Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Conversation Heart Nails

Valentine's Day is coming up, and while they holiday itself is whatever to me, I have always loved Valentine's Day nail art. In 5th grade, I had the fucking coolest medley of Wet & Wild and Claire's Boutique pink polishes on my nails, which I spent roughly five hours on. While I'll never top the glorious manicure of V-Day 1996, every year I still give it a whirl.

This year, I was inspired by these amazing conversation heart glitter banners I found over at Unicorn Parade:


Even though I'm sickeningly in love with a super cool dude (like, if this was Valentine's Day 1996 again, I'd spend waaay more time writing a message on his pre-made, got-from-Walgreens valentine card), I still loved her salty banner better. This is why it's cool to have two hands! One hand can be all smooshy and gross, the other can be sassy as fuck.

You will need:
Elegant Touch Polished Press-Ons in Sweet Sherberts or your favorite pastel polishes
Another pastel colored polish. I used what I had on hand (pun!), Wet & Wild Megalast in I Need a Refresh-Mint

First, clean your nails of any polish that is already on them. Sometimes I skip this step because I'm super lazy, but it just makes the nails pop off faster, so learn from me and take the two seconds to do it.

Then, pick out which nails fit best to your hands. Its nice to do this first so that you don't have two of the same color next to each other, and so that you don't finish up only to find that you decorated five thumbnails and nothing for your pinkies.

I then went over each nail with a quick coat of Essie's Matte About You, because I liked how taking the shine out made the nails look very chalky, much like the texture of actual conversation hearts. I did this before adding the letters, because when I did it the other way around, the topcoat smudged all the letters.

Once your topcoat is totally dry, take one of your press-ons, and use the Sharpie to write your phrase of choice. I prefer it this way, as opposed to writing on the nail once you've glued it on, because I thought about that until I realized oh yeah, I'm not ambidextrous. I was hesitant to not put a topcoat over the Sharpie to seal it into place, but its been two days of showers and hand washing, and its still good. In fact, when I made a mistake and had to clean a nail with remover and start over, it took some elbow grease. So you're good.

I brought out the extra nail polish color just for a little more variation, and so that I didn't have to repeat the same color on one of my four fingers (I don't really care about the thumb, but if you do, you can use two extra colors).

Once all your nails are written on, attach them with the glue included in the kit. It also comes with adhesive nail tabs, but I've only ever tried the glue. Don't worry about smudging your masterpieces, it only takes about 15 seconds until the marker is totally set/unsmudgeable. 

And there you have it, a manicure so cool your fifth grade self is retroactively jealous. I really like the Elegant Touch nails, because they have the most natural nail shape I've found in press-ons, and they last forever. I've been loyal to them since I tried a set on a whim when I saw these amazing mirrored press-ons at Ulta:

I mean, you could literally use them as mirrors.

Because I have a 9-5, I kept my nails pretty G-rated, but I made some extras for when the weekend rolls around, because I live a wild and exciting life. That says Pants Off, not Fants Off, as it may appear since I tested doing a nail without a matte coat and the glare ruined everything. I also have one that says "SEXT ME" because I have the humor of a seventh grade boy. And because it makes me laugh every time because it reminds me of this:

The options are limitless, but here is a list of possible conversation heart sayings to get you started.


Shameless Plug - Please vote for Radical Possibility in the Apartment Therapy Homies! We just gotta make it to the top six to get to the next round, and we recently fell out! If you enjoy reading this blog, your vote would be greatly appreciated!


  1. do the glue on nails not completely destroy your nails?

    1. ive found they only wreak havoc if you try to rip them off! If they pop off on their own, or if you soak your finger in a little cap of nail polish remover, they come off clean without any breakage. i have pretty bitter nails, and its usually okay! a nice cuticle cream/nail lotion wouldnt hurt though!

  2. LOVE THEM & also thanks 3 the plug :D

  3. My first comment on your blog and I have to start out with I freakin' love you and your writing style!!

    I'm going to have to try the Elegant Touch kind because I love having my nails done, but a broke ass college student with bills and can never afford it, so I think I'll pick those up and give them a whirl next time I'm out :D


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