Beauty Beat: DIY nail decals an alternative to polish

Ashley Evert, Staff Writer

While perusing some of the nail art blogs I frequent, I became aware of whispers of a Do-It-Yourself approach to nail decals.
Unfortunately, not many people actually had a thorough tutorial for this art.
Because more people are becoming infatuated with the idea of making things by hand instead of purchasing products in over-priced stores, I decided to try this technique and let you all know if it’s worth all the trouble.
1. Figure out what image you would like to make a decal from and scale it on your computer to fit your nail.  This may require a few print-outs until you get the correct sizing.
I recommend replicating the image a number of times over a full sheet of paper so you can paint a ton of these at once.
2. Cut a plastic bag (or wax paper, plastic wrap, or really anything clear that nail polish will peel off of) and tape it to the paper so it will not move as you paint.
3. Paint a clear coat over the image onto the plastic, making sure to leave some edges since you’ll need some wiggle room to lift the image when it’s done. Repeat so there are two coats of clear polish over the image.
4. Once the clear coat is dry, paint over the image with a tiny brush or toothpick and let that dry.
5. As that is drying, paint your nails with a base coat of whatever color you’d like. Make sure everything is 100 percent dry before you try to lift the decals or they will fall apart. If you try to apply the decals to wet nails, it will smudge your polish (I learned this the hard way).
6. Apply a thin top coat to your nails and use a pair of tweezers to lift your decal off the plastic and place it on your nail. Press it down gently and apply another top coat.
7. Repeat until you’re satisfied with your lovely nails, let them dry, and enjoy the inevitable compliments.
These decals are great for those of us who have trouble painting images directly onto the nail, since they are not perfectly flat.  It’s much easier to create a flat image and then transfer it to the nail.
Overall, I appreciated the DIY element of this project, but I just did not have the patience for it.  Perhaps it was the incredibly time-consuming pattern I chose.
For people who love to spend a lot of time on their nail art, this is a great challenge for you.  For those of us that like things a little more on the simple side, this may try your patience a bit.
I hope I have inspired you to try your hand at creating your own nail decals.  Good luck.