Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Newsprint Mani

The newsprint mani is an oldie but goodie. I actually did this one a while back, probably before we started this blog. As a word person, I absolutely love this one since it's a fun way to incorporate my career into my hobby.

I started out trying to use only the horoscope section — because how cool would it be to look down at my nails to check out my weekly Scorpio forecast — but I butchered my cutting job and ended up with strips that were the wrong size. My nails were really short when I did this mani, so for the first time I actually wished that the spacing of words in newspaper was a little closer together! Cut about a dozen one-inch squares of newspaper, just in case you make a mistake.

For my base color, I used about three coats of OPI Funny Bunny. It's one of my favorite white shades, if I can get the consistency correct to get a more opaque look. Since my polish tends to get a little clumpy and streaky during application, I try to use thin layers, which helps cover up the brush lines.

While the base color was drying, I prepped my supplies for the newsprint part of the mani. You'll need some sort of non-porous container — I use a large empty glass candle holder — tweezers, vodka and and your newspaper squares. Pour a shallow amount of the vodka into the glass container (I think there is a substitute you can use, but since I've always got vodka handy, this works the best for me). Once your nails are dry, use the tweezers to dip a newspaper square into the vodka, saturating both sides of the paper. Lay the square over your nail using the tweezers, then press down firmly with one of your fingers. Make sure you don't slip, since it'll smudge the newsprint. Hold for 45 seconds to one minute — if you don't let it set for long enough, the newsprint won't appear. If it doesn't take, wipe the newsprint off with a damp paper towel and re-apply with a new square.

Now is when it gets tricky. Since the newsprint isn't set on the nail yet, you'll need to be extra careful when doing your other nails. I recommend doing one hand at a time. Once you complete the design on one hand, let the nails air dry for 5 minutes, then use your favorite top coat (mine is Seche Vite) to seal the newsprint. Repeat with the other hand.

I thought the black and white needed a pop of color (I love monochromatic black and white everywhere except my nails!), so I added a small heart on my accent finger using OPI Big Apple Red and followed that with another layer of top coat.

By the end of this process, you'll probably end up with newsprint all over your hands. Most of this can be washed off with soap and water once your nails are dry, but for those hard-to-clean areas around your cuticles, you can use a small brush for clean-up. I go through them quickly since I'm terrible about cleaning them, so I buy a variety of cheap make-up brushes from Target. My favorite clean-up brushes are an eye-shadow smudge brush and a small concealer brush.

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