If you were a kid in the '90s, you most likely lived and breathed Lisa Frank. From rainbow-hued pen sets and colorful erasers that were more likely to make a mess than actually erase anything, to unicorn-adorned notebooks and sticker-coated pencil cases, Lisa Frank was a grade school must-have. You knew you were so cool if you owned a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, doubly so if you had a matching backpack to store everything in. Lisa Frank was everything when you were in fourth grade. My friends and I would horde sheets of stickers, occasionally decorating our brown paper-wrapped textbooks with glittering rainbow hearts, shimmering rainbow-tailed unicorns, adorable rainbow kitties, and loads of rainbow-colored rainbows. Lots of rainbows. Rainbows everywhere.
Call it nostalgia, call it immaturity, call it whatever you want, but I still love me some Lisa Frank. The overt girliness, the sparkle, the unicorns; I just can't get enough. But considering that dressing like a Lisa Frank sticker is a bit challenging for even the most fanatical, I want to share another way to express your LF love without looking like the '90s threw up all over you: nail art. I have an admitted love of nail art (ahem, those are my shimmery lavender animal-print nails in the cover photo), and dabbling with nail polish has become a hobby for me. Fortunately I know I'm not alone on my adoration of Lisa Frank products or nail art, so I bring you a curated collection of Lisa Frank-inspired digits, listed from easiest to most challenging.
1. Go "Subtle"
Well, subtle in terms of Lisa Frank-ness. This rainbow manicure limits one color per nail, and glitter is used sparingly.
Difficultly level: Not injuring yourself with a slap bracelet.
2. Use Chunky Glitter
This look is all about letting the chunky glitter shine. With hearts and other geometric shapes (rendered in a very '90s color palette) placed precisely, it almost looks like a Lisa Frank designed Caboodles.
Difficultly level: Watching Saved By The Bell without quoting Jesse Spano's caffeine pill freakout.
3. Use Nail Stickers
The hardest part of this is finding nail stickers that really embody Lisa Frank. Look for flowers, butterflies, or rainbow stickers, or top stickers you already own with a hefty dose of glitter.
Difficultly level: Watching Are You Afraid Of The Dark without getting scared.
4. Focus On Gradient Color With A Few Accents
Paint a makeup sponge with nail polish — try ombre in a similar color palette for a softer effect or say "screw it!" and dab on a bit of every color, then top with glitter. Once the nail is tacky but not dry, press a few metallic embellishments carefully onto the nail.
Difficultly level: Actually seeing the image in a Magic Eye poster.
5. Decorate Only A Few Nails With Prints
If the idea of embellishing all 10 fingers with animal print seems overwhelming, then try a few accent nails. Whether you can only manage one finger or a few, you'll still get your LF love across.
Difficultly level: Peeling off all your Lisa Frank stickers from their sheet with wet nails.
6. Pedicure Those Piggies
Let your dominant hand take charge by keeping the nail art on your tootsies.
Difficultly level: Keeping your Tamagotchi alive for over a month.
7. Rainbow + Animal Print = A Lisa Frank Dream
If you can pull off combining airbrush-soft rainbow, multiple types of animal print and gobs of glitter, you're almost at peak Lisa Frank.
Difficultly level: Not singing along to your favorite animated Disney movie.
8. Forgot Animal Print — Put Some Actual Animals On There
If your reaction to animal print nails is "oh, that's easy," then step up your nail game with paintings of animals that look like they've been ripped right from a Lisa Frank folder.
Difficultly level: Wearing jelly shoes all day during the summer without getting a blister.
9. Give Up And Go To A Professional
This is serious commitment. Look at the precision and detail! Only a true pro can make this Lisa Frank fantasy into a reality. If your nail skills are so on point that you can do this look yourself, then why isn't this your career?
Difficulty level: Say "As If" to your plans for today, because this amount of detail is going to occupy you for hours, even if you go to a nail salon.