In my last entry I mentioned the chevron manicure - the only type of nail art, if you can call it that, I can really manage. I've tried water marbling before...once. It actually worked but it's labor intensive and kind of a hit-or-miss technique, because some polishes just don't work with the method. Also, I didn't use cuticle oil on my skin prior to the marbling and clean-up was a total pain.
So anyway, chevrons. These can be done fairly easily and quickly, and they have a retro look that I like. Reminiscent of a moon manicure, the chevron is just a little bit more foolproof because you can use a piece of tape to get a clean, sharp edge.
Please note that this certainly isn't the only/best chevron tutorial out there. I did a quick Google search and there appear to be videos and instructions with pictures. However it's difficult to take a picture of your own hands when...you're using them. So please feel free to ask questions if anything seems unclear, or, of course, check out one of the surely excellent videos/tutorials elsewhere on the Internet.
Here's how I do it.
- 2 colors of nail polish, both very opaque
- Scotch tape
- Fine tip Sharpie marker or similar (optional)
- Your favorite top coat
1. First, I polish my nails with a base color. Typically, for me, this starts with a regular manicure that I want to change up a little OR that I'm enjoying but is starting to show a bit of tip wear. So my advice to you would be to build the chevron on top of a manicure that you've been wearing for at least a day. This way you can use the tape without fear of botching the base color.
2. When you're ready to do the chevrons, rinse (with plain water) and dry your hands. You don't want to use soap as it can leave a residue. I dry my hands on an old t-shirt so I don't pick up a ton of lint from a fluffy towel.
3. Get your Scotch tape, or cellotape, whatever. I used the wide-width, matte-finish "satin" kind, which seems to work well. Tear off a strip of tape about 1.5 inches long and trim off the jagged edge with your scissors.
4. Place the piece of tape on your nail with one of the corners pointing up toward the free edge of your nail. You can put it as high or low on the nail as you'd like. Make sure the position is as you like it (I center the point in the middle of my nail, you could do it off to the side for an asymmetrical look) and press down firmly.
5. Use the Sharpie to trace a line on the tape along your cuticle. This will serve as a cutting guide. You can eyeball this if you like, and skip the Sharpie step, but I like to have the guide. It's important to have the tape lie flat against your nail. The end result should be a piece of tape shaped like a piece of pie.
6. Cut along the cutting guide and place the tiny piece of tape back on your nail. Repeat for all ten nails. It's easier to do all 10 at once rather than as you go - less chance of messing up your handiwork.
7. Paint your nails with the second color. You want this color in particular to be very opaque, because ideally you only want to use one coat. You don't have to paint over the entire piece of tape - just enough to give you the chevron shape.
8. Allow your second color to dry fairly thoroughly. So, find something else to do with yourself for 10 minutes or so.
9. Using the tweezers, GENTLY pick up an edge of the tape piece and lift off. Do this slowly to avoid ripping off the base color or tearing the tape.
10. At some point, you may want to apply a top coat. Make sure that all of your polish is pretty much dry before you do this, to prevent smearing. I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat in the red bottle, but you can also use a coat of clear followed by a coat of Seche Vite if you like. Just don't put SV directly on top of dry polish.
And there you have it! Chevrons.