Thursday, 30 May 2013

manicure without the wait!

I love to have manicured nails but I hate going for manicures. I hate all the wasted time waiting for all the filing and cleaning up of cuticles to get done while I listen to the nail artist(?) chit chat with everyone else in the salon. I don't like chitchatting myself and so normally just keep quiet. I hate waiting for nail polish to dry and not having access to my hands for 10-20-30 minutes (somehow every time I go nail polish dries slower and slower). Mostly, I hate having to fork out anywhere from 10 to 35 euros for something I consider generally a DIY project.

But in order to give myself a manicure at home I have some obstacles as well... firstly, nail polish still needs time to dry which means I need time to apply and dry which I can't guarantee during Sera's naps and and generally too tired to think about come evening bedtime.  Then, there's always annoying possibility of smudging, chipping and generally ruining the job within the first 3 hours of application. That means, no tidying, cleaning, typing, or playing for ages and ages.... Boo.

Nail decals seem to solve this problem as they go on dry, don't have any wait time and if you're interrupted while applying nail #7 you can always pick up where you left off when you get back (hopefully the same day and hopefully before you go out for dinner with your husband's colleagues). The other advantage is that you can get that fresh, modern nail-art look, quickly and easily and have no dry-time. Sephora does some nice nail patches and I pick them up when I get a chance, but of course at €9.50, they are much more expensive than the traditional brush in bottle wet-application nail polish.

I decided to try making my own homemade nail patches, similar to the ones I normally buy with the nail polish I already have in the house.  Follow the steps I did for similar results.

What you'll need:

  • tweezers
  • nail polish
  • wax/oven paper
  • pen or pencil
  • quickdry topcoat

Step 1

clean your nails as perfectly as possible. Remove all residues of nail polish and scrape away any overgrown cuticles.

Step 2

Draw the rough shape of each of your nails on a piece of wax paper with a pen or pencil.


Paint the wax paper nails as if you were giving them a manicure with or without whatever style of nail art you want on your own final manicure.... make sure to paint the nails slightly larger than your drawn outlines and to coat the nails well.

Step 4

Go away.  Go do something else... shopping, go to the office, little league, on a picnic. I don't care as long as you leave the manicured wax paper alone for at least the next hour or two... when you get back to this project the polish must be DRY DRY DRY.... not half dry like when you put your hand in your purse to get your wallet to pay for your manicure dry... really dry.... go to sleep if you have to.

Step 5

When the wax paper manicure is dry, really dry, put a base coat of clear polish (or the same base colour as your design) onto your actual nails and let that set for 5 minutes.

Step 6

Very carefully, with your tweezers, peel each manicured wax paper nail patch off the paper and place gently over the corresponding nail. Press down with your finger. There will be nail colour overlapping onto your cuticles and off the tip of the nail if you followed step 3 correctly and made the patch larger than your nail.  Don't worry! Leave it alone for now. Do this for all your nails until you have a patch on each. They should naturally stick to your base coat underneath.

Step 7

With a cuticle pusher, gently smooth the nail patch onto each nail and push into your cuticles and along the edge, underneath the nails. The patch will tear at these points and you will be able to easily remove the overlap.

Step 8

Continue to smooth down all the patches until they adhere properly to the nail underneath and you are satisfied with the details

Step 9

Apply a quickdry transparent top coat and let dry.

Have fun and be creative! With this method you can really play around with colors, layering and styles!


  1. Cool idea.
    How long long do they normally last?

  2. Hi Denise!
    They're lasting longer than my regular manicures. Between 5 and 7 days-ish. I made 20 patches me the same style in case I had to touch up a nail or a few but haven't needed to use the extras! They really do feel like the store-bought versions too and my nails seen to be breaking jess (though they are short)! Please let me know if you try it and how it goes!!!!

  3. I wonder if they are cheaper here? Will check it out

  4. OMG! sounds great! I've to try this