Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been well. Things have been wonderfully busy here and I’ve had some amazing nail art milestones! My nail art is now being sold in a boutique in Kuala Lumpur and another boutique in the Middle East (still working on those nails). It’s a big step! Right now, we’re just in the beginning phase, but I ultimately hope to license some of my designs to a nail manufacturer for larger-scale production.
My work has been in BUST Magazine (Aug/Sept. 2011), have a feature coming up in Gothic Beauty Magazine (Nov. 2011), and a couple of online features, the latest one being a feature in the Malaysian version of Seventeen Magazine. http://update.seventeen.com.my/2011/09/nail-your-halloween/#2
My Dia De Los Muertos skulls (along with a picture of my funny face!) were also featured in a Japanese nail magazine, Nail Max, which I actually had no idea about until I opened it up and saw myself! But I’ve missed blogging and having more time for doing wacky and fun stuff. I haven’t even been doing my own nails, between nail school and painting for clients, I wreck a manicure within an hour.
However, since fall is my favorite season, I can’t let it go by without some seasonal nails!
Yes, these are ridiculously long, more than I’d generally wear, but the oval shape was so perfect for ears of corn, I couldn’t resist.
In nail school, we’ve been using some acrylic paints in addition to gel and polish for coloring. I was a painter long before I ever started doing nails, but I’ve been really beginning to appreciate using different materials and techniques to get unusual textures. The corn was made with a mix of polish and acrylic gouache paint. If it’s sealed off with UV gel or Seche Vite, the paint seems to be pretty solid. However, the lighter colors are prone to color change when they react with topcoat. Mostly, the white seems to yellow. Here’s how I made them!
First of all, paint the nails yellow with polish. I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz (4 coats, yowza. Yellows are notoriously streaky and this was no different!) I find the acrylic paint/gouache does not have enough flexibility or coverage to make a good basecoat. It can crack or flake and it can be hard to get it smooth and flat since it’s much thicker than nail polish. It’s better for accents or detail work.
I wanted to give the corn a bit of texture, so I used a sponge and some paint to make a nice mix of yellow and white. I used a mix of Holbein Deep Yellow Acryla Gouache (generally good, thin consistency, but can flake and crack if applied too thickly), Holbein White Acryla (acrylic paint has more plasticizers in it than gouache does, so it is less prone to cracking) and Turner Acryl Gouache in Perm. Yellow(not as opaque as Holbein but still OK) It’s pretty simple, just squeeze out a small amount of all three paints and overlap them a bit (carefully)!
Dab the sponge in the paint lightly.
Then quickly press the sponge on the nails, overlapping it. You will have to work pretty quickly since the paint dries fast. That will give you the corn texture. From there, I painted the green leaves on with some deep green gouache, just to have a good base color down.
I wanted the leaves to really pop, so I painted some thick and thin stripes in different shades of green over the dark base, using both acrylic paint and nail polish, but you could use either one. It’s generally better to do the paint first, then the polish, since the polish seems to seal the paint vs. the paint possibly flaking over polish. Give the nails a couple coats of topcoat and make sure to get the free edge of the nail so they’ll be a little more chip-proof. I used two coats of Seche Vite.
Of course, no nail is complete without rhinestones, so I added some in various yellows and oranges. I used SS9 size, but I think if I do this again, I’d go for the smaller SS7 or maybe even SS5 if I had a lot of patience. I plan on doing an Indian Corn version with multi-colored stones in the near future. So what are your fall inspirations? What would you like to see on autumn-themed nails? I’ve got some plaids and autumn leaf designs coming up soon, but I’d love to hear your ideas!