This all started because my little sister and I wanted something new to play with.
My sister is 16. And I’ve spent the last few years trying to turn her into a proper girl, to little avail. She doesn’t wear make-up, doesn’t do her own hair and is paralyzed when she has to make wardrobe choices that don’t involve jeans and T-shirts. But she willingly sits still and lets me paint her nails, as long as I don’t bug her to pick a color.
A few weeks ago, I was surfing a couple of Multiply stores and came across a site selling fimo canes. I asked the little girl if she wanted to try them and she squeed over the designs. So I bought a couple of packs of about 25 canes. “We are going to have so much fun with these,” I told her.
Fimo canes seem easy enough to use. I referred to Polish Police’s post for instructions. You basically slice each cane into very thin pieces and stick each piece on wet polish. Then you brush on top coat, let it dry and voila! You have 3D nail art.
Easier said than done. Preparation seems utterly tedious when you just want your nails to look cute. But, I don’t know, I like cutting and slicing things. Onions, carrots, celery, bacon … fimo sticks.
I selected two designs to try on my own nails. I had to see how long-wearing and high-maintenance they were before forcing them on my sister who hates making any kind of effort. 😐
My packages contain flowers, fruits, bunnies, butterflies and more flowers. I chose a yellow flower and a green one with pink petals.
Then came the hard part: Slicing.
I had to buy a brand-new box cutter because the ones we had around the house had rusty blades. I grabbed a chopping board from the kitchen, one of those little containers that I use to keep mineral eyeshadow samples in, and a pair of tweezers to pick up the fimo pieces.
Then I got to work.
The last time I used a box cutter to cut anything was in high school art and craft class — ages ago. Then as now, I was very particular about my pieces being evenly cut and more or less the same thickness.
The yellow flower, which I liked less than the green one, was my guinea pig. I held the blade level over the rod, about half a millimeter from the end, and sliced.
And told myself I should have bought these things pre-cut to save myself all the trouble. But then, there was no guarantee that pre-cut pieces would be as thin as I needed them to be. I did look for them on Ebay but didn’t like the designs.
Finally, after about five minutes of slicing and cussing and whittling my cane down to 3/4 of its original length, I managed to slice off ten semi-decent pieces.
A few of them looked like I’d been playing “He loves me, he loves me not” with the petals. And because I was trying so painstakingly hard not to cut unevenly, some of the pieces were of uneven thickness — and thicker than they were supposed to be. Urgh.
But the practice paid off. I had an easier time slicing up the green flowers.
More or less even thickness. Petals more or less intact. And only one reject.
I was feeling extremely girly so I chose pink and blue shades that nicely contrasted with my fimo flowers.
I showered first so I wouldn’t have to worry about losing a flower while washing my hair. After prepping my nails, I was ready.
I needed only two coats of each shade for an even finish. Immediately after brushing on the second coat, I placed a flower on the nail.
That was the tricky part. It turned out the flowers were too tiny for me to get a good grip with my tweezers. They kept falling off. I ended up sliding each piece off the table and dropping it onto each nail with my fingers. Twice I had to brush on a third coat of polish because the second coat had already set and I thought the flower wouldn’t stick.
After an hour I finally managed to get them all on.
And then I pretty much globbed on the top coat to make sure the flowers stuck.
Oh, and did I say attaching the flowers was the tricky part? I was wrong.
See, I did my nails after taking a shower but before getting dressed. As I was happily getting my flower power on, my mom and kid sister started making plans to go out and watch X-Men: First Class. And of course I had to go with them because I hadn’t seen the movie yet and I so wanted to gaze upon James McAvoy.
I looked down at my nails and thought, How the hell am I supposed to put on my jeans?
My mom offered a simple solution: She’d button them on for me.
Are you kidding? What self-respecting woman makes her mother button her jeans on for her?
No, I was determined to dress myself without losing any fimo flowers. I sucked in my gut, pulled up my jeans and buttoned them on.
And they were still there! The yellow flower on my right thumbnail slid a little way across the nail. I just slid it back in place, pressed gently and brushed on more top coat.
While we were out, I kept checking to make sure all the flowers were still there. I only stopped when the movie started.
And you know what? The flowers stayed. All through dinner. All through the movie. And all the way home.
And now, for the really hard part: Getting my sister to sit still long enough for me to stick fimo pieces on her nails.