Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Beauty Hack: DIY Ziplock Nail Polish Strips

I know, I know: this blog was dedicated to mostly food reviews, but since I've been a bum and haven't had the opportunity to get around and try many restaurants these days, I decided it was time to diversify into hobbies other than dining & cooking. 

This hack has been around for awhile using Ziploc bags to create nail polish decals, however, upon a normal Google search, the top results shown are mostly nail polish decals, not nail polish strips. I figured that since nail decals are simply nail polish, it wouldn't hurt to try to make my own nail strips. 

Why? Now that is an important question. 

Well, if you're anything like me (extremely impatient) and simply cannot wait for the nail polish to dry, this is THE thing to do. You know those nail polish which requires at least a few layers, and you have to wait for a layer to dry completely before putting on the next? Or if you're lazy, think you can put on all three layers and pray to whatever deity you're into that it'll dry in a short amount of time (without accidentally smudging/scratching aka fucking it up completely)? 



The first layer of polish already feels like an infinity has passed and it makes me feel like a complete princess, unable to do anything with my distant phalanges, let alone having to apply another couple of layers after. 


Even worse, possessing streaky nail polish that takes FOREVER to dry, which pretty much means that it is a doomed requirement for several layers of nail polish. 

In my experience, I had a great OPI polish which dried pretty quickly, but had a new glitter polish which I wanted to put on top. Long story short: it screwed up my initial efforts, and was left unmotivated and with unpolished fingers [intense cussing inserted here]. 

Anyways, enough with the talk. 

Things You'll Need:
  • Nail polish
  • Ziploc bag (I suggest using the thicker one. The thin ones I have on hand proved successful, but since I actually wanted to reuse the bags, the thin ones pierced through when I tried to peel the polish off)
  • Tweezers or a thin, sharp object (metal nail file in this instance)
  • Base Coat
  • Top Coat
  • Scissors
  • OPTIONAL: Cuticle pushers with a silicone tip

What I did:

1. Apply a thin layer of base coat. Let it dry completely.

2. In the meantime waiting for the base coat to dry, I painted on the Ziploc bags oblong squares (try to paint it so that it is larger than the size of your nails). Paint extras just in case you fail along the way. If you have a streaky polish on hand, put a few layers on, to make it as even as possible. Just remember to definitely put a few layers on, even if it's not streaky polish. 

3. Let it dry completely. I left mine sitting for around 2-3 hours.

4. Use a tweezer or, in my case, a nail file to pick at the edges to lift & separate the dried polish from the plastic. Carefully peel it off the bag completely. (Initially, in this trial run, I freaked out because I thought that it was stuck to the bag, never to come off. After a few hard proddings, I managed to separate it from the bag. Don't give up!)

5. Position the polish strip on your nail so that it completely covers your nail.

6. Press the polish strips down onto your nail so that it adheres. Like the instructions on Sally Hansen's polish strips, carefully bend around the edges of the strips that doesn't cover the nail.

7. The edges of your nails will be the easiest to peel off. My strips were too big, so I used the cuticle pusher on hand to break off excess, overhanging strips. If that failed, I used my nails to peel them off carefully.

8. Finish off with a thin layer of top coat. Focus a bit more of the coating on the edges of the nails, so that the strips don't peel off easily when you scratch/peel things later. Let it dry and you're done!

My horrible result of the first attempt; although successful in adhering, my atrocious peeling skills have left uneven edges. 

The Result:
So, as seen in the photo above, there are some flaws I've encountered. It is technically successful in the sense that: (a) it adheres, (b) it is streak-free and, (c) you do whatever you want when the polish is drying, which normally compromises the outcome (eg: washing dishes, sleeping, pulling pants off, etc.)

I also decided to do the "XO" nail decal as seen on the accent finger, by using an old liquid eyeliner wand to draw on the ziploc bag. It was harder to peel off, but with a little dedication and persistence, it worked like a dream. 

The first problem is that the tearing technique I've employed isn't as efficient - tearing off the excess often results in uneven edges. So, unless you're an expert in tearing off nail polish strips, practice might come in handy. The second is that minute air bubbles formed after the top coat dried. Unless you're actually staring hard at my nails, you probably won't see it, but it does bother me a little.

Otherwise, I call this a success in the sense as I have achieved my goal in utilizing streaky polish with long drying time. Overall, it was fun and I can see a lot of potential with other nail polish I own - I plan to tweak the occurring flaws and update this once it has been resolved! 

If anyone who happens to stumble upon this post and has a great suggestion/advice as to how to fix these problems, please let me know!

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