Swirl Tutorial

Here’s that how-to-swirl tutorial I promised a little while ago. You’ll need three things:

1) Dark creme nail polish- red, blue, anything, but not a pastel shade as the swirling won’t show up. I used Orly Star of Bombay, the deep blue creme I used for Bowl of Stars.

2) White creme- the more opaque, the better. I used a cheapo dollar store brand.

3) A little dish to mix. I use a silicon baking cup. The nail polish won’t stick to it, you can flip it inside out after the remaning polish is dry, and it peels right off.  No need to clean with chemicals. Some people suggest plastic pallettes, but they’re hard to clean and they stain.

4) If you don’t have a dedicated franken-brush, use an old brush from a clear bottle of polish. I keep one bottle of cheap clear polish and use the brush for frankens, wipe it off after I’m done, and replace it in the bottle.


Got everything?

Important: If the room is warm, or you have really hot hands, the body heat or warm air will mix the polish together on your nails. It’s about 60 degrees in here- it doesn’t have to be freezing to work, but those of you in blazing summertime in Australia or NZ right now may have a problem. You can paint artificial tips on or off your nails if you think it might be too warm.

First, paint your nails with the darker color. I used tips because it’s easier to see the swirls.


Pour your darker color into your dish.


Then pour your white into the center of the dark color.


Next, lay the brush horizontally in the middle of the polish to get both colors on the brush. Don’t dip it vertically like usual. Then drag it horizontally across your nail.



You can dab the brush a few times to mix the colors.See  how the colors mixed together?



Here’s the colors swirled on the brush and below, in the mixing tin.



It’s nice to add some nail art or Konad to set off the color too. This one reminds me of an old bowling ball. Nails this long are definitely over the top and I smudged the cuticles a bit, but I hope you can get the general idea. After this, I took these off and painted a pink and white design which I will show you this evening!


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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6 Responses to Swirl Tutorial

  1. Connie says:

    awesome I have been doing my own nail almost a year (gels) now learning a kewl paint job is just way tooo kewl.. thank you so much.. I can’t wait to try this… wtg gir!

    Itotally love your blog and creating ideas I really needed someone to really motive me.. been bored too long with this COLD winter

  2. Jamie says:

    Very cool – thanks! I have a couple ideas for this technique…

  3. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    I’m glad you liked it! It makes a fun base for Konad or nail art, and it’s a little different. The blue claws I made were a little scary, but hopefully it illustrated the point.

    Connie, hang in there! Spring is coming! Glad you liked it and stop by again soon.

  4. Lucy says:

    Thanks so much for the tip about the silcone cups. Very clever! Do you mix all your polishes in these? I’ll have to buy some.

  5. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    Hi Lucy, thanks for the comment! Yes, I always mix in these little cups. I have big ones too, but I was wasting too much polish in them. I generally only franken enough for one manicure at a time. The little ones work best for me, and they’re cheap too. You can also get silicon ice cube trays which work well. It’s rather satisfying to pop them inside out and peel out the nail polish.

  6. Pingback: Nude Swirl « Nevertoomuchglitter’s Weblog

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