Pantone Chip Nails

Ay carumba, Internets! BEHOLD my primitive creation: Pantone Chip Acrylic Nails. Whattup, color-cockblocking:

I didn’t realize my index finger was such a clunker. It’s probably so buff from always pushing “Yes” on the button to life.

Before you cast the first stone, please know that I am aware these are not 18-3943. Okay. Now you can cast the first stone.

I’ve resisted getting my nails did for a long time – like the length of at least 2.5 Kim Kardashian marriages. I know! I’m just not too cray cray about girly girl stuff that seems to get everyone else’s undies in a bunch.  I’m very “meh” about those things, which is completely at odds with the fact that I am my own drag personality. Yes, I wear makeup, but I feel that there’s an inherent masculinity in my technique of smearing that sparkle gel warpaint on my lids every day. WHATEVAR.  I wear the shit outta makeup but still use a spork to brush the straw-like fringe that sprouts from my head.

So you can just guess who was gobsmacked (me) when I got the sudden urge the other day to spackle my nailbeds with acrylic and turn my hands into a beautiful full blown double rainbow.  Maybe I’m growing a more refined sense of vanity and morphing into a real girl. Finally!

They needed to look boss as fuq so I settled on a design that was a pretty duhhh choice to my obviously super refined and design-oriented mind–the Pantone color chip. The Internet loves to get jiggy with this jam:

This was a nitty gritty DIY–partly to temper my control issues and mostly cuz I didn’t want to fork $100 of my monthly candy fund over to an aesthetician who would do a much better job.  I invite you to join me below in my Pantone Chip Acrylic Nail DIY tutorial.  Don’t be scared! It’ll put some hair on your chest (maybe literally, if you purchased your acrylic in #Koreatown like me. Yee yee!).

1. Gather supplies: Nail polish of your choice, tacky French Manicure tips, Acrylic Nail Dip Kit, and clear shiny labels (I used the labels nestled within the Avery “Clear Label Index Maker Pocket Dividers”). You might want to add a breathing mask to the mix here- In hindsight I realize I shoulda probably worn one of those SARS masks while maneuvering the nail superglue because I’m a sensitive bubble girl asthmatic type and I wheeze like Vader when exposed to chemicals.

2. Apply acrylics by watching the masters: This was my first time doing acrylic nails so I hit up the Youtubes for assistance and did what they told me. It’s so cool how we basically have the world at our fingertips because of modern technology. It’s even cooler how we can literally look up how to make it hard to use those fingertips at a computer because this is what the acrylics do to your nails at first:

Check out my inviting claws of passion. So dope. It’s like a day in the life of one of those Guinness world record holders. They would never be able to achieve this Pantone chip nail look! We should feel lucky.

3. Cover tips with tape: I am jittery like a tiny chihuahua, so this next step really helped me paint my nails with aplomb. Grab some Scotch tape and cover the white tips of each nail cuz shit’s gonna git painted.

4. Paint Nails: If you don’t know how to do this, go back in time to 2nd grade and use your lunch money to buy a clue.

Don’t forget to touch up any misshaps with a Q-Tip and some nail polish remover!!!! Keep it fresh.

5. Remove tape and let dry. 

6. Print the Pantone branding onto the labels, cut to match the size of the tips, and apply to nails: I don’t have the elusive Pantone font, so I cropped the clearest image of a Pantone chip that I could find in a Google search, shrunk it, and dropped that into each label and printed it out. I then attached that to each nail after I cut it to size.

THIS IS CHEATING. Every Pantone color has a different corresponding number on the chip. I used 18-3943s for every nail and it works for me because I live on the Internet and don’t have much human contact or opportunities for people to care- It’s usually just me in my digital ivory tower, pickin lint outta my ass. But some of you are sexy designer types, and pairing each nail color with the correct number pretty much ensures your survival for at least one more day in the wild.  Do the right thing.

Look at all the wisdom in my thumb:

7. Finish the look with a couple of coats of clear top coat: and we’re DONE!

8. Instagram that dope shit: Duh.

These nails are the illest. I want them to take me to a disco and twirl me and dip me and make me their woman!


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20 Responses to Pantone Chip Nails

  1. Mother.Teresa says:

    Dancing queen! I want those nails. Is that tangerine? Incredible and beyond creative!!!!! Nice job Ms. JacquieLongLegs.

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  7. matteo says:

    true pity you stand alone in your ivory tower!
    such beauty should go around!

    nasty nails btw :p

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  10. Stacey says:

    These nails are absolutely boss! Love them.

  11. This looks friggin’ awesome, excessively time consuming and I quite like you.

  12. Belinda says:

    why are you holding butter

  13. Esther says:

    Jacquie, your nails are making you a star! I got them in an email this morning from “If it’s Hip, It’s Here”, and I’m impressed! I worked as a professional nail technician for 11 years.
    Some pro tips/questions:
    Did you go straight from gluing on the tips to taping them off like the tutorial shows? The acrylic is supposed to go on over the nail bed and tip, or they’ll break off within a day or two. If you did put acrylic on, you either didn’t get enough on the nail bed, or got too much on the tips. There should be no ridge between the two, before you start applying polish.

    It is possible to paint a french manicure without using tape, even with shaky hands, but I could never do it in the order that you did. I would have painted the whole nail with the colour, then freehanded the white part at the tip. The trick is that the nail polish needs to be the right consistancy to get a smooth line. That method would make for many layers and would take a long time to dry though. Using acrylic craft paint instead of polish might solve that problem, but might also make the polish job not last as long. For a truly upscale look, there is such a thing as coloured acrylic powder, which could be used to fill in the nail bed until it’s level with the white tip, then put a coat of clear acrylic over the whole nail, with the label on already, and the label would be set right inside the nail material. The nails would then have to be filed and buffed to a smooth shiny curve (the buffing is time consuming) but in the end, they would last without maintenance for 2 weeks and stay perfectly smooth and shiny, because acrylic is harder than nail polish and doesn’t get dull from daily scratches as much.

    All in all though, a great idea and tuned right in to the current designer ‘thiing’. This album has some pictures of nails that I did when I was doing nails.

    Oh, and a white dust mask like you saw at SARS time won’t do anything at all to filter out fumes. Nail technicians wear them in some shops, but it’s more of a protection from the acrylic dust that gets thrown up from the electric filing machines (AKA Dremel drill). Acrylic dust is heavy, and can take up space at the bottom of your lungs where it’s very difficult or impossible to ever get it out from. For fumes, the only thing that would work would be a gas mask. If they were worn in nail salons, chances are, business would dry up quickly! For all the strong smell though, the chemicals have not been proven to be significantly dangerous when inhaled. The glue is not acrylic, it’s cyanoacrylate. Krazy Glue is the same chemical, but nail glue has a bit more viscosity to keep it from dripping all over the place. Do it yourself dip kits seem to consist of glue and powder. I think all that the powder does in this case is add thickness. The original way of making salon acrylics uses powder (benzoyl peroxide, believe it or not) and liquid acrylic monomer (Ethyl Methacrylate or Methyl Methacrylate) and upon contact, the monomer changes chemically to become a polymer. I would expect this to be a much stronger nail. Glue is kind of brittle. That said, if the artificial nail is stronger than your own nail, when it comes off, what’s ‘giving’ is your own nail, so you lose layers every time you break a nail. This is the damage you usually see on someone who has freshly removed nails, but it’s not permanent, it grows off in 2-3 months.

    That’s probably too much info! Sorry! Feel free to email me any nail questions. That invite is for Jacquie only, please don’t publish my email address. :)

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  15. There’s definately a great deal to know about this subject. I love all of the points you have made.

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