DIY Nail Strips

You know those expensive nail strips that come in a box with different patterns. Well you can make your own… sort of. Last year I saw a video (shocker!) for DIY nail strips with a water marble look to them and it has always been in the back of my mind to try it. I searched high and low for the original video but couldn’t find it — not sure if she removed it or I imagined it. This week I decided to give it a try based on what I remember.

First off, colors. I chose three from my Julep stock: Lena, an iridescent green; Myrtle, a deep red; and Charlie, a bright yellow.

My three color choices for DIY nail strips.

I took a piece of Saran Wrap and tightened it over a white cereal bowl. On it I painted 10 spots with my base coat (I tried a test without base coat and I couldn’t get them off the Saran). On the dried base coat I put a few drops of each color and swirled them around with a toothpick. I put the bowl aside for a few hours and tested, still not dry enough to peel off. I promptly forgot about them.

A few days later I peeled them off — it wasn’t super easy but once I lifted an edge up it peeled right off. I crumpled up the Saran to save for another nail project. I put the strips aside and forgot about them again for a few more days.

When I finally sat down to use them I was afraid they would be too brittle but I lucked out.

I started by laying out the nail strips in order from thumb to pinky. I applied a basecoat to my nails and because my nail strips were not perfectly engineered I decided to paint one coat of Lena to act as a base color for any show through — I worked one nail at a time by the way.

My nails showing the DIY nail strips process: one with a base coat, one with the color coat, and done with the strip in place.

While Lena green was drying I used nail clippers to shape the strip I was working on to give it a straighter edge and alter sides to look more like a strip.

I applied the strip, base coat side down because it is the smoother side to the tacky nail polish and pressed it into place with a finger on the opposite hand. I then used an orange stick to gently press over it with a little more pressure. And clippers to carefully shape the tip to match my nail edge.

I did each nail in this manner then applied my Julep top coat.

My nails strips completed on one hand and laid out ready for the other hand.

It still didn’t fill in the bumps like I wanted it to so I applied two more coats of my Zoya base coat because it is thin and it was what was handy. A day later I did file the tips to make sure I had a smoother edge and gave them another top coat and sealed the tips.

My designs were pretty random and I probably could have assigned more control over what colors showed up the most but I really created them all willynilly this first try. Here’s a close up of one of my favorites.

A close up of one of my favorite designs.

Overall I didn’t mind the process. I love the marbling of three colors and the fact that it is not as messy as the true water marbling process — but there is something that is so perfect about water marbling that still makes me want to do it. That being said I know I will probably attempt this technique again. The DIY nail strips lasted me for my usual four days before I got bored and peeled them off — I just had some touch up cleaning to do with remover. Not sure what is happening with the middle nail of this photo but there definitely isn’t a chunk missing. The strips were all intact when I removed them except for a small chip on the ring finger.


How about you are you game to try or have you already?

I went looking for the original video again because I really like to show where I get ideas from but still couldn’t find it. But I did find three others you might find helpful if what I have said up above wasn’t enough:

Reese Dixon’s Nail Art Stickers

Reese uses parchment paper which is a great idea. I use parchment paper for baking cookies so I’ll have to remember this the next time I try.

DB DIY Nail Decals

This video shows how to make simple nail art on clear polish and put it over a darker color. Kind of like mini decals.

Julie Ventura Large Nail Strip

A completely different method that makes a large nail strip and pastes in reverse.

I’m confident you will come away with great techniques from each video to get you through the process.

Sinful Colors

This past week I had the opportunity to try two new (to me) polishes by Sinful Colors. This was my first time using the econo-brand (less than $3) which offers an excellent array of colors choices. I picked up Gorgeous which is a light blue with a minute sparkle and Let’s Talk which is a dark blue with an iridescent purple (or purple on purple depending on the light). These two polishes could not be more different from one another and I am not only referring to color.

Sinful Colors “Gorgeous”

This is an incredibly thin nail polish that was hard to control. It just moved all over the place on the nail and for the most part I do not use a lot of polish on the wand when I am painting. It was really sheer too. Four coats later and I ended up with the results you see here.

My first color is "Gorgeous" which is a lovely blue.

If I had not purchased the two bottles at once I probably would not have purchased another. The color was beautiful but the application turned me off.

I paired it with a bright red accent on ring finger and thumb.

This polish didn’t seem to last very long either, it didn’t chip but it faded near the tips. (I used Revlon base coat and Julep Freedom top coat).

In this close up you can see the faint sparkles.

I paired this polish with the red Rendezvous from L’Oreal which is easily my most favorite red at the moment.

Sinful Colors “Let’s Talk”

This polish was the complete opposite. It was a nice consistency, stayed on where I put it and it only required two coats. I probably could have gotten away with one but there were a few peek-a-boo spots that needed to be covered up.

My second attempt was a very intense purple.

I used the same base and top coat with this color as I did with the blue and the polish stayed on much longer with no fading.

I definitely love this color more than the blue.

I think the color is amazing, I don’t think I have ever worn purple nail polish even though power purple is a favorite color of mine.

A close up of the purple.

The iridescence of this polish is so much fun; for the most part it is very purple but in some lighting it looks very blue.

This image shows how blue the polish can look under the right conditions.

Sinful Color can be found at drug and department stores as well as online at Amazon.

Topic Links
* Get your Sinful Colors from Amazon

Howling at the Moon Nail Art

One of my favorite movies is American Werewolf in London so it should be no surprise that as soon as I saw I Have a Cupcake‘s Werewolf Halloween nail art that I had to give it a go. She really makes it look so easy, have a look at her how-to video:

As she mentioned in her video she used the following nail polishes:

  • Orly Base Coat
  • Mahogany Magic by China Glaze
  • Yodel Me on My Cell by O.P.I.
  • Blonde Bombshell by China Glaze
  • Liquid Crystal by China Glaze
  • Americana black acrylic paint
  • Americana white acrylic paint

Because I do not have the same stash I used (my colors listed below match in order with the ones above but not in the photo):

  • Revlon Multicare Base and Top Coat
  • Faye by Julep (brown)
  • Ally by Julep (sparkly blue)
  • Lena by Julep (iridescent green)
  • Set in Stones by Essie (silver glitter)
  • LA Colors Art Deco black lacquer / Cleopatra by Julep (black)
  • LA Colors Art Deco white lacquer

The nail polishes I used for this nail art.

I think it turned out pretty good — and while I Have a Cupcake makes it look super easy, I would say it was mostly easy. I would definitely put it on the newbie “I can do this” list. Look at my moon, doesn’t it look awesome?

My attempt at werewolf nail art.

Most of this nail art was pretty easy. The background sky, the hills, the moon. And the wolf fur–easy. I ran into trouble when it came time to do the wolf face. My first attempt was pretty crappy. I tried to cover it up with another coat of brown but that only made it worse. I ended up wiping it off and starting again. On the second try, instead of using the Art Deco brush, I went with a dotting tool and the latex polish even though it was going to be covered with a top coat.

There are so many things I like about this project. First my color choices. Ally is one of my favorite blues and has an incredibly sheen to it all on its own. Lena has a brilliant iridescence and makes it look like there is twilight behind the trees (get it? Twilight?). Even the brown I used has some fine sparkle to it. But my favorite is the contrast of the Essie glitter which looks like stars, really big stars but stars none-the-less. I need a little more practice making trees but really, for a first try on such a small canvas… they are pretty cute.

My sky view nail art.

While doing this nail art I also discovered I want to do a blended manicure with this blue, green and black Julep colors at some point maybe even with the glitter top coat.

Besides my color choices, I did something a little different with my moon than the artist in the video. After I put down my circle of white I blotted it with a sponge to give it that moon crater look. I think it is a pretty cool effect.

My wolf howling at the moon.


A close up of my werewolf nail art.

I made a very quick video just so you can how bright the colors actually are:

Topic Links
* Check out more of I Have a Cupcake’s designs at her official website
* Become a Julep Maven!

Tempted and Untamed

This fun fall manicure was courtesy of two colors from Avon’s fall collection. These are the first Avon polishes I have worn in some time and I am quite happy with the color and consistency of the enamel. Besides that I am really amazed how well this polish held up, even after five days no chips, not sure if it was because my nails were cut short or what but it was impressive. I am not known for being delicate with my nails so for me to get five days without chipping is unheard of. Here is the untamed creme beige alone:

My nails with Avon's Untamed beige nail polish.

And here it is with the greenish iridescent Tempted sponged on the tips with a make-up sponge.

I sponged the tips with Avon's coordinating Tempted polish.

What do you think of the color? I think it is a nice neutral look for fall, even on short nails.

Topic Links
* Check out my Avon Savage Teal nails
* Check out my Avon Racy Red nails
* Check out Avon’s other colors

Zoya Tinsley

The first polish I tried from my Nail Polish Canada purchase was the orange Zoya by the name of Tinsley (ZP671). I loved it from the first brush stroke. It is a pale orange which I think works better for my skin tone than a lot of the brighter or neon ones. It is also easier on the eyes. There is a whole lot of minute sparkles in this nail polish which makes it shiny in all kinds of lighting. Here it is under natural lighting:

Zoya Tinsley in natural lighting.

And here it is under a lamp:

Zoya Tinsley under lamp lighting.

I put on two coats and a topcoat (I probably could have put on a third coat but I was happy with the look of two). I found it surprisingly durable even after a full day of housework with my hands in and out of water.

This orange nail polish is from Zoya’s summer collection but I plan on using it as it gets closer to Halloween too.

Topic Links
* Get Zoya’s Tinsley Nail Polish from Amazon

Constant Caribbean

One of my favorite colors this summer came about when I did the Gradient Sunset nail art for the Shoppers Drugmart contest. The last coat applied was Cover Girl’s Constant Caribbean. This rich green hue made the sunset and I was looking forward to trying it on its own.

A bright green iridescent polish from Cover Girl called Constant Caribbean.

I just could not capture how pretty this polish is with a photo so I made a very quick video. Is this beautiful or what?

I am looking forward to mixing this bluey green with other colors in the near future. I wonder how sharp it would be color blocked with black polish? I think it would make a great color come Christmas time too — dab on a few red dots — boom!