I Zig, You Zig, We Zag

With all the craziness of Christmas, I did not have time to really do up my nails last month.  I did a candy cane and a snowy pattern, but it wasn’t nearly as much as I would have liked.  Now that the holiday chaos is over, I’m itching to make up for my transgression.  Though I didn’t have much time today, I still decided to do a quick lil’ somethin’.  If you have the Seche Vite quick drying top coat, this should only take you about 10-15 minutes.  If you have any other top coat, I’d give it 30 minutes to seven hours.  Honestly, I don’t know how you girls function.  But it’s an incredibly easy zig-zag design, most likely subconsciously inspired by some Barbie I owned in the 90s.

So Mattel.
So Mattel.

Now, into the tutorial!

The essentials.

Step 1:  Gather your materials.  You will need a top and base coat, two colors of your choosing (I mean, mine are the best but whatever, do what you want I guess), some tape, and scissors.  I have ones that already cut the zig-zag pattern because I spend my money on important things.  If you do not, you can easily create this pattern with regular ones.

Bare nails--I feel so exposed.
Bare nails–I feel so exposed.

Step 2:  Apply your base coat.  You don’t own a base coat?  You should.  Go to the store.  Buy one.  Come back home and apply.  See how shiny and pretty they look?  All healthy and well-taken care of?  Base coats really are underrated.

Step 3:  Paint your nails with two coats of the color you want to be on the bottom half of your nail.  I went with Fun in the Gondola by Essie which sounds more like a romance novel than a nail polish, but I guess they have their reasons.

Step 4:  Apply your top coat.  Let your nails fully dry.  This is a great time to play games on your phone or take a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what supporting character in a Disney movie you should marry (spoiler alert: it’s Rafiki!).

Step 5:  Take your scissors and cut your tape into pieces big enough to cover half your nail.  I have used scotch tape in the past and it has its good and bad qualities.  On the one hand, it sticks well, making your design sharp and the edges clear.  On the other hand, it sticks too well and can easily uproot that beautiful first color you painted.  Dilemma!  If you want to have that zig-zag be extra zig-zaggy, you could paint your first color in the morning, go about your day, do you, and in the evening, complete this with the scotch tape.  If you take the is-she-serious-no-one-really-gives-a-shit-what-it-looks-like-it’ll-chip-in-a-few-days-anyway approach, I suggest you use your good ole painter’s tape.  The edges are softer, almost wavy, but it still looks cool.

Being a girl is weird.
Being a girl is weird.

Step 6:  Apply the tape to your nail.  I started with my thumb and angled the tape up; on the pointer I angled it down, middle I angled it up, etc. etc. etc. so that on top of the TAPE being zig-zagged, the nails TOO are zig-zagged!  I take my themes very seriously.  Also, if using painter’s tape, be sure you really get that tape down on there good, especially at the edges where the nail meets the skin.  It can lift up and kinda ruin the effect a bit.

Step 7:  Paint your second color over the showing nail.

Step 8:  Remove the tape!  Hurry, remove it already!  If you wait too long it will dry but only sort of and when you go to pull off the tape, some of the fresh polish will come along too and you’ll get weird stringy lines all over your beautiful goddamn design!  Did you remove it yet?  Okay, good.


Step 9:  Apply your top coat to seal in the colors and smooth everything out.

And there you have it!  Since this requires 3-4 coats of polish, it does tend to peel off fast once it begins the dreaded chipping process. I would give it three to four days of life, making it best to wear for a fun night out or if you’re feeling really nostalgic for the 90’s.  But let’s be real–when aren’t you feeling nostalgic for the 90’s?


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