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.
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.
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.
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.
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.