Do this manicure in advance of when you want to show it off. Your fingertips WILL get messy, but the extra polish will come off with time or with soap, water and friction.
- Apply one layer of clear base coat to protect your nails from staining and help the polish stay better.
- Apply two layers of white nail polish to give you a neutral color base to start from.
- Paint stripes of pink, purple, and blue nail polish directly onto a makeup sponge, then dab it on your nails. (This is the really messy part.) It will take a lot of dabbed coats to get vibrant color, but they dry much faster than a typical, painted-on coat.
- Apply a layer of clear top coat to make it shine and protect the polish.
I used Sinful Colors, a brand that's cheap but reliable if you do enough coats, in Forget Now (pink), Let's Talk (purple), and Miami Heat (blue), with Tokyo Pearl as a pearlescent white base. My base/top coat is from Wet N Wild, another cheap brand. You should be able to do this manicure for around $10 even if you're starting from nothing.
Kayla Rosen is a bi/pan/queer agender femme who spends a lot of time rolling their eyes at various misreadings of their identities. Find them writing about messy intersections at goodbye-good-bi.tumblr.com and kaylarosenzines.etsy.com.