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HOW TO: Paint Triangle Nails

in ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT by

Have you ever thought of yourself as someone crafty? I hadn’t, until recently. Over the summer while I had free time, I began to see things online that other people had made and decided, “If they could do it, why couldn’t I?”

And let me tell you, most things really are just as simple as that. “Why not?”

Throughout the summer I made a flower crown headband that lights up, hemmed my own skirt, learned how to cook, dabbled in nail art, built my own orbit (a light up toy) from scratch, played with hundreds of hair and makeup styles, etc…

So upon my return to the school paper I decided I would try something new. Here’s a little test-run of my DIY (Do-It-Yourself), How-To column.

I thought I would start with something I know that I am good at: nail art. For today’s article I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to make an interesting triangle pattern.

 

What you’ll need:

Two colors of nail polish

Top Coat

Scotch tape

Patience!

 

Directions:

1.) Prepare your nails to be painted. This means stripping them of any existing polish, filling them into your prefered shape, buffing ridges, etc. Personally, I like to file my nails into square tips and wash my hands before I begin.

(Pro-tip: if you tend to get the polish on the skin around your nail and have a hard time getting it off, rub vaseline on the finger right by the nail. This will help it come off much easier when it is dry.)

 

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

 

2.) Choose your base coat. This should typically be the lighter color. Paint a solid base by wiping off the excess paint, then swiping a vertical line of color down the center of the nail. Then fan out the color on either side of the stripe, making sure to get all the way to the edges. It usually will take two coats of color to make a solid base.

 

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

 

3.) WAIT. This would be a good time to go call your best friend and catch up on every minute detail of her life. You should wait at least 20 minutes to make sure your nails are 100% dry before going any further.

(Pro-tip: to check if your nails are dry without ruining them, gently touch two corners together. If they feel at all sticky, they aren’t ready yet!)

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

4.) Once your nails are good and dry, it’s time to break out the tape. Take a small piece of scotch tape and lay it diagonally across the top of your nail. Then take a second piece of tape and, overlapping with the first piece, lay it diagonally across the nail in the other direction. What you have left should be an open triangle at the bottom of your nail. You may have to play around with the tape a few times to make sure it’s centered and the size is how you like it.

(Pro-tip: push down on the edges of the triangle to make sure there are absolutely no air pockets that the paint can seep under)

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

5.) Take your darker color and paint the inside of the triangle. It’s okay to be messy–that’s what the tape is for. Just make sure that the whole triangle is covered. However, it’s important here not to use too much polish. It’s a small area, so use very, very little. You need this area to dry very well before taking off the tape, so too much polish will take too long to dry and the edges will not be as straight as you’d like.

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

 

6.) WAIT yet again. This time call your grandmother and ask her to explain her last bingo game in great detail. Or, hey, do some online shopping for some new clothes to go with your fabulous new nails. Whatever you decide, don’t touch anything for at least 10 minutes. Again, you want this area to be very dry so that the lines will come out straight.

 

7.) Once you think the paint is dry, remove the top piece of tape first, pulling slowly from bottom to the over-lapping tip. It should peel off easily and leave a crisp, straight line. Then do the same with the bottom piece of tape, again from bottom to tip. What should be left is a perfect little triangle! If the lines are not perfect because the polish was still too wet, you should be able to push it around gently to make it more even.

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

8.) Finally, carefully brush on a top coat to smooth the layers down. I highly recommend Sally Hansen No-Chip, Quick Dry Top Coat.

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

9.) Go show your friends your awesome nails and enjoy all the attention!

Photo by Sam Foster
Photo by Sam Foster

 

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