[the DIY Files] acid washed geometrix mani.

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!


As a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s, I remember just how ‘cool’  acid-washed denim and geometric prints were. This year thus far has turned into a bit of, well, a flashback to that time period. Of course, it lacks the total and complete terror of  elementary school so it’s not *quite* the same. Nonetheless, this 90’s nostalgia in apparel has been plastered on every surface in sight. Take 1 part acid washed + 1 part polygonal shapes + unlimited parts bright colors =

print, denim, print, denim. Say whaaa?

…and here…

…and here. There’s more, but you get the point. Know how they say fashion is cyclical? I didn’t realize I was so old that trends from my childhood were ‘in’ again.

:temporary moment of sadness for my ancient-ness:

Sinful Colors “Let’s Talk” + “Hazard”

These two colors in particular inspired the graphic, vandalized 90’s texture randomly the other day. The blue-violet is unique in that it changes tone depending on what color its paired with. And it doesn’t photograph true to the bottle — changing from a cobalt blue to a vibrant purple. It dries with a satin finish. The orange-salmon is a near neon mixed with a slight pinky tint. The orange stands out in stark contrast when paired with the purple and the finish is creamy, similar to that of a pastel sorbet.

Considering that these are from a brand I have yet to try (Sinful Colors), it became a good opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone. Or accomplish two missions with one manicure. Something like that.

Here’s what you’ll need:

I tend to have 3 fingers painted one color and the other 2 fingers painted the second color. Keep the silver for the accent rather than a base color — one thing I noticed about the Sinful Colors formula is that they don’t texture well, most likely due to the thinner consistency.

1. Start with painting on the clear base coat.

2. Here, I actually decided to cut up my stencils with the painter’s tape in the beginning rather than after I already have a coat of color on. I’m prone to ruining any nail polish if I’m working with scissors at the same time, so might as well do it first! I only cut 3 different stencils, to alternate between the geometric print and the texturing.

Use simple line patterns, such as zig-zags, triangles, anything angular.

3. Once the stencils have been cut out of  the painter’s tape, stick the pieces on the back of your hand. Seriously. It will reduce the tackiness of the tape *while* you’re doing the next thing…

4. …which is to take 1-2 make up sponges, rip them into half. Make sure you tear them by hand, NOT CUT. You want the internal texture of the sponge to be exposed so you can create the ‘acid’ texture. You can also take off the tape stencils at this time.

5.  Paint 2 coats of the blue/indigo color and the orange color on each nail. Make sure they are completely and totally DRY. The two coats may take close to 30 minutes.

this is after 2 coats.

6. Pick up one stencil and place it on the nail — if it’s a zig-zag, it can be placed horizontally or even diagonally (resembling stairs). Pat down the stencil on the nail, making sure there are no bubbles or open flaps.

7. Taking the silver, place large drops of the polish on the plate, enough to use for sponging. Taking a section of the torn sponge, dab the silver onto the nail with the stencil 4-5 times, making sure to not make solid sections. The aim here is for texture.

8. Waiting for about 30 seconds, allow the polish to partially dry. Then, slowly rip off the tape stencil and place it on a clean area of the plate.

**You can switch colors with a single stencil OR even sponge on polish on a plain nail. The idea is for randomization and eye-catching results.**

9. Once the nail is completed, let dry for another 20 minutes minimum. Once dry, make sure to use a top coat!

The make up sponge’s natural texture allows for the application of the polish to be extremely easy, and it dries quickly enough to allow for layering colors.

So, are you willing to take a trip back to the 90’s? Mom jeans not required.



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