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!

IMG_1901
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.

BOOM.
BOOM.

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?

It’s Not A Trick, It’s An Illusion

I had the day off today and, like most grown women, I was really excited to have the time to do something cool to my nails.  I decided on a pretty simple but still super sweet shiny-nail-illusion look.  Here are the steps:

1.  Put on that base coat!  I use Seche Vite because they literally have the greatest top coat in the universe and I like to be fancy and have my base and top coat match.

2.  Grab your white nail striper and select three polishes of the same color that are progressively lighter in tone.  Here are mine!

photo 1 (500x373)

That’s just a plain ole white Sally Hansen nail striper followed by Find Me an Oasis, Truth or Flare, and Mezmerised all by Essie.  Can you guess my favorite brand?  Also, you’re going to use the colors in the opposite order I have them photographed.  You know, just to add a touch more confusion to this blog post.

3.  Paint your entire nail the darkest color.  Wait a minute for this to dry.

4.  Paint your second darkest color on most of your nail, leaving a border of the previous color on the right and the left.  Let that dry some.

5.  Apply a single stroke of the lightest shade in the middle of the nail.  This will leave a border of both colors on either side.  You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

6.  Take your nail striper and paint a thin line down the dead center of your nail.

7.  Apply your top coat!  As I mentioned before, Seche Vite fast-drying top coat is of the gods.  It takes, like, three minutes to fully dry over two coats of polish.  It’s given me a new lease on life–I can now enjoy my favorite activities like eating and watching tv without having to worry about smudging a nail!

8.  Take a bunch of pictures and post to various social media sites.

blue nails

If you ladies are weird and don’t spend half your paycheck on nail polish, you can use one color and some white polish to create the same effect.  On a piece of aluminum foil or a paper plate, pour out two decent amounts of white polish; to one of those, add one drop of your chosen color.  To the second, add three to five drops of the color, depending on how dark you want it.  Stir ’em up with a clean brush and voila!  You have your two lighter shades.  Check out my super sweet and not at all blurry visual below.

photo 2 (1) BECOMES photo 1 (1) !!!

This look is great for all occasions, from a fun date night to watching The Office for the third time alone at home with a bottle of wine.  Which reminds me, I should go.  I have plans.