminded Ali a little of Diana when she started playing. Kind, gentle, tragic backstory. Truth be told, she was a little bored by her story, and once she discovered secondary jobs, she didn't keep her in the party as much as she did when she needed a healer to manage her tanks. Ophilia decides to take on a difficult task in place of her sister, Lianna, so Lianna can stay by her father's side as he's dying. There are two betrayals in her story; one of them is very telegraphed while the other is more surprising and makes her tale a little more interesting.

On the left hand, from pinky to thumb, descriptions are as follows. Gray dip base with black gel on top, then stamped with white geometric dots. White sparkly dip base with clear coat, representing the snowy lands she comes from. Light blue dip base with a blue flower stamp on top, to represent ice for her climate again and flowers on her favorite place on the hill. Light blue dip base with three yellow rhinestones on the left wall. On the thumb is my favorite design of the whole set. It's a white sparkly dip base with several layers of holographic foil from green to yellow, creating a kind of green flame effect, representing the flame she carries thoughout the game. I actually did this one before the Fanime set, which is where I tried it on myself. I still like this one the best! Hooray for structured gel.

Now on the right, from thumb to pinky. The thumb was the most challenging, as the flower we chose for encapsulating ended up being way more of a big chonkin' one and made the surface of the nail really uneven. If I had to redo it, I'd cut the flower down on the bulbous parts! The base was the white sparkly dip. Next, light blue dip base with gold rings encapsulated on the surface, alluding to the shape at the top of her weapon. Light blue dip base with a blue snowflake stamp on top. White sparkly dip base with a clear coat. Finally, gray dip base with black gel and a stamp of a white staff, again representing her primary weapon.

I was honestly expecting the request to be Tressa, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got to use the knowledge I learned about Ophilia's outfit from Feytaline's cosplay build to make this one. My main lesson: I need an opaque white dip! And an opaque black dip. And I'll have to work on my encapsulation skills when it comes to more 3D objects on shorter nails.

Thank you again so much for your support! I look forward to sharing a new nail look or some coswork with you next month. See you soon!

Photos by me.

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