Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tetris Nails

So, I had promised I would talk about this a week after my tips to stop nail biting post, but I let life get ahead of me and a week turned into a month.


I really don't know where this idea came from, but somewhere down the line I decided I wanted Tetris nails. I had heard of people using Scotch tape to create fingernail designs, so I decided to give it a try.

For this, I needed: my x-acto knife, cutting board, Scotch tape, and an assortment of nail polishes. These were on sale 2 for $4, so I got a bottle for each possible Tetris color.

I laid about five pieces of tape on the cutting board and applied at least one -- if not two or three -- layers of nail polish on top. Some colors, like red and blue, barely needed anything more than a thin coat. Other colors, like green and yellow, needed upwards of 3 or 4 before it became noticeable.

While those colors dried, I painted a quick base coat of gray nail polish. I figured gray would be a nice backdrop for the shapes without being distracting. The background for Tetris has (almost) always been a shade of cobalt blue, but Sally Hansen nail polishes didn't seem to come in periwinkle and cobalt, so I had to settle on using regular "blue" for the shapes and gray for the background.

Using the x-acto knife, I carved out the various Tetris shapes into the tape. I made at least 15 or so shapes, since I had no idea how the tape would stand up when I peeled it off the cutting board.

And I'm glad I made as many shapes as I did. Getting Scotch tape with a few layers of nail polish off the cutting board turned out to be murderous. I found the best way to peel the shapes off was by using the x-acto knife as a bit of a wedge, slowly slicing the area around the shape as well as the shape itself until it was completely off the cutting board.

I placed each shape on a shape immediately after peeling it off the cutting board. After exhausting my pseudo-surgical skills, I found ten shapes for all ten fingernails. I sealed them on with a layer or two of clear nail polish and waited a very, very long time to dry (because like hell if I wanted to smudge all that hard work because I was too impatient).

Like I mentioned in my nail biting post, intricately-painted nails are actually terrible for people who bite their nails, since most who bite their nails also pick -- pick at peeling paint, pick at scabs, and definitely pick at thick nail polish. While this was a lot of fun (and drew some great compliments), it lasted only a day before everything started coming undone. I started picking at the shapes until they eventually peeled off (since clear nail polish is only so strong of an adhesive). This lead to picking at the gray base as well. By the end of the week, my fingernails looked like they had been dipped in cement and were slowly trying to break free. Eh, live and learn (and next time do it on your toenails).

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