Newspaper Nail Tutorial


Newspaper and rubbing alcohol can give your tips and toes a typographic edge—who knew? Here's the full how-to.

What You'll Need:

  • Base & Top Coat (we're using Duri and Seche Vite)
  • Chanel Vernis Polish in 'Khaki Vert' (from the Les Khakis De Chanel-Fall 2010 Collection)
  • Any newspaper (use a foreign language newspaper for an even more abstract design!)
  • 70% or 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Step 1


In broad, even strokes, apply a thin layer of your favorite base coat. Then, apply two coats of any polish in a light to medium shade. Choose a creamy, non-shimmery texture for best results.

Step 2


While your nails are drying, find any newspaper on-hand (or get a foreign-language paper for a cooler, abstract design!). Cut ten 2" x 1" strips (one for each nail), and set aside.

Step 3


Begin applying the newspaper only after your nails are completely dry. Dab rubbing alcohol on the nail bed with your finger or dip the whole nail into a small bowl of rubbing alcohol. We're using 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol but 70% works just as well. Then, dip one newspaper strip into your small bowl of alcohol and shake it out.  Overlay that newspaper strip directly on the nail bed and don't move! Most newspapers are double-sided anyway, but make sure you position the strip ink-side down. Take an alcohol-dampened paper towel and apply light pressure on the nail like a temporary tattoo. After 10 full seconds, slowly peel off the strip and you'll see the ink imprint. Repeat this process for each nail.

Step 4


Allow nails to dry again for five full minutes, then seal the deal with your favorite top coat. The glossiness of the clear lacquer will enhance and intensify the lettering—a truly one-of-a-kind typographic effect!