Back to blogging in 2020!

Glue and Magnet Nail Polish

Rambling introduction!

I was at dinner with a friend who had nail polish on one moment and then didn't the next! She then enlightened me about peel-off nail polish and in particular, peel-off base coat that you can put any other nail polish on top of! I used to have lots and lots of colors of nail polish and paint all kinds of things, not just my nails, with it. These days, I have some purple and some teal polish. I don't like wearing it because I don't like taking it off or wearing it when it's chipping off. So I was somewhat intrigued by the prospect of peel-off base coat opening me up to a whole new/old life of colorful nails.

I learned right away that peel-off nail polish is not available here in Seattle. However, according to my friend at dinner, a grad student lady in Australia had acquired some and figured out what was in it and determined it was basically just kids' craft glue. I emailed another friend who happens to live/be/maybe-she-just-returned from Australia to inquire about the existence of such products over there, and she helped me track down the original post of the PhD student bloggress.  After identifying what was in it, original chemistry student lady made her own, and the message of "paint your nails with glue!" has now gone around the internet and propagated through several layers of grad students/nail-painting nerds all the way to me.

You could go look at her blog post, or you could look at pictures of me trying it out.

Painting my nails with glue!

This was the girliest AND most scientific night I've had in a while. 

Glue, ugly nail polish to poach bottle from, and some nail polish remover.

I got "tacky glue" because people kept saying, "it's basically Elmer's glue" and then they'd qualify by saying "PVA glue" or "craft glue" which made me think it was not Elmer's. And this was the only craft glue Fred Meyer had. Since that night, I've learned that actual Elmer's would also be fine, if not better, than this because the Tacky Glue is really thick PVA glue.

Insert glue into empty nail polish bottle, add a little bit of water, and mix it.
I used the nail polish remover to help get the yellow out of the bottle. Then I rinsed it with warm soap and water. You want a nail polish bottle so you can have the brush and not just be smearing glue on your hands with the bottle of glue itself.

Glue on nails. Waiting for it to dry and become clear.
I put glue on my skin as a kid... in order to let it dry and then peel it off like creepy/awesome fake dead skin. Just like back then, dried glue turns clear and stops being wet/tacky. Except the tacky glue is always ever so slightly tacky.

Ponder.... will this even work? Be careful to not get glue in your imaginary beard.

I got Nicole in on this whole ordeal, so right there we have yet another generation of grad student learning to paint her nails with glue.

Applying regular nail polish on top of the glue base coat! Actually it's not regular nail polish... it's magnetic. But more on that at the end!

Magnetic blue and sparkly festive red!

I had never experienced this peel off nail polish stuff before, so of course I tried taking it off the very same night I put it on. It worked pretty darn well!

There were little bits of nail polish left over, though. The solution: more glue. Make it so there aren't naked nail borders for the nail polish to stick to. Although another blog warned of not getting too much glue on your fingers because it'll make it too easy to peel off.

Painting my nails with magnets!

Another nail polish topic that came up that first night was the existence of magnetic nail polish. A polish that has magnetic stuff in it so when you hold a magnet over a freshly painted nail, a pattern emerges.

The company (Essence) that supposedly sells the peel-off base coat in Australia, but not here, does in fact sell the magnetic stuff here, so we were able to give them some business anyway. I got a dark blue/gray color and a starburst magnet pattern. Even though I didn't get all the starburst patterns looking that great, I am super entranced by the subtle patterns my nails had. (I painted them and peeled them off again...) It's the right level of distraction for me when I'm typing and going about my day: "Ooh, shiny..." vs. "Ahh! Why are there bright colors on my hands?!"



  1. Dang without me even! :-( yeah, borders that don't come off => Moar Elmer's. I have some magnetic* polish we can play with too, and V3 of the PVC glue/water/bottle experimentation.

    Super glad you got to play with it. ��

    * My phone wants to correct this to "magneto"


Post a Comment