NAIL ART HACK: Alternative Cuticle Barrier

by - February 07, 2019

There are a LOT of so-called Hacks on the internet, and while some of them are good, I find that a lot of them are either useless, expensive, or just sort of ridiculous, but I have one that I want to share that I think a certain group of nail art loving people might really, really find benefit in. Liquid latex as a cuticle barrier has basically been a game changer for nail art - it's definitely a huge part of why I do a lot of nail art that would be really, really messy without it. It's a staple for me and something that I go through fairly quickly and because there are a couple of issues with reupping on it, I found something that really helps me out. 

Keep reading for more!

Generally, you have to order cuticle barrier online - unless you like that pink doe foot one that they sell for too much money at Sally Beauty - so there's no way that's the answer for me. I order most of my nail art supplies online, so having or order it isn't really the problem in this scenario. It can take a while for these types of products to actually arrive in the mail (especially since I tend to order the BornPrettyStore one because it's super affordable and effective, but takes forever to actually get to me) and there's also the issue of ordering liquid latex in the winter, because if it freezes then it's ruined. There's no coming back from frozen liquid latex. SO. In the colder months or when I need it now, the answer for me is... WIG GLUE!

That's right, my friends, wig glue. You can pick up this one at Sally Beauty for a few bucks, you get 23ml of product, and all you have to do is transfer it to a bottle and you're good to go. It's available in this white version, which dries clear, as well as a dark version that dries nearly black. Personally, I prefer the white, but I've tried both and they both work perfectly fine. 

Now, the transferring part can be a liiiiiiiittle tricky because it's not the easiest to get into that small hole and can goop up, but I find that if you keep the stream to one side of the opening and steadily drizzle the product into the bottle you can generally fill your bottle fairly quickly. I tend to use a bottle that already housed cuticle barrier because I know that I like the brush and that it seals up fairly well, but you could also clean out an old nail polish bottle with acetone and fill that up instead. 

Left: Freshly Applied, Right: After about 3-5 minutes

Now, is this a product that can completely replace cuticle barrier products specifically marketed for nails? For me, the answer is no. The first reason this doesn't quite stack up is the dry time - it's much longer with this product than with other cuticle barriers I've used. The other reason is that it's kind of gloopy. As you can see in the picture, I applied a fairly thick layer of this stuff and that's sort of impossible not to, which is probably why it takes so long to dry. 

Now, all of that being said, I feel like this is a fantastic option for someone just getting into nail art, someone on a tight budget, or someone who doesn't use cuticle barrier as often as I do. It's affordable, available locally and absolutely gets the job done. Honestly, this is what I consistently reach for when I run out or when I'm waiting for the weather to warm up for safe transportation of my replacement bottle and it's almost certainly what I'll continue to use in those circumstances.  

So, like I said, I don't think of this as a full time replacement for dedicated cuticle barriers because they're obviously formulated slightly differently, but in a pinch (or in a brutally cold winter, like we're in right now here in Winnipeg) this has been a life saver for me. I really wanted to share this because I know there will be people who will benefit from it. When I was first getting into nail art, it was a little bit overwhelming that I would have to order products online just to get started, but I feel like more and more we're seeing some of the basic tools popping up locally, which really makes it easier when you're first starting out, but so far the options for dedicated cuticle barrier available in local stores is somewhat sparse. 

I hope you enjoyed this hack - let me know in the comments if you've tried this before or if it was new to you!

Head over to my next post to see the result of the mani featured in the pictures above - Grey & Rose Gold Granite Nails. I combined two different techniques - smooshing and stamping - that I wouldn't be nearly as into if I didn't have cuticle barrier in my arsenal to aid in clean up. 

Thanks for reading!

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