How To: Nail Foils

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Made Famous by big brand 'Minx', most of us have heard of Nail Foils before and lots of us have tried them too, but at around £25 a pop for the salon treatment, they are not the most budget effective accessory!

They come in a range of colours and patterns and are a gorgeous statement piece when worn on your fingers or toes, they take zero drying time and can last anywhere up to 6 weeks (or more!) if looked after correctly, and I am going to show you how you can achieve perfectly foiled nails at home for under £5!!

Unfortunately, 'Minx' foils can only be purchased by industry professionals, but don't panic (!) many shops (such as 'Claire's Accessories' and 'NewLook') sell much cheaper variations of foils! I always buy my foils from Ebay (here), though, as they are EVEN cheaper! If you are an Ebay user, just type 'Nail foils' into the search bar, and, depending who you buy them from, you can pick a set up for anywhere from £2 - £4, with many sellers also offering a 'buy 2 get 1 free' offer!!

(May I also just say that there are different form of foils available, some water transfers, some stick on, but this a 'How To' for heat activated foils!)

 I am using these cute floral foils and I will be applying them to my toenails since the sun has decided to make an appearance today!!

All you will need for your very own at-home foils is a hairdryer, some nail scissors, an orange stick (cuticle pusher or a toothpick), a nail file and a set of foils!

The first step is to remove ALL traces of nail polish with a good strong polish remover, and file them into a nice shape, this will help your foils stick to your nails with more strength and, therefore, last much longer!

Now measure a foil to the nail you are covering first (each set comes with a range of sizes so just choose the one which matches you nail size best!) then gently peel it off of the backing and place the straight edge of the foil on your orange stick (or whatever sort of stick you are using!). The curved edge will need to be free as this is what will go as the base of your nail. 
Next, turn on your hairdryer midway (never full heat) and blow on the back of your foil for 3-5 seconds, it will now be flexible and floppy! 
Holding the end of you stick for balance, apply the curved edge to base of your nail and then smooth the rest upward to the free edge of your nail using your thumbs. There will be some over hang (particularly on the big toe) so just tuck it under a little and let it the rest hang for now.

Some of your nails are very short (particularly on your toes) so you wont need to use a whole foil! Just size it up and cut it in half and (if you are using the second half which wont have a curved end) just cut a semi circle on the top to give it the curved edge,like in the second image above. No unnecessary wastage!

Once you have done all of your nails they will look like this, don't worry about the overhang, we are going to deal with that next! If you have any bubbles, try and smooth them out as best as you can (this will get easier with practice) because then no moisture can get trapped under them and they will last much longer!

Now you will need to take your Nail File (I am using a coarse N.S.I file) and gently file across the top of your nail, this will cut the overhang off and you will be left with a nice, clean edge. Please, do this step gently as you don't want to rub the pattern of your new foils off with the nail file!

Once you have done this to all of your nails - that's it!

You will have lovely sparkly, neat nails!

Foils can last anywhere up to 6 weeks on your toes, depending on how well they are applied and what shoes you wear, and anywhere up to 10 days on your fingers, so make the most of them and enjoy the compliments! They are particularly nice on holiday as they will shimmer in the sun and wont chip in pool water!

There is a different design for any occasion so get browsing Ebay and see what deals you can find (particularly for the festival season!)

I just want to quickly mention that because I cut some of my foils in half, I hardly had any wastage and this is what I have left after doing both my feet! There is easily enough here for another set, so take care and remember it gets easier and less fiddly with practice & most of all, enjoy!!

 Show me Some of Your Foiled Nails!

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