[the DIY Files] marbled in the ice, sans water nails.

My nail designs, er, manis, are not all flash and sparkle. The problem with working in an office environment are the limitations placed on your appearance and attire. These manicure designs are meant to be both corporate-appropriate AND something to talk about. Enjoy!


I wish — I really do — that I had time to devote to the complicated tutorials and DIY-ing instructions that so many millions of others around the interwebs do. No, really, it’s an honest and sincere confession.

My problem lies in the fact that my brain refuses to focus and/or turn off. I may be listening to Spotify while reading an article on Huffpost AND brainstorming for my next project… all. at. once. So you can see why this manicure ended up being so appetizing?

Combining the elements of having a canvas ON your nails + getting random patterns using texture = the messier, the better! As evidenced in the terrible photos below. By the next morning, I had peeled off the residual nail polish  from the skin surrounding my nails. Much easier/less sticky than using acetone, ‘ya?

semi-finale of this effort. so gnarly.

Start with clean nails — you’ll have multiple layers on your nails, so the smallest bit of residue will lead to the polish coagulating into a big ‘ol mess.

You will need:

  • Base/clear coat (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails used here)
  • Opaque White color (Pure Ice Super Star here)
  • Bold Teal color (Sephora Who Let the Dorks Out with shimmer used here)
  • Dark Violet (ULTA Love My Blackberry used here)
  • your tried-and-true Top Coat (Essie No Chips Ahead used here)
  • saran wrap/cling wrap cut into 10 small 3×3 squares

1. Start off your nails with a single base coat/clear coat. Although they come in handy when using darker colors in preventing staining, I find that a base coat is the best way to even out the surface of the nail before applying anything else. It’s no different from a primer before putting on eye shadow.

2. Apply 1-2 coats of the White polish. You want to achieve a semi-opaque coat, not a throwback to the days in middle school when white out pens allowed stark ‘nail color.’  Wait 10-15 minutes for this to DRY COMPLETELY. No tackiness.

**Once dried, you will have to approach the rest of the steps ONE nail at a time. Don’t try to speed up the process or find shortcuts. The final effect will be less like a Jackson Pollock and more like a 2 year old’s face after feeding time.**

3. Taking the Violet color, apply 1-2 drops of color on the nail. Quickly take the Teal and do the same. The drops can overlap, be adjacent, or be limited to one side of the nail. Nonetheless, make sure you have too MUCH nail polish rather than too little.

4. Grab a square of the cling wrap, scrunch it up between your fingers and textured side out, sponge lightly on the nail. Some of the color will be picked up by the cling wrap, but do not sponge more than 2-3 times per nail. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the White being picked up and leaving a bare nail.

all lined up, yessiree.

tappin’ that saran wrap.

5. Repeat for each of the rest of the nails. Remember to use a new square for each individual nail.

6. Your nails WILL look messy — it’ll be all over the cuticles, and may possibly travel down your finger (hey, it happens!)

7. Once the polish has dried (approx. 30 minutes to be on the safe side), put on the Top Coat. Make sure that your brush doesn’t press too hard on the nail bed or else the color will be pushed around.

8. Now for the reeeealllly fun part: using a cuticle stick or a q-tip dipped in acetone , you can scratch off or rub off the excess nail polish surrounding your cuticles.

The fantastic part of this method is that its a mash up of marbling and graphic color splattering. Also, I can get 10 other things done at the same time. Ha!

If you manage to squeeze this manicure in, let me know how it goes.



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