Friday, May 6, 2011

Little Miss Fancy Nails

For as long as I can remember have I bit my nails. Sometimes out of boredom, but mostly caused by stress... It's stressful being an artist. A nasty habit I know, but over the past year I have been obsessed with patterned nails, and it has really kept me from nibbling.
It all started with my first Minx. For those of you who don't know what that is, they are patterned and colored tapes that are trimmed to fit and heat bonded to last up to 10 days on your fingers or toes. I have to say they looked great for the first three days, but after that they begin to look a bit ragged. I got my toes done too, and they would have lasted forever! I left them on for four weeks and finally took them off due to regrowth. They peel off like a sticker.
Because I (and Mr. Aletha) are not big fans of the $125 mani/pedi (that is what the minx costs) I looked for different solutions to give the desired look with out the huge price tag. I have tried several different brands, and now I will share my nail wisdom with my fellow DIYers. I ordered Trendy Nail Wraps from England. They average out to about $10 a pattern (one pattern can do two full sets of nails and toes if your nails are stubby like me.) They have some good patterns and the metallics really look metallic, they even have tie-dye, which looked super cute on my toes. It takes a while for them to ship to the US (like two weeks), and they are thicker then Minx but they go on easy and look good with about the same lasting time. The biggest flaw is the glue, it is a mess to clean off your nails and they feel extra thick on your nails and it takes a little bit of getting used to.
Chic Nail Prints by OPI is another option to choose from. They have less patterns to pick from, but they do add new ones for each holiday, so keep checking. I got some super cute stars at Halloween that I am saving for a special night out. They were created by Minx so they have about the same lasting time. I have about 10 sets tucked away right now. (I am a bit of a hoarder at times when I find something new to obsess about.) One set of Chic Prints has 16 different size patches and can be stretched to do a full set of fingers and toes, if you nails are short. They can be purchased at Sephora and run $15 per pack.
For the longest wear time, I am in love with Sally Hansen's Salon Effects. They have the least amount  of patterns and colors to pick from, but they are actually nail polish and wears like nail polish so you don't have the added thickness on your nails like the other tapes.  I love the black and white floral print, they match everything!
They run $9 each but Walgreens has them BOGO 1/2 off from time to time, so they are worth stocking up on when they are on sale. I always add a top coat to them which helps extend the wear. The fishnet print has a soft gold ground that sparkles.
The last brand I have tried is Broadway Nails, Nail Dress. They are by far the cheapest. I picked some up at Meijers for $4.25. I have to say you get what you pay for. They don't stick very well and last about two days before they start to fray and peel. I love the floral print it is far more vibrant then the Sally Hansen version, and they look the most similar to the Minx retro flower, which I love, but they are for special one night events only. (Sorry the picture really sucks. It is surprising hard to take a picture of your own finger nails!) They really won't wear much longer then one or two days.

If you have been thinking about this very cute patterned based nail trend, I hope these tips will help guide you to find the product that works best for you. If you give it a try send me a pic I would love to see your fancy nails! Or let me know if you have a source that I haven't tried yet!