Decals On Bare Nails: Let's Make This A Thing

It's a happy medium between nail art and naked nails, for those of us who aren't really into nail polish.
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Publish date:
October 25, 2013
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nail art, essence, feathers, nail stickers, nail decals, naked nails

Painting my nails is not a personal priority. Years of picking them down to near-nothingness made nail polish a thing other people did, and even though I grow them longer now (though not very long), I can go weeks without color on my fingertips. I was all "You go, girl!" when Annie was leading the charge to make bare nails cool.

I do get the occasional urge to decorate my nails, though. It's an inevitable mood swing. Between being exposed to the latest nail trends because of my job and seeing other people's nails up close every day because they're holding the subway pole that's right in front of my face, I'm inundated with inspiration.

So I decided to test out a compromise; a happy medium, if you will, between nail art and naked nails: simple nail-art decals on naked nails.

I thought it would look silly to use any decals marketed as "glam" or "bling" on bare nails, so I'm using the pretty little white feathers from an Essence Nail Art Stickers sheet called "It's Cute." (It is cute, but I could've figured that out for myself, Essence product namers.)

These stickers are super-easy to use, even for a clubbed-thumbed freak like me. The directions tell you to "select a motive"--mine is to make my nails look cuter; I'm sure that's what they meant. Then you just peel your chosen decal off the plastic sheet and apply it to your nail, pressing down firmly. You can paint over it with a top coat for extra staying power, but I'm committed to the no-polish thing.

The decals are pretty delicate, so they can bend or even tear at especially narrow parts of the design. You may want to use a tweezer to be more precise, but don't use an especially sharp-edged one, as that might slice the decal.

I decided to position the feathers in different directions to give them a more randomly-floating-around-like-in-Forrest-Gump feel.

Up close, I really like the look. It's cute (they were so right), unpretentious, and gives me something to look at throughout the day and get a little happy feeling.

From a distance, however, it may not work. It kind of looks like chipped nail polish or giant calcium deposits. I think that's due more to the feather shape and color than the concept itself, though, so I'll be trying it out with a few other decals with a more defined look. Maybe even a rhinestone-y one!

Would you wear nail decals without polish? What kind of designs do you think would work best against a naked-nail backdrop?