I’m settled into American life- still waiting for my ship to come in (literally!) with my last few supplies, but mostly got everything I need: glitter, rhinestones and a few
hundred nail polishes.
To be honest, I’m not really feeling NYC. I need to have more fun and get out more- it’s been a blur of assembling furniture, looking endlessly at boring grown-up things like dish sets, waiting for Time Warner and couch delivery and more trips to IKEA than I care to admit. I gave away most of the furniture when we left Singapore, since it’s more expensive to ship than buy. So we basically started with an empty apartment (and a stash of glitter I packed in my suitcase, of course.) So it’s not fair to judge NY life, since I’m just finishing up the boring bits. The never-ending winter and unusual cold snap is not helping matters either. I am in desperate need of leaves, trees and sunshine! Blue water and palm trees would also be welcome. If anyone in the Maldives has a spare room, let me know. 😉
When I get in these blue moods, I have to look hard to find beautiful things for artistic inspiration. I aim for one a day- sort of like vitamins but more colorful. Here’s what I came up with- my multicolored Turkish hot plate/trivet thingy.
I love Turkish design- full of color, blooms, geometrics…just gorgeous. I haven’t been yet, but I’m hoping to make a trip there when things settle down a bit. Since Turkish design is so bold, this look required some bold nails!
For handpainted designs, I paint the base with a semi glossy base (Orly Bonder or Color Club Milky White), then follow up with a polish. Be careful- a very pigmented nail polish shade can leach onto your overpainting. Dark blues and vampy purples seem to be the worst culprits. You *can* seal the nail polish with a topcoat like Seche Vite, but then you’ll have to file off the shine with a very high grit buffer so the acrylic paint can stick better. Just don’t file off your topcoat!
Last step: go crazy with your paints! I use mainly Holbein, Turner and a couple other Japanese brands. Do not add a lot of water to your paints, as it will just bead up on the nail surface and be impossible to control. Add just enough to get your paints to spread, then go for it! I generally paint freehand without sketching out designs first, but many people find it helpful to plan the design on paper first.
Last, you will need to seal the design with topcoat because paints that can be thinned with water will dissolve in water. I use a high gloss quick dry like Seche Vite, HK Girl or a UV gel topcoat, depending on how much wear the design will get. If it’s just for a party or photoshoot, Seche will do. If it’s got to wear for a week for a bridal beach wedding, UV gel it is. Dab it on gently and do not drag, or your hard painting work will be for naught. A light hand is crucial here.
It is also possible to paint with nail polish, and I do frequently. You will probably require smaller paint brushes as those from the bottles are too big. Beware- it will beat up your brushes something fierce as they need to be cleaned in acetone. Don’t buy the very expensive ones as they’ll be ruined, but don’t get super cheapies either. I always use synthetic brushes because I refuse to use animal hair ones, but I get pretty good results from mid-range synthetics. Brushes for acrylic paint or gouache will be able to be used longer since they can be cleaned with water vs acetone. Splurge here and get some good quality, since they are your nail art weapon of choice. 😉