It’s summer, and that means sandal season. And around here, sandal season means painted toe nails (and finger nails). Love the fancy nail art you see but don’t think you can do it yourself at home? Think again! Here’s a SUPER EASY way to create detailed designs on your nails!
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Em loves to have her finger nails and toe nails done. But she doesn’t just pick one color. Sometimes every nail is a different color! Gotta love her!
Last night she wanted her nails done and picked only four colors—dark blue and hot pink to alternate on her toe nails and light pink and lilac to alternate on her finger nails. But then she realized it was just too plain and wanted more pizzazz (love that word. It has pizza in it. hmmm. pizza…). She’d been on Pinterest earlier (yes, she is only 6, but LOVES Pinterest), and had seen lots of fancy nail art. I hear, “Mommy, can you do that for me. PLLLLEEEEAAAASSSEEE???”
I had tried doing some nail art a while back on myself with mixed results. I had tried masking areas with tape and I also tried creating designs with a toothpick and head of a pin. All were tedious and didn’t come out very well. And if you make a mistake, you gotta start ALL over. Yuck. (I should have taken pictures for a “Pinterest Fail”). So I definitely hesitated when she asked me to do designs on her nails. Not to mention her nails are half the size of mine!
Well, when Em made her request this time, I was sitting at my new “art studio” (corner of my bedroom), and had a few Gelly Roll pens lying around on my drafting table. Hmmm…. could it work? Should we try it? YES!
If you aren’t familiar with Gelly Roll pens, they are gel pens that have a ball-point tip and opaque ink that is “permanent” when dry. (I normally use them for coloring, and I also use the white ones as a type of “white out” when I make mistakes in a pen drawing.) I put permanent in quotes because it is like latex paint. On the right surface ,like paper, it is durable, but on a slick surface like a painted nail, it can be scraped off. But, unlike other permanent pens like Sharpies, it washes off with water (at least before it’s dry).
I picked up the white Gelly Roll pen and went to work. She instructed me what patterns she wanted on each finger nail. It worked wonderfully! Because Gelly Roll pens are almost like a paint pen, it goes on fairly thick (although a pretty fine line), so you get a raised, 3D effect as you would with nail polish.
It was so much easier and natural to draw designs with a pen! Best part is, if you make a mistake, just wipe it off with a damp cloth and try again. And it doesn’t mess up the color underneath! That is so much easier than working with nail polish! Next time I’ll even let her do it. No mess!
After applying the designs, we let it dry for just a few moments, and then applied a clear top coat of nail polish to protect it. Without the clear coat, I think it would probably rub off pretty easily. I was careful not to go over it too roughly with the nail polish brush for fear that the ink might smudge (although according to the manufacturer, it “will not smear or feather when dry,” and it is “waterproof and chemical proof”).
We then went to the toes. She didn’t want white, but instead said she wanted gold. I couldn’t find my new gold Gelly Roll pen, so I went with a gold felt-tip permanent pen (not sure the brand). It wasn’t as fine a line, but still went on smoothly. It didn’t leave a raised surface as with the Gelly Roll pen. Again, we applied a clear coat over it. It got the slightest bit blurry, but barely noticeable. She wouldn’t let me take a picture of her toes, so sorry nothing to show here. So instead, I’ll show a closeup of my work on her finger nails. SOOO CUTE!
Next time I want to try some of the other Gelly Roll pen colors. We have some glitter ones I’ll bet would look awesome!
Have you tried doing nail art? What is your technique?