GO LEAFS Nails (or How I Suck At Tape)

1 May 2013

For the first time in 9 years, the Leafs have made the Playoffs! This year I actually watched a Bunch of Hockey, and I since I live right downtown it’s sort of hard to avoid – Leafs Fever! I’m a BeLEAFer!
(Ugh… that phrase is actually cringe-worthy, too ‘Belieber-y’ for me!)

In honour of The Leafs first playoff game tonight, I decided to Fan-Up my nails. It was very nearly a disaster (as you’ll see in the step-by-step below), but overall they turned out Not Bad. Lets just say, they look great from a distance!

Perhaps my near-distaster was due to trying out two new techniques at the same time. First, I’d give Taping a whirl (and decided to try it both ways), and also try for home-made Decals; so I wouldn’t have to paint the actual Leaf on my nails directly, in at attempt to avoid messiness. Surprisingly the Decals worked out well, the taping however… did not…

(As always, click photos for larger versions)

I started with plain white nails (Wet & Wild, 449C), two coats for the nails that would remain white, and one coat for the nails I was painting over.

I bought thin masking tape for the task, but it was still thicker than I’d needed, so I cut it down a bit.

Next up was the actual taping. As you can see I decided to try both ways, both by using the tape as a border for the Blue (Sally Hansen, Blue My Mind) on White, and to cover the stripes for White on Blue. Clearly, it didn’t quite work. I probably didn’t wait long enough between coats. I probably should have used a top coat between the colours, or maybe the type of tape I was using was wrong…but…wow…what a mess!

I really could have started over, but I’d already come so far, and would have had to wait so long for another set of nails to dry, instead, I just did some manual clean-up with my tiny nail art brush… it took a few goings-over, but I got it looking pretty decent. I also knew that a properly applied top-coat would help wonders.

Here’s the progress, and finished product (pre top-coat);

Still quite messy, but what are ya going to do?

Now it was time to focus on the Thumbs. I’d previously seen someone do something called ‘Dry Marble’, where they painted a plastic bag however they wanted, and then peeled it off to basically make their own homemade decals. I thought this would be a great idea for the leaf detail (and also ended up using it for the “GO LEAFS” text, but didn’t photograph it), as I could make a few Leafs and choose my favorite.

Here’s how it went down – Clear Coat, Paint, Clear Coat – drying completly between coats!

It worked like a Freaking Charm! And was so easy to apply (base or clearcoat, stick it on, remove access with Nail Polish Remover). I will ABSOLUTELY be using this technique again!

So, all in all, disaster avoided – but if I wanna use Tape again, I have to learn to be more patient (or use a quicker drying polish). Although I love the far-away Glamour Shot at the top of this post (CN Tower and all), I’m also willing to show the up-close results… which are ONLY OKAY.