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.

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

This week I tried my very first imPRESS Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails. They were sent to me in my first Influenster Vox Box, the Maple Vox Box (first one in Canada) for review.

The imPress kits comes in a plastic nail case that opens across the middle.

I haven’t worn artificial nails since highschool. Way back then they were super long pieces of plastic I had to trim to live in the real world. I really like the nail art design on these “short length” nails. And unlike the press ons back then that used a crazy glue-like substance these ones have an adhesive already on the back of the nail. I just had to pull off the adhesive protection tag and press on my nail.

A macro close up of the nail art design.

The hardest part was figuring out which sizes would fit each nail. There seemed to be an awful lot of really small (or what I would call pinky finger) options.

The kit includes 24 nails, a prep pad, and a mini file.

Besides the nails it includes a mini file for smoothing the tips and a prep pad for cleaning the nails before application.

The very tiny file and prep pad.

There are 24 nails, two of each size, so twelve sizes to choose from.

There are 24 nails, two of each size.

For the most part all the nails fit really well and were super easy to apply. You do have to be certain before you press though because the adhesive is really strong and once pressed it can’t be straightened. One of my nails wasn’t centered properly so I have a bit of a gap on one side. I probably could have wrestled it off and used one of the remaining nails (there are 24 in a package) but decided against it.

The side view of the nail I didn't put on so straight.

I am trying to grow out my nails so these came at a great time, where I am paranoid about breaking one. I feel like they have some extra protection against breaking now. And they have a really cute nail art design.

My imPress nails in place.

The packaging says it will last up to a week so I look forward to putting it to the test. So far it doesn’t interfere with the buttons on the remote control so that is a bonus!

Holding my remote control with no interference from press-on nails.

I’ll store the leftover nails in the handy see-through container they came in. I might not be able to use them for a full mani but I can probably use some for accent nails down the road.

Leftovers put back in plastic nail container for storage.

Overall I am happy with the experience so far. I’ll update you to let you know how long they last. The imPress Press-On Manicure is available from Walmart for about $9 to 11 and there are lots of different patterns to choose from, solids too.

Update: I kept the nails on for four days. I wasn’t exactly gentle with them. I cleaned the bathroom, reorganized some furniture, and did a lot of hand washing. As a preventative after showers I gave them a little dry air from the blower drier and pressed them like I did when I first applied them — along the middle then the sides. Removing them was easy but not incredibly easy (I probably could have gotten away with another two days of wear). I just worked them off a little at a time, eight minutes.

I was surprised to see that my nails had softened underneath which was a disappointment at the time because I’m growing them out and I thought they’d end up tearing but within a few hours of removal they returned to their normal state and I made sure to condition them before bed.

ImPress press-on nails are definitely a fun product and I enjoyed the experience. I may even try them again in the future if I happen to see a nail art pattern I’d like to try. But for me, they would have to be on sale as I find $9 a bit expensive for five days of wear, even it I am paying for the no-mess convenience.

Topic Links
* Where to buy your Broadway Nails imPress Press-on Manicure
* Learn more about vox boxes from Influenster’s official website

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”