Friday, October 11, 2013

Nail Art For Newbies

When I find something I love (or maybe am completely obsessed with...) I can't help but share it with the world. And that's what's happened with nail art.

Seeing all the incredible designs on Pinterest, it's hard not to think, "HOW do they DO that?!" and never attempt it because it seems impossible. But I'm a big believer in baby steps and working your way up. Beginner divers jump off the side of the pool, not the platform ;)

1. So let's start with something easy. This polka-dot design is cute, quick, and simple.

To get this yellow/green color, I mixed OPI's Who The Shrek Are You? green with OPI's Banana Bandanna pastel yellow. I applied the yellow first, then the green. Let the polish get relatively dry before you start adding dots.

I used the small dotting/paintbrush tool (pictured below) to apply the dots. I got mine at Sally Beauty, but I'm sure you can get similar brushes at Michael's or any other craft store. Experiment with dot sizes on a piece of paper before trying it on your nail, otherwise you might end up with a big, globby dot you can't erase.

Beauty Secrets base coat (Sally Beauty) - OPI "Banana Bandanna" - OPI "Who The Shrek Are You?" - OPI Top Coat
Ulta "37 Snow White"

2. This next one is a little trickier, but is a good "next step up" from the polka-dots. The nice thing about animal print is it doesn't have to be perfect. The messiness is part of the look ;)

Start with a neutral base coat. I chose Coney Island Cotton Candy by OPI.

To achieve the exact muddy gray I wanted, I mixed OPI's You Don't Know Jacques and Tickle My France-y. Let "Jacques" dry just enough so you don't get it on the "France-y" brush. But you don't want "Jacques" to be completely dry, otherwise the colors won't meld together to form the new, desired color.

Let the spots dry a bit, then outline them with black polish. Don't be afraid to get messy. It's better to get a little jagged around the edges. Perfect black circles around the spots wouldn't translate that animalistic/leopard effect you're going for. And you don't need to fully trace around the spots either. Mix it up and make some look like this ---> (•) where it doesn't come full circle.

3. This next design I found in a recent issue of InStyle Magazine. It will give you experience drawing lines with a small paintbrush. It's pretty simple, and the results look super pro-FRESH and modern ;)

Start by painting each nail with 2 base coats of OPI's You Don't Know Jacques. Once it dries, create a triangle using black polish (I don't own black, so I subbed OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark instead). The beauty of this nail design is the triangle DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. If it's a little jaggedy around the edges, that's alright! 

Take your small paintbrush (make sure the black triangle is relatively dry) and outline the triangle with gold nail polish (I used OPI's Curry Up Don't Be Late). Retrace it a second time if the gold isn't showing up enough. If you majorly messed up your black triangle and the gold won't sufficiently cover your mistake, correct the triangle with "Jacques" before drawing the gold outline :)

4. For those brave enough to attempt a more challenging look, nautical nails give you practice with stripes, spots and a hand-drawn designs.

'MERICA! Start with your traditional red, white and blue.

OPI "Red" - Ulta "37 Snow White" - OPI "Play 'Til Midnight" - OPI Top Coat - Beauty Secrets Base Coat (Sally Beauty)

Now that you've had practice with dots, you should have no trouble applying them to your pointer fingers. 

Next, attempt stripes with a small paintbrush. Make sure the base coat polish is FULLY DRY. This is important since you'll be using white polish. If the polish is still wet, your white stripes may turn pink when you draw them onto your red nails. If you need practice with stripes, use paper. Or if you're someone who doesn't typically wear toenail polish, experiment on your toes! 

Using the same small paintbrush, delicately draw the anchor. I started by making the top loop and drawing straight down. Next, I drew the small line beneath the loop, perpendicular. Then I created the smile-shaped line at the bottom with arrows at each tip. Again, if you're nervous about this, practice beforehand...BEFORE YOU PUT IT ON YOUR HAND ;)

As this newfound obsession evolves, I'll be sure to keep you posted on any other nail art I attempt that's successful! I'm always looking for cool new designs try, so if you find any on Pinterest or in a magazine that you like (and want me to do a blog tutorial on), send me a picture of it on Twitter or Instagram @ChasingLovely

I'd also love to see your nail art successes! Surely I'm not the only one loving this trend?

What I'm listening to: Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky


Photos taken by Taylor with an iPhone 4S

1 comment:

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