I haven’t been very serious about my nails for quite some time; at least not since I got rid of The Amazing Manicure Stick-On Nail Kit (ages 6 and up) when I was about 12. Ok, so I got rid of it last month. I can’t lie – they were incredibly authentic-looking; not to mention, there were two color varieties plus tons of glittery decals. Now that’s a win-win-win.
As I rushed to complete my challenge in the last week of September, I became very serious about my nails once again. Did I dig The Amazing Manicure Stick-On Nail Kit (ages 6 and up) out of the dumpster? No. (Well…maybe. But that’s beside the point.) In an effort to find some form of effective homemade nail polish, I found something that looks even more ridiculous than an 8-year-old in fake nails – I found a nail stain that makes me look like I skinned a cat.
Since my first failed attempt at nail staining Gangnam Style, which took place on September 28 and resulted in literally nothing (except a good excuse to post a photo of PSY on the blog…always a win), I took another swing at permanent nail color. Two days later, I resigned myself to the fact that, as is usual with Mother Nature, things were about to get smelly and tears would likely ensue. On Sept. 30, I attempted to dye the nails on my left hand with red onion skins.
How did it end up? I looked like a left-handed cat killer. My method was simple – soak my fingers in homemade dye for as long as it would take – hours, if need be. Remember: It was Sept. 30 and I had just one day left in the challenge. I was desperate at this point – a slave to the nail stain. Luckily, it turns out homemade dye is not as difficult to make as you might think – it seems finicky, but just an hour of boiling red onion skins will do the trick. (That said, I still ruined one batch.)
In the end, I did get some form of color to stick to my nails this time. But that’s about where the plus side ends. On the down side…well, where do I begin?
The 5 worst things about homemade nail staining:
- The dye works most effectively when it’s boiling. Imagine stewing your fingertips in water that is as near to a boil as possible…for hours. (which brings me to…)
- It takes some time for the dye to work its magic. Before you sit down with your hand in the dye pot, make sure you’ve got a good movie (maybe all six Star Wars films – or…episodes? – in succession) and a free hand to feed yourself, because you’re going to be there for a while.
- In order to keep the dye off of my skin, my mother gave me the good idea to slather my fingers (except the nail) in Vaseline. This worked wonderfully (even though some dye seeped into the cuticles). But try washing Vaseline off of your fingers with other fingers that are covered in Vaseline.
- Red onions don’t give red dye. My nails came out a faded, jaundiced yellow-brown, with a deeper “dried blood” color sunk into the surrounding cuticles and skin. Lovely.
- Your nails will be stained. It won’t come off, and they will look like they’re stained. People may stare. Just remember: You’re better than them because you’re all natural.