Friday, January 28, 2011

Viva la Nails Water Decals Make Getting a Gorgeous Manicure Easy!

I've been meaning to post this for ages, but I keep getting distracted. I'm bad about that... I'm totally scatterbrained! Seriously, y'all have no idea. Let me describe a typical experience for me...

Let's say I need to go to the bathroom. I get up, fully intending to go to the bathroom. But as I'm getting up, I think I may as refill my water bottle while I'm at it, so I grab my bottle and head for the kitchen. Once I get there, I think, "Hey, I'm kind of hungry, I should get a snack." I set my bottle down and go to the fridge, looking for something to nibble on. Then I remember I needed to throw a load of laundry on to wash, so I meander to the washing machine and start loading it, only to have to stop because my back is spasming too badly for me to continue. I hobble back to bed, only to realize as soon as I get prone that I still haven't gone to the bathroom, I now have nothing to drink, no snack, and the laundry still isn't washing!

.... and this is typical for me. :D

So...let's get back to the subject- ages ago, I sent off for the Viva la Nails sample pack, and I am so glad I did! It contained an absolutely lovely collection of goodies, including glitter, crushed shell, stickers and decals and stones... it was seriously awesome! I recently decided to try a set of water decals, since I'd never used them before. I was a little nervous about it, since it was new to me, but I figured hey, it's just nail polish, right?

The first thing I did was to gather everything I would need to do my nails. Since I was starting with already-painted nails, that involved getting a small dish of warm water (because I didn't want to dip my fingers into cold!), my tweezers (totally optional), the decals, and my scissors. Then I got comfortable. I had no idea how long this would take, and I wanted to be sure I wouldn't have to move halfway through because I wasn't comfortable.

I started out by cutting the sheet of decals into individual pieces. This makes it possible to soak each decal off individually, so that you don't end up making a huge mess. Trust me on this one. :D

Now, let me take a moment to discuss my setup. You may or may not know that I'm clumsy, but I am. I am incredibly clumsy, and I'm good at making a total mess without intending to. I don't do well with open containers of liquid- I drink from bottles with caps I can replace, instead of glasses, because I will almost always knock it over without meaning to. But how to handle this, since I need the open water?

I used a magnet. I have a nice supply of the small plastic medicine dosing cups that I use for mixing colors, holding beads or whatever I'm working with, or whatever small project I'm doing at the time. I placed this cup into a small metal coffee can and dropped the magnet into the cup, which held it firmly on the bottom of the can. After I put the water into the cup, the magnet ensured I didn't accidentally knock the cup over, and even if I did it would stay inside the can. It worked really well for me, even if it's slightly odd.

So, once I had my individual decals and my water, it was time to apply the decals. Since the decals are small, I decided to use my tweezers to hold each one as I wet it. I grasped the decal firmly by the edge with my tweezer, then sort of waved it around to make sure I had a good grasp on it. I was afraid I would drop it, or lose my grip or ... I don't know what I was worried about, really, I was just terrified I would destroy the decal somehow. Surely this couldn't be easy, right?

However... oddly enough, it was. Once I was content with my grip, I dunked the decal into the water and watched it. I could see the water soak into the paper, so I pulled it out again after a few second. I watched it a bit longer, and used my thumb and forefinger to see if I could slide the decal along the paper.

Once it slid freely, I scooted it off the edge of the paper. I didn't want to slip it completely off, in case it would fold up or collapse or something. I wasn't sure how well it would work, since the whole thing was new to me. But it slid easily on the backing paper and slipped to the edge of the paper nicely. I left it about half on and half off, just to be safe.

Once again using my tweezers, I grasped the edge of the decal to hopefully control it easier than with my pudgy fingertips. The tweezers worked wonderfully, giving me good control. Then it was just a matter of placing the decal...

Oddly enough I didn't get any photos of that. I can't imagine why... how hard can it be to photograph yourself applying a decal to one hand while holding it with the other? Oh wait... I only have the two hands... ok. That would be why. But moving on...

When the decal is first placed, the water underneath lets you slide it around the nail and place it. However, once it's smoothed down with your fingertip, it becomes stuck solidly. Once it's placed and dried, it's on. Then it's simply a matter of dunking and applying to the rest of the fingernails. Believe it or not, it took a whole five minutes or less to apply the decals and then top with a coat of China Glaze Fast Forward. Then it was simply a matter of taking a photo to show the final result!

So... my final opinion? I absolutely adore these, and want more. They're so delicate, so beautiful. I'm sold on these, and love the way their thin delicate lines accent the nail in ways I could never duplicate with a brush.

They also work beautifully as a base for decoration. You could easily add stones or polish over them. For example, you could add small strokes of color inside the petals, beside the leaves, and add a rhinestone at the flower center, or perhaps at the end of the vines. Instead of the end of the decoration, they can be a great start, and I can't wait to experiment more with these!

Unfortunately, that has to wait for a while. But that's ok... I have so many fun things to show you. I just need to find the time to get everything shown... I don't have enough hands!

So what do you think? Have you used water decals? Would you try them? Do you think they'd work better as the decoration, or as a start to paint over and embellish?

Til next time...

The water decals used in this post were provided by Viva la Nails for evaluation.
See my disclosure statement for more information.