Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Digit-al Dozen Does Fairytales, Day Three: The Little Mermaid

Happy Wednesday! Today continues Fairytale Week for The Digit-al Dozen. I have the less known version of a very well-known tale as my inspiration today. Let me preface this post by saying that I love Disney's version of The Little Mermaid, it's one of my favorite movies. I actually watched it today! However, Disney altered the story a lot - and that's putting it mildly! The original fairytale has much more of a "spiritual" aspect to it instead of just being a "love story." I am going to try to summarize the story as short as possible but it is important to understand the original story in order to understand why I created the nail art that I did (because it doesn't really pertain to the Disney version).

In Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, the Little Mermaid lives with her father, grandmother and 5 sisters. When they reach the age of 15 they are allowed to go to the surface to see the human world for a brief period of time, and once a year after that. As the Little Mermaid listens to all of her sisters tales about the human world she listens fervently and longs for her turn to come. On her first trip to the surface she sees a prince on a ship in the distance and falls in love with him. There is a great storm and the ship crashes. The Little Mermaid saves the  prince by placing him on the shore but leaves before he sees her. (So far, it's pretty similar to Disney's version, but here is where it starts to change.) The Little Mermaid returns home and asks her grandmother if humans are immortal. Her grandmother explains that humans have a much shorter life span than the mermaids' 300 years but that when humans die they have an eternal soul that lives on in heaven, where mermaids turn into sea foam when they die. The Little Mermaid wants to become human so she can have an eternal soul and so she can marry the prince. She visits the Sea Witch and trades her voice for legs, never to return to the sea again. The potion works and she has legs but every step she takes feels like she is walking on knives. She also must win the prince in order to stay human. If the prince does not love her and marries someone else she will die and turn into sea foam. The prince is mesmerized by her beauty but falls in love with a princess (whom he thinks is the one who saved him from the shipwreck) and marries her. The Little Mermaid will die the next morning. That night her sisters come to the surface with a knife they got from the Sea Witch. If the Little Mermaid kills the prince with the knife she will return back into a mermaid and return to the sea to live out her life with her family.  The Little Mermaid can't bring herself to kill the prince and the next morning she dives into the sea. Her body dissipates into sea foam but instead of ceasing to exist, she feels warmth.  She has become one of the "daughters of the air." Because she has spent her life striving for a human soul, she will now be allowed to earn one by doing good deeds.

Not quite the happy ending Ariel had in Disney's version! I apologize that it was so wordy, but I felt it necessary to share since it is the basis for my nail art. I decided to create sea foam on my nails, as well as adding a representation of The Little Mermaid's soul rising to the sky.

To create this look I created a spray marble (on all of my fingers except my pinkie) over a base that I created by sponging for a more realistic "ocean." You know I love spray marbles, so I am really enjoying this mani.

The base of all 5 nails is Elevation Polish Walk a LIttle Farther. On the sea foam nails I sponged on Definition: The Vivid Unknown and Storm in the Morning Light, along with a little more Walk a Little Farther where needed. Fo the spray marble I used a plain white creme and Elevation Polish Weddell Sea for a bit of added depth and just a hint of sparkle. 

On my pinkie I used Elevation Polish Walk a Little Farther and Chaos and Crocodiles There's Magic in the Air, along with white acrylic paint, to create what I thought a soul ascending to heaven might look like. I was inspired by solar rays, like you can see here

I wasn't planning on making this one matte but I had to see what it looked like. And, of course, I like it better matte!

Did you know the original story of The Little Mermaid? I was really sad the first time I heard it, but as time went on I grew to like this version. I will always like the Disney version better though. Nothing like a happy ending. I hope you're enjoying Fairytale Week as much as I am!

Don't forget to check out the amazing manis below!

Thanks for reading and happy polishing!



  1. I didn't know that version! WOW! And lovely mani!

  2. Your sea foam, no, your entire manicure is perfect!!

    I knew the original version long before the Disney movie came out as my mother used to read us fairytales and this was one of her favorites. I always thought it was a sad tale because the little mermaid had to die. When I grew older I understood and started to value the message HC Andersen was trying to convey with his story and when the Disney movie was released, I was actually shocked by the changes. I love the movie though, changes or not :)

  3. What a beautiful manicure and story! I've never heard of this version before. Sad story yet so beautiful.

  4. Thank you for sharing the story, and your manicure is so lovely!

  5. Looks just like an ocean! Very pretty!

  6. This looks so mystical. I just keep staring at it. You did a great job portraying the story's end. I really love it.

  7. Okay, these are awesome! They absolutely look like sea foam and wow, I had no idea that the HCA version of the story was so sad and dark compared to the Disney version. I've loved learning about all these 'real' fairy tales!

  8. I LOVE these! Looks just like dead mermaid, er, sea foam! :)


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