My daughter and I like doing our nails, it is one of the few things we ever bonded on, she is so much more girly than me, so our interests don’t normally collide. I get my nails done at the salon every once in a while, and she always loves my long fake nails I come back home with. Often times I get glitter, gems and airbrushing done.
Well she wanted to get hers done like that, but I know from experience how damaging it is, and I felt it was simply something she was too young for.
We started looking into alternatives. There are many places that sell press on nails over the internet, but alas none in her size.
What we ended up doing is getting the cheap ones at the dollar store, which I just repaint. The dollar store nails come with and adhesive on the back, like a really tacky gel glue. So she just presses them on, and can take them off at night. If one goes missing, I can just use another in the same size and do a repaint. It is also easy on touch ups, because they don’t have to be on her nail to do it.
Now, I liked doing them for her so much, I thought, why not do these for myself. I had to track down ways of making it work for re-usability sake, and found these great little stickers:
They are called Nail Adhesive tabs, and you can order them many places online. You can find them on places like Ebay, Amazon and Aliexpress. I tried to find them in a physical store, but alas, no luck. Sally’s Beauty supply does carry them instore in the states(but not canada).
While I am waiting on my order, I thought I’d go ahead and start making my own designs, then I would have some stored up and ready to go. The first design I decided on was a water droplet themed one.
I had recently been at a friend’s house, and they had these decorative water glasses that have fake condensation on the outside. It turns out my friend was a dip, and actually DIY’d them herself. Why you would want fake water on the outside of your glass, I don’t know. She said she did it with nail polish, which got me thinking, that would be really cool on a nail.
Wet n Wild – Wildshine Clear Nail Protector
LipSmackers – Collab with Disney Tsum Tsum – Skellington
LipSmackers – Collab with Disney Tsum Tsum – Mistress of all Evil
Sally Hansen – Big Kwik Dry Top Coat
First you will need some sort of fake, full acrylic nail. You want to make sure they aren’t tips, as those are meant for just the tip of your nail. I like mine squared off, so I buy the Nailene Full Cover Nail Capsules in Active Square. I normally get a pack of 200 for like $9CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart. You can get full fake nails for cheaper over the net, if you have the patience to wait for your order. The ones that aren’t my size the girl child and I use for practicing designs on.
I don’t know what other people use for this process, I use to use Shish Kabob Skewers and some tape way back when, but I made a new sort of setup. I just use my kids plasticine and some toothpicks. You just pop the nail on the top bit, and you can do you coat, the place it upright in the bottom bit. I have them all on top of a shoe box sized container, and that is where I keep all the unused nails, files, nail polish, qtips, cotton swabs and nail polish remover. This makes the rig movable, so I can do this in any room, just need to cart it around. When done, just put the little stands in a plastic baggie. You can reform them the next time you need them.
To get the same look as I got, just size up your fake nails, to your real nails, and figure out what numbers you are. Then take out two sets and file them to fit your nail bed. Once they are to your liking, clean off the whole fake nail, front and back, you treat them like your real nails. You don’t want any debris on there, when you start your polish.
This is when you stick your nails to the little stands. Plasticine has a oil based residue, so do this carefully, you don’t want to transfer any oils onto the top of the nail.
Now you can start. I don’t know if a base coat is really required, but I did it anyways. I just use a clear polish, I like this Wet n Wild Nail Protector, I buy it at Dollarama. When doing my coats, I just take the toothpick out of the base and paint it in my hand, then stick it back in the base to try.
Once that is dry, I put on the black polish. I just use it to help the other dark colour, so you don’t have to do too many coats. This black is a one coat opaque polish, which is really nice. If you were using a lighter colour, you could use white instead, or like for a red chrome, you could do a red undercoat. Not sure if it is necessary, it’s just what I did. Let it fully dry.
I then put on the chrome-like polish next, it isn’t a true chrome, but it’s a nice shade, and goes on super well. I thought it might look pretty under the fake water droplets. Now if your polish doesn’t settle nicely with one coat, you might have to do a second. Let each layer fully dry.
Now you are going to want to do a full clear topcoat. This is just to seal and protect the colour of the nail. Let it fully dry.
Finally the water droplets! I learned, as I was experimenting, that you are going to want a polish that is very thick to do the water droplets with. Out of my collection, I had a few that worked okay, and most really didn’t do well at all. So test out your clear polishes. To do this, I just took out a piece of paper, painted a long rectangle of my colour polish, let that dry, then tested each clear polish by dotting it on top of the test rectangle. Let them dry and see which is the one that keep a dot shape the most. That is your winner.
Once you have a winner, start dotting your nails. I felt having them all done would be a bit too much, so I just chose a few for each hand to do. You could also do the water droplets like a french manicure at the top. Let your first layer of dots dry, then dot on top of those. This will create dimension, as the first dots will dissipate a little bit. Let dry.
You are done! Just pop them off the stands, and clean the backs of any oil from the plasticine with a qtip with a water and gentle dish soap solution. Now, if you had ready the tabs, you would just peel off the plastic, stick those on you nails, then add your fake nails. Technically, you can use these as just glue-ons too, but I have plans for some elaborate ones, and I personally would like to reuse mine.
I just store them in an embroidery floss container, in the back of my dresser, since it is cool, so they wont stick from heat. So far that works, but I know I am going to have to find a different solution before summer. I will let you know what I come up with then.
It was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it!