Thursday, 6 February 2014

Spacey nails tutorial

Oooh look! It's a post!
And it's about nails again! 8D

But worry not, it's a good one. So good, in fact, that when I posted this tutorial on deviantART, it became one of my most popular works in mere days. I figured it wouldn't hurt to share it here as well. What is more, this technique can be used on basically anything — shoes, clothes, starships...nails are just one humble example.

Here's what you'll need to create your very own little piece of galaxy:
  • Base coat 
  • Colour polish 
  • Top Coat 
  • Non-toxic acrylic paint 
  • Nail polish remover (NPR) 
  • Water 
  • Sponge 
  • Toothpicks 
  • Small fine brush 
  • Piece of cotton 
  • Palette (jar lid, piece of foil...) 
  • Nail file 
A little remark about the photos in this tutorial: I took them on a short and gloomy winter afternoon with not the best of my set-ups, so please forgive the lighting. But hey, at least they are clickable for full size.

Now, let's begin!

1. Start with base coat to prevent staining and extend your mani's life. Apply polish of your choice — any colour and finish you like. I chose Orly La Playa, a navy blue creme that went opaque in one coat and is an old favourite of mine.

2. Clean your polish up, if necessary: dip your little brush into the NPR and swipe it along the cuticle in one to make a nice clean line. Some people prefer angled eyeshadow brushes for clean-up, so use whatever suits you best! You can also wrap a tiny bit of cotton around the toothpick to clean polish off your skin.

3. Grab your first acrylic colour — I usually start with the one that's close to my polish — and sponge it generously over your nails. Blend well and don't be afraid of getting paint on your fingers — it washes off easily!

Make-up, household, bath — every sponge will give you a different texture. Experiment!

4. Move onto the next, lighter colour — I simply add some white paint into the previous one. Sponge it in smaller cloud-like shapes over your first colour. Rotate the sponge as you go to avoid repetitive "bad clone stamp tool" pattern!

5. Next, take your lightest colour (white with a bit of blue in my case) and dab it gently with your brush creating smoke-like shapes in desired places. Mix water into the paint to alter its opacity.

6. Time to paint the stars! Make sure your white paint is thin enough (if not, just add water). Then take a toothpick and sharpen its point with a nail file till it's very fine.

7. Dip the toothpick into paint and start dotting the stars on! I stick to the "more is less" rule here — don't fill your entire nail and avoid uniform placing. Small clusters with enough empty space between them work best, in my opinion.

8. Although you're pretty much done by now, I suggest adding a couple of big shiny stars (you can skip this step if you wish). Put a larger dot with a toothpick's blunt end and paint little rays with your brush.

9. Now we'll give the star a little halo: mix the tiniest bit of white paint with a big droplet of water, so it's slightly milky. Then, put a small round droplet on your star with a brush and let it dry. A thin rim will appear around it!

Please, keep in mind that this step will only work on non-porous surfaces! When painting fabrics, I do the rims by hand.

10. Add as many shiny stars as you like (2-3 per hand usually work best). When you're done, seal your work with top coat. Once dry, wash excess paint off your hands (or use clean-up methods from step 2).

Aaand you're done and ready to rock your new nebulae nails! If you try this tutorial out, please let me know!

Naturally, I can't just finish this post without boasting a little...I was lucky enough to win a giveaway held by a wonderful nail blogger Alena from The Polishing Life, to whom I want to give a big shout out! Thank you for being my inspiration and motivation! xo

And this is it for today! Cheers!

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