When mom of three, Natasha Lee, a thirtysomething award-winning nail artist from Wales, United Kingdom, created fidget spinner nail art, she had no idea it’d go viral.
“I have three sons who are all autistic, so when I saw these through a special needs group, I bought my two oldest children — a 19- and 9-year old — each a fidget spinner, and then one for my youngest, who’s 4, and likes to have his hands kept busy,” Lee told Cosmopolitan.com. “And then they became really popular a few weeks later.”
But Lee didn’t create the fidget spinner nail art because the gadgets were seen as cool. She just wanted her children to be part of the narrative: “My boys love YouTube — they like the novelty value,” Lee explained, “so I created this tutorial to make something they can be a part of too; they watched me create the spinner in my office and because of that they feel like they helped with the video and helped it go viral … Oftentimes children with special needs can feel excluded, so this makes them feel included, and something as simple as this helps them feel like they belong.”
In her video, she molds the spinner out of nail acrylic (liquid and powder), files it with an electric file to make it smooth, and then affixes it to her nail with nail glue. She adds a bead that served as a washer to allow the spinner to spin, followed by the molded piece she created, and keeps everything together with a sewing pin that had a ball on the end to hold everything in place. Genius!
It wasn’t long after Lee uploaded her how-to on YouTube that it started to go viral. “I wasn’t expecting it to get so much attention,” Lee added. “But the boys have loved watching it go viral. It’s also really nice to get acknowledgment in an industry where there is so much awe-inspiring talent; it’s hard to create something that’s never been done before and if you go out planning to do so, it never flows easily.”
Lee has gone viral for a few other nail trends (a double-sided mani with crystals and her version of the Polish Mountain trend, both shown below), but she’s never experienced any attention like that of the fidget spinner tutorial.
Double-Sided Crystal Mani:
That said, it hasn’t been all viral rainbows and happy moments when it comes to Lee’s new nail art invention. “The one thing that’s been really bothersome about it are the comments about my boys’ disabilities on Facebook. Plus, people are telling me ‘you should kill yourself,’ just because I created a fidget spinner on a nail. It’s really shown me how vicious people are on social media.”