Manicure Monday: Back to School Nails

I know its not Monday, but I wanted to get this out this out today so that I won’t have to worry about it tomorrow. This cute back to school look was inspired by both PackAPunchPolish and MissJenFabulous. I took aspects from both Youtubers’ videos and threw them together.

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The Products

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Polishes: Base/Top Coat, White, Light Pink, Yellow, Silver, Blue, and Red
Brushes: Nail Stripers/Paint Brushes and a Synthetic Brush
Other: Newspaper Scraps, A small container with water, Polish Remover, and a Fan (optional)

  • Base/Top- L.A. Colors Calcium Treatment
  • White- Circus by Andrea’s Choice Reverso
  • Light Pink- Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl
  • Yellow- Julep Abbie
  • Silver- Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Silver Sweep
  • Blue- Sally Hansen Calypso Blue
  • Red- Orchid Sugar and Spice and Nothing Nice

The Procedure

The Thumb: Pencil Nails

  • Paint your thumbs with a base coat. Follow with two coats of a light pink polish. This will be the eraser. Let dry (90%) before continuing. To speed up the drying process, I like to use a fan.

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  • Paint half the thumb with one coat a yellow polish. You can add another if you need too, but be cautious, it can get a little thick, which means the manicure won’t last as long. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even; we’ll cover it up. This will be the actual pencil. Once again let it dry before moving on.

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  • Take a silver polish and make a horizontal stripe between the yellow and pink. I used a separate paint brush because it gives me more control, but you can just use the brush that comes with the polish. If I’m using a brush or nail striper, I run it under water, press out some water, and smooth the hairs together before dipping it in the polish.  This is the metal piece that holds the eraser.

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  • Take the same yellow (or peach or black) and make three medium sized vertical lines from the silver stripe down to the tip of the nail. This creates the shadows of the ridges on the pencil. I was able to use the same color because the yellow on top of the pink became a darker, mustard yellow.
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These stripes are thicker than I would like, but I’m too lazy to fix it, again.

  • Let dry and finish it off with a top coat.
  • Use polish remover and a synthetic brush to clean up.

The Rest of the Nails: Notebook Newspaper Nails

  • Start off with a base coat. Follow that white two coats of a white base.

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  • Wait for that to completely dry before continuing with the newspaper part.
  • Make sure you cut your newspaper in strips that are roughly the size of your finger, but long enough to hold on the sides.

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  • Dip the strips of paper in the water for a couple of seconds.

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  • Place the paper on your nails, hold it down on the sides, and press down firmly. I pressed pretty hard; the harder you press, the darker the print. Repeat on the rest of your nails.
This piece isn't wet; it's just for demonstration.

This piece isn’t wet; it’s just for demonstration. Once you have it in place, press firmly all over the nail.

  • Wait a little bit, maybe 10 minutes and apply a top coat. This is optional. I just chose to do this because the ink was already fading as it was, and I wanted to seal the design before it all rubbed off.
  • Take a blue polish/paint and a striper/brush and paint horizontal lines between the words on each nail. To make the lines, place the striper on your nails and slowly roll your finger towards you.

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  • Taking a clean brush/striper paint one red vertical line on the right side of your nail. When you paint it on the right side, it’ll be on the left side when facing others.

Red Stripe

  • Let dry and finish with a top coat.
  • Clean with polish remover and a brush.

And there you go! My back to school nails! This is probably the most time consuming and frustrating manicure I’ve ever attempted. I came across numerous problems. The newspaper nails didn’t turn out nice, so I redid them, and they still suck. I had to redo the thumbs a bajillion times because I didn’t wait long enough for the paint to dry or I smudged them. I also redid the stripes (on the pencil) countless times, and I’m still unhappy with them. Though I don’t like many individual parts of this manicure, I really do like the finished product!

It took me numerous tries and different techniques to complete this look, but I’m hoping that the second time around, I won’t have to deal with any mishaps. Hopefully this tutorial will take some of the guessing and experimenting out of the process if you decide to try out this look!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and have a good first day of school (for those starting tomorrow)!

♡ Melissa

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3 thoughts on “Manicure Monday: Back to School Nails

    • Yeah. I ended up using water because alcohol wasn’t working for me! I don’t know if I was doing it wrong or if it was because the rubbing alcohol we had was a bazillion years old. I ended up going some research via Youtube and discovered that apparently, both work.
      Thanks! When it was finished, I was relatively happy with it, but I’m not sure if I ever want to attempt it again. It was the biggest pain in the world.

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