To decorate their nails, Korean women used to crush up petals and leaves from the bong-soong-ah (봉숭아) flower (or bong-seon-hwa (봉 선 화), create a paste with water, apply it and then wrap their nails with a protective cover. In the recent past, they tied each nail with plastic wrap to keep the paste from staining everything as the slept through the night. This is how long it took for the color to come out. Now we can buy a pre-crushed powder that dries onto the nail in 30 minutes. Ahhh, progress.
In this video, my mother-in-law applies my first ever coating of bong-soong-ah.