Bionic How-To: Parisian Map Nails

by Bionic Beauty on 09.Apr.2013 · 3 comments

Do you remember those strange pamphlets of folded paper covered in tiny type and bright lines that were a necessity before any car trip? Maps!

These analog accessories are now usually passed over for our GPS-laden smartphones, but some strange people (like me) hold a fondness for paper maps.  And I’m saying this right now…

Nail Polish + Map of Paris = Super Awesomeness!

Parisian Map Nails ~ A tutorial by Bionic Beauty

Want to know how you can create your own radical map manicure? It’s actually pretty easy-peasy (Especially since I did a gazillion tests and worked out most of the kinks. Bonus to you!) with these steps:

  1. Paint your nails as usual. I used a base coat; 2 coats of a very light pastel blue nail polish (“Havana Dreams” by OPI for Sephora); and a cheapy top coat. A note about color: I recommend using any light color for your polish ~ white, off white, cream, and pastels all work wonderfully!
  2. Flip through your magazines or printed materials for a map, words, design, logo, or pattern you like!  DIY if you have a laser printer at home, or have your map/other copied/printed at the local print shop ~ you basically need a laser or toner printed image.  Inkjet won’t work.  For the magazines ~ look for ones with pages that are *not* the super shiny.  I used a Paris tourism ad page from the French version of Elle.
  3. Cut little 1 inch by 1 inch squares from your chosen map.
  4. Fill a shallow saucer a bit of rubbing alcohol.  I used the 70% Isopropyl Alchohol from the drugstore.  I tried the other concentrations and they didn’t work as well, but your mileage may vary.  I also tried Vodka… and didn’t have much luck but you could drink it while doing your nails *wink*.
  5. Dip a square into your alcohol until it is fully damp.  Just a few seconds should do it.
  6. Press the paper square, with the design side facing your nail, onto your finger nail.
  7. Mush the paper against your entire nail.  Be sure to press it down into the edges too!
  8. Keep pressing for a good 30 seconds. Be careful not to move the paper! Otherwise your design will double print or you’ll get smudgies.
  9. Slowly peel away the paper from your nail.
  10. And there’s your design!
  11. Finish your other nails.  Let the final nail dry for 5 minutes after you finish.
  12. Apply a nice thick top coat!  I use Seche Vite.

If you mess up, just wipe the design off your nail with a alcohol soaked cotton ball. And then start with a new square of your map!

It might take a bit of practice, but the comments I got were SO totally worth it!  I hoping to do a set with QR Codes soon to show off my geeky side.  Can you imagine?  “Lookie! Scan my nails to visit Bionic Beauty!”

Wishing you many long and happy car trips,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tashi April 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

That looks AND sounds cool! Thanks, Jami. My nails are usually “wonky”, but not awful, and I choose not to polish or otherwise decorate them. However, maybe I should make the effort to get them growing better for this idea (photos of Hawaii seem especially appealing). I appreciate the instructions! You’ve given me a great idea — I could put directions and maps for places I need to go, onto my nails. See, I don’t have a gps, nor a cell phone/smart phone…. 😉

Reply

2 KC April 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Nail Art Directions

Reply

3 Bionic Beauty May 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Hi KC, I’m not sure if you were asking for a tutorial or what… but there is a list of the steps/how-to in the article above. :-)
Please let me know if you try this type of nail art. I’d love to hear about, and see, your results!
Jami

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: