Nidia Casas, of Salon Third Day in El Paso, Texas, shows how she applies clay canes.

1. Select desired clay cane. Carefully, thinly cut slices of the cane on a cutting board with a razor blade. Put aside all precut slices.

2. Prep nail as usual. Apply desired tip. Cut to desired length, shape, blend, and add bonder.

3. Once you have applied desired glitter or colored acrylic on all 10 fingers, add glue on the desired area where precut clay canes will be placed.

4. With two orangewood sticks, gently hold down the corner of the clay canes until fully secured. Repeat this process on desired nails.

5. Begin applying pink acrylic on entire nail bed, remembering to fully encase clay canes.

6. File sides and cuticle area as usual with either 180-grit file or e-file (medium grit).

7. If using gel top coat, apply gel top coat and cure for three minutes. Otherwise, buff and polish as usual.

Tamara Marble of Corunna, Mich., invented a cutting board specifically for clay canes. The foam Grippers are used to secure the cane on top of the metal plate, and the canes are placed against a raised stopper to give more control during slicing. A razor is then used to slice the canes to desired thickness.

Carolyn Stearns also has a special razor for slicing her translucent canes. The blade is used in medical labs and is extremely sharp.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.