Flowers used to make Fingernail 'Stain'?

gardninladyMay 23, 2004

I was visitng with a neighbor who is Korean. She was looking for a pink flower from her youth. She recalled that her mother used a flower that she crushed & mixed with vinegar & a bit of charcoal. Then they wrapped it over their nails & kept it overnite. This 'dyed' their nails for the summer and they absolutely loved it! It sounds so fun!

Have you ever heard of dying nails like this?

Does anyone have any clue which flowers might be used for this?

I hope we can find it and do something like it this summer with my girls. I think it would be wonderful.



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Lotus_Studio(z6 NYC)

Hi there, I have read in "A Dream of the Red Mansions" (a Qing Dynasty/19th century Chinese novel) that bright red impatiens were used by women to colour their finger nails.

According to one passage in the book, apply the crushed flowers generously on the nails and leave them in place for "a while," then carefully remove the flowers. The finger nails "will be stained."

I haven't tried this so let me know if it works ;-) Have fun!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2004 at 4:49PM
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Yes. This is kind of late but. I have those flowers in my back yard. They're pretty but can take over your yard if you don't control them. Bongsunwah is what they're called in Korean.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Maybe this is the pink flower your Korean neighbour is thinking of: Hydrocera trifolia or water balsam or water henna. See

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 5:31PM
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My mother is Korean and when I was a little girl, we used to use the rose balsam to color our nails. Happy memories :) She still grows them year after year. The red variety makes the best polish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Balsam

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 8:26PM
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