Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fishtail Braid (aka Herringbone) Mani!

I have to admit, I spend way too much time doing my nails. I get angry when my hubby rolls his eyes whenever I explain that I have to dedicate time on a Saturday or Sunday to perfect the latest manicure trend. But this week, I have NO shame in the time it took me to complete this look, because it more than paid off.
Behold - the Fishtail Braid Mani!
I've been stalking this particular nail art for several months on Pinterest, and finally found a suggested way of accomplishing this that actually made sense - and that I knew I could do.
Start by gathering 3 or 4 polishes. Mine are Zoya Yummy (blue), Zoya Mira (purple), Zoya Willow (peach) and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Golden-I.
Paint a long strip of each color onto a Ziploc bag. Wait for each layer to dry and build up 2 or 3 layers to get maximum opacity. Then wait a few hours until the paint is completely and 100% dry.
Once dry, use a pair of flat tip tweezers to peel the strips off the bag. Then using a ruler and an X-acto knife, cut the excess off of each strip in order to get an even width.
Cut each strip into smaller pieces.
Paint nails your base color (one of the 3 or 4 colors used for the strips). Let dry.
Sick apron, right?  I was baking with the hubs and never took it off.  :-P
Now comes the tricky part. Because the strips of polish are dry, the may not want to stick as much. But if you warm them a bit between your fingers they should be okay. You're going to start layering.
As you can see, you don't want to place the strip all the way to the edge of the nail. If you do this, they will build on top of each other and become very thick. Keep layering your colors. I tried using a pair of tweezers for placement but found I needed more control so I used my fingers. You'll want to really rub the strips on the nail to promote sticking.
Once you're layered all the way down to the nail bed, use a cuticle stick to press the strips into the edges of the nail, all the way around, and create a crease. Grab your cuticle nippers and start trimming off the excess. Be super careful here as the strips might start to lift, especially the ones closest to the cuticle.
You can also leave a small amount of each strip if you have a hard time trimming. Just grab an angled brush and some acetone and clean up the edges and cuticles like you would after any paint job. Because its just nail polish, the acetone will break it down and dissolve the excess. The top with a coat of Gelous to lock in the strips and provide a smooth layer, the. Add your favorite top coat. I just received HK Girl and I'm impressed so far!

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