Cuticle Tattoos

Cuticle Tattoos

Here’s something for everyone who does not have nails long enough for a fancy manicure or those foils which give you instant and elaborate designs. A combination of nail wraps and cuticle transfers, it focusses the attention on your fingers rather than your nails.

The tropical theme turns your fingertips into pineapples and colourful birds – the tattoos are the heads and leaves – and, although I would also recommend cutting each piece out carefully before attempting to apply it, the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Daughter #1 tried these out for me and this is what she had to say:

“As a long time nail-biter, this was something I felt I could work with. They were easy to apply although I had to resist the temptation to pair the bird’s heads with the wrong bodies. The whole process took less than five minutes and I was surprised how easy the cuticle transfers were compared to fake tattoos I’ve tried to apply in the past.

Overall I was pleased as they made my nails appear longer and the design was quite eye catching. I received many surprised comments and jokes from friends and co-workers (to whom I may have ‘flipped the bird’…)

Unfortunately, the heads of the birds did not survive as long as their bodies did, which made my fingernails a bit confusing afterwards. But I give them 7 out of 10 and would wear them again.”

Having also tried these myself, I would add that it took me considerably longer than 5 minutes to get the wraps in place, then the cuticle tattoos stayed pristine for about as long as it took to get my phone from my bag. I should probably have let them ‘set’ for a bit longer before I tried doing anything useful with the rest of my day, but they were very striking whilst they lasted.

Digital Nail Art

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This startling and impressive piece of new technology was something I have never seen before – a table-top machine which spray paints the design of your choice onto individual nails.

I have to say that it is a time consuming process, as it involves a series of procedures which start with a traditional manicure. The nails which are going to be sprayed are painted white, so the colours of your design will show up clearly, then painted again with a plasticky substance which helps to hold the ink.

Next, a specially shaped piece of dark blue rubbery adhesive sheet is stuck carefully over your finger around the nail. This is to keep the ink off your skin. Your finger is then clipped into a thick plastic wedge which holds it in place and at the right height inside the machine.

There’s an entire book of possible designs, literally thousands with a choice ranging from lace and flowers to cartoons and vivid abstracts. I chose a couple of underwater scenes with colourful fish, because they made me laugh, and the codes for these were duly entered into the machine.

It is all very clever, with a series of controls which allow you to flip the design over, change the size and move the pattern around until it covers the nail exactly the way you want. You can even see your hand inside the machine on a central screen, and watch as the colours build up into your design.

Of course, you have to keep your hand perfectly still whilst this is going on, but although it is slightly disconcerting to place your hand inside a machine with moving parts, the whole thing is painless and reasonable quick. Top coats, polish hardeners and a fair amount of time with your hands under a dryer complete the process, although it is wise to take care for a couple of hours longer before the polish is properly set. The end result, however, is worth it – I was delighted with my fish!

This was a rare treat, and I really do mean treat, as with some complicated combination of purchase and loyalty points, it came as a bonus addition to a free manicure at Etude House in Singapore. Regular customers pay S$10 per 2 nails on top of the manicure price.

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(Many thanks to daughter #2 who – for obvious reasons – took most of these photos)