Operations associate, Loren, has a thing for nails — and we can’t blame her. We love reading about new finishes and fun techniques, so we thought we’d give her a weekly slot on our blog to wax poetic about all things manicure (and pedicure!) related. Check back every week for Nailing It, Birchbox’s dedicated polish series.
Last week while reading All Lacquered Up, I came across a post on a cool new technique that the nail geniuses at CND developed called River Rocks Decals. Given that I love trying new trends, I decided to give this method a go. Surprisingly, even though it looks rather complicated, it’s actually pretty easy. Here’s how you do it:
What You Will Need: A basecoat, at least three different polish colors, a topcoat (avoid anything that is ‘quick drying’), a plastic bag, and a pair of scissors.
Step 1 - Prep Your Nails: If you want these homemade strips to stick, make sure you don’t have any lotions or oils on your hands and that they’re squeaky clean.
Step 2 - Apply a base color: To create these decals, you use a clear or very translucent polish, so if you want them to pop off a background color, you need to apply that first. I chose pink at my base color so that the green, blue, and silver would really standout.
Step 3 - Create a layer of clear polish: Once your basecoat is completely dry, find a piece of plastic, such as a plastic grocery bag, Ziploc bag, or saran wrap and cut out a section. Take your clear or translucent polish and apply a thin layer to the plastic. You can either paint in nail-sized sections or create one large surface area and then cut out strips to fit your nail.
Step 4 - Add your details: Once the clear polish has dried for a minute, it’s time to create your design. Taking a bright polish, dab on spots of color over the clear polish. I used Zoya Charla for this part.
Step 5 - Use more color: Once your vibrant shade has dried for a moment, feel free to add another set of spots. I layerd OPI Simply Smashing over the Zoya hue to create more interest.
Step 6 - Dry overnight: Once you’re done with the design, let your decals dry overnight. In the morning, they’ll be ready to peel off the plastic (trim them to fit your nail bed exactly). The decals should be pretty tacky and stick to clean or newly polished nails, but I used a layer of sparkly Nubar 2010 polish over them to blend the look.
Thinking of test driving this technique yourself? If so, we recommend using Deborah Lippmann’s Between The Sheets because it’s just so darn eye catching.