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.

DIY-Nail-Strips-Yellow

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.

Mint Tea and Saffron

When I took the box of duo Mark Nailed It Trend mini nail lacquers from Avon out of my to-do nail box I was kind of at a loss as to why I picked these colors. They are not exactly me-colors. But I bought them and decided to give them a go.

First up is the Mint Tea. It went on nicely enough but I could see the brush strokes. But overall a nice almost watercolor green with sparkle added.

Testing out Avon's Mint Tea nail polish.

After conversing with some Facebook friends I decided this green needed some gold sponged (cosmetic wedge) on tips and since the sister shade was a yellow gold I decided to use it.

I'm wearing Avon's Mint Tea nail polish with Saffron sponged on the tips.

I need more practice sponging. I was going for a gradient but as you can see didn’t quite make it. And I think I needed a stronger gold. It was not a bad look but the color just didn’t feel right on me. I haven’t tried the saffron as a straight polish but I would like to sponge it on some black or a bright green to see what it is like.

Mint Tea and Saffron nail polish from Avon.

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* Check out Avon’s nail polish line

Playing with Crackle

In the early fall I bought a bunch of Avon nail polishes including these two. At the time I bought them I had not planned to put them together when I pulled them out of the box last week it seemed like a good plan. Meh.

By itself the Suddenly Sunny Speed Dry goes on streaky. Even with a few coats it wasn’t very even. I then thought it was good choice for layering under something. It does dry super fast by the way.

Two coats of Avon's Suddenly Sunny on my nails.

The Mosaic Effects top coat is amazing says the geek in me. It is so cool to watch the cracks get bigger. And I love the color, Plum Illusion — it has a lot of fine sparkle. It’s a nice formula but I couldn’t play with it as the top layer dries pretty fast as it begins to crack. Even with the sparkle I find it a bit dull and think a top coat is required (shown with top coat).

Followed by one top coat of Avon's Mosaic Effects in plum illusion.

I’ve decided I am not much of a yellow person at least when it comes to nail polish colors. I’m definitely a purple fan though. I am also not a fan of the yellow/purple combination.

I really wanted to try the Mosaic Effects plum with another color so I swirled some blue (L’Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight) and gold shimmer (L’Oreal’s Because You’re Worth It) around (dry marble technique) then tried the cracking top coat. While the marbling of the blue and gold worked out nicely I am disappointed it didn’t show through as great as I thought it would through the cracked plum.

I experimented by swirling blue and gold shimmer together for my base under the purple crackle.

It is nice enough but I was just hoping the gold would have been more visible. Oh well, it was good practice. I did notice the second time around that the Mosaic formula is not as nice as when I first opened it — it has thickened up and become a bit goupy.

My final results with the purple crack over the blue and gold nail polish.

Have you tried any crack formulas?

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Topic Links
* Get your Mosaic Effects top coat from Avon