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I tried DIY nail art…and it was harder than I thought


The first thing I learned when attempting this DIY nail art is that even easy nail art isn’t really easy. I have a newfound respect for all the nail technicians out there who make it look so darn effortless!

While I’m normally a classic red mani kind of girl, every once in a while I get the urge to mix it up, and I was feeling inspired by the cool negative-space nail art at Olympia Le-Tan’s recent fashion show in Paris. It looked like something I could pull off without professional help—and I was (sort of) right.

For starters, these Essence French Manicure Tip Guides cost less than a cup of coffee (yes, really), and they’re worth every penny. Obviously, you can use them on your tips, or you can apply them farther down the nail to create blocks of colour and negative space. Just make sure to press them down completely or the polish will leak underneath (I found that out the hard way).

After placing the strips, I painted on my colour of choice, “Russian Rouge” by Ceramic Glaze. I love that this polish provided solid coverage after just one coat. Here’s another tidbit (that I also learned the hard way): make sure to blot the nail polish brush on a tissue or it will go on way too thick. Once the polish has dried completely, remove the strips—and don’t jump the gun or it will smudge (trust me).

If you’re anything like me there will be quite a bit of tidying up to do (especially on your less dominant hand), so keep some Q-tips and polish remover at the ready. For the record, I’ve fallen hard for this Anna Sui remover (evidently my cat, Oscar, was also intrigued by the pretty purple glass bottle).

Last but not least, protect your hard work with a topcoat (like this quick-dry formula by Ceramic Glaze). I can’t say I was completely happy with my handiwork, but I do think this technique has a lot of potential, and with a little more practice, I really think I could—ahem—nail it. Now if only I could get my hands on one of Le-Tan’s exquisite embroidered clutches…


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