Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.
One of the gifts I received was a nail art brush set (thank you bestie). For years now I've been improvising (poorly) with paint brushes, tooth picks and hair grips and may I say, they do not compare to the real thing. This particular set is from NPW.
You Will Need:
- Pink Nail Varnish (I used four shades of pink from light to dark, although using two shades in any contrasting values will work just as well)
- Black Nail Varnish (for the detailing, although a Sharpie pen will suffice)
- White Nail Varnish (for dotting)
- A small sponge (I cut up cheap makeup sponges for this)
- Dotting Tool (the head of a bobby pin/hair grip, a propelling pencil minus the lead... lots of things will do for dotting!)
- Short striping brush (I used to use a very small paint brush and stripped lots of the bristles for a fine application)
- Nail Polish Remover
- Cotton Buds
- A thick piece of card (for loading with varnish for dotting and striping)
Base coat. Paint your nails in stripes, light to dark towards the ends of your nails. You'll be sponging over this with more polish so this doesn't need to be neat! Allow each colour to dry slightly to avoid colour bleeding. Allow to dry fully before attempting step 3.
Cut a piece of sponge about the length of your nail. Paint it thickly with your colours from light to dark.
Taking care to place the sponge the right way around, dab it onto your nail making sure to cover all of your nail. Dab the sponge with a light hand, moving it slightly up and down for a gradual gradient. This will no doubt get onto your skin; this can be removed later.
When the gradient layer is fully dry, take a black nail polish and drip a few drops onto a piece of card. Use a thin brush or a short striping tool to create a half moon design. This should go from half way on your cuticle to a quarter of the way up your nail.
Using the same tool and black nail varnish, swipe carefully upwards from the half moon in four upward strokes. My thumb nail is wider; I used five upwards strokes for this.
Bridge the stripes with a sweeping arch. I did these quite high up but lowered them later when filling in the gaps to allow more space for the white dots. Fill in the tips of your nails in black nail varnish. This can be done with the striping tool, although this might give a slightly rough finish. A careful hand and a slip polish brush works well for this. Allow to dry
Drip some white nail polish onto the cardboard. Use the dotting tool (or hair grip/bobby pin end) into this and lightly dot a pattern in the black areas. At this point I took a cotton bud soaked in nail varnish remover and cleaned up the edges.
Once all this is dry, apply two coats of top coat. Seal (paint) the tips of your nails for longevity. I usually use Revlon Liquid Quick Dry after this to accelerate the drying time. I know that Avon do a similar product to this in the form of a spray.
When it comes to left handed nail art, things can get a little tricky. It is sometimes advised to keep your left hand (holding the brush) still and moving your right hand... Although I think this technique has a big risk attached to it. Try practising on a fake nail first, take your time and don't feel disheartened if things don't look perfect.