Week #21 – HOW TO: Galaxy nails with neon contrast
This week we’re taking City Nails into SPACE, and of course going for a nice futuristic contrast nail, too.
We tried out a milky-way inspired look, at the request of a reader (hai girl!)
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Begin with an even coat of black on each nail.
Apply a second black coat (we are using Rimmel 60 Seconds), and nail by nail, apply a large patch of very dark blue or purple Barry M powder (Black Purple, Barry M used here), or similar. Then, within the confines of the patch, sprinkle a smaller amount of a lighter colour (Barry M’s Denim). You are trying to achieve the look of an area of light merging to darkness…but working backwards.
To apply powder, dip a makeup brush in the powder, tap off excess powder and then, holding the brush above the nail, tap the handle so the powder falls. You can then blow on the nail to spread it out. See this old post for more detail.
Once you have black paint, and two darkisk-powders laid out, apply a clear top coat. This is not the final stage, this is just to wet the nail for more work.
Apply fine glitter (Barry M, Light Blue) and coarse, regular-style glitter in silver artfully over the top of the clear top coat. Try and concentrate in one area (the same patch that you first began with) so that it looks like a galaxy rather than an even spread. Once you have the glitter, add groups of larger stars with a white striping brush. Some can be just dots, but add bigger circles with flickers/rays coming out too.
AS YOU CAN SEE on ours, we positioned the centre and direction of the ‘galaxy’ slightly differently on each nail.
Finish with a top coat like Seche Vite.
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I include pictures with and without flash to try and demonstrate these nails more accurately. They were very sparkly.
A healthy score. We really enjoyed these, and they were very quick to do compared to our highly-illustrated looks more recently. This all probably took only 20 minutes or so. We hope you’re encouraged to try them out! The instructions may sound complicated but it is pretty easy, really.
Also the pointier tip shape is a lot of fun, and adds an edge to the simpler design.
Nail Fail #3
Well Best City Nails doesn’t like to bitch too much, and so it’s been a while since we’ve posted in our Nail Fail category.
But this frightful sight from Allegra Mostyn-Owen – an artist and Oxford graduate most notable for her 6-year marriage to London mayor Boris Johnson – has caught our attention in the pages of the Brave Boris Promotional Pamphlet, often referred to as the Evening Standard (article here).
Ms Mostyn-Owen appeared in an interview to explain how great and funny Boris Johnson is (cheers, but we all know he’s really funny…for many people this is considered his sole redeeming feature). She also explained how into Muslims she is, and how she knows loads about Muslims, and so Boris probably loves them as well. And how she and Boris had loads of fun at university sending notes to each other and drinking wine.
ALRIGHT ALLEGRA, well we’re ALL very anti-Islamaphobia and we ALL had fun at university drinking wine….doesn’t mean we need to go around proving our fun-loving and down-to-earth credentials with a maroon manicure and a chipped, black contrast nail. WHAT THE FUCK?!
What an aggressive, classless colour combination. I mean what is this? Apart from the family jewels, this could be the hand of a scruffy rebellious teenager, swigging cider and smoking weed in the park, listening to ska punk. Which is fine, in its place.
And these sorry-looking short nails are being done no favours dressed in such dark colours. Less Avril Lavigne and more Hilary Devey, pls.
The ‘I’m an artist and I am relaxed in my own home’ is fine if executed well, but chipped nails are no friend of this blog.
HERE IS THE DIVINE DEVEY DEMONSTRATING HOW TO DO AN INTERVIEW AND NAIL-ART PHOTO SHOOT IN YOUR HOME:
CAPISCE?! Devey’s subtle pose couldn’t be further from Allegra’s ‘LOOK AT ME! Look how A) rich B) ethnic-friendly and C) nail-art-retarded I am! ALL ON ONE CASUAL-YET-VERY-OBVIOUSLY-POSITIONED HAND!’
We have to give these an epic…
I mean, what’s to like? Miley’s nails got two marks for at least not being chipped – we can’t even afford such generosity here.
Sorry Allegra; newly-appointed Evening Standard Queen of the East London Muslims you may be (lol), but a nail queen you are not.
Week #17 – My square-tip hell…
Oh hi there, welcome to Best City Nails, your one-stop shop for making the best of your bargain basement nail art products.
My last post featured Liv Fontaine‘s pink square-tips with gold and black, so we have attempted a tribute with Best City Nails stapes; glitter, contrast nail, and – more recently – masking tape.
Awarded a healthy
…the main things I have learnt from these nails is the powder gradient WITHIN a masking tape stripe, executed poorly on the right thumb (my actual right hand, but to the left of your vision) but really quite ok on the left contrast nail.
The glitter is not done justice in this well-lit close-up, but in normal life and particularly in the evening these clumps of glitter are a bit more dazzling, which accounts for a fair portion of the score.
Also very taken with lurid pink and greeny-yellow BUT are these nails a bit 2nd wave Nu Rave? And if so is that OK?
But by far the BIGGEST lesson I have learnt is
Square Tips are a Nightmare…
…for natural nails. Square-tip acrylics are one thing, and one day we might just have to go there.
But square-filed natural nails crack SO easily in comparison to their pointed/almond-shaped rivals. As in, the CORNERS (which you otherwise don’t have) snap off all the time, without you noticing, to leave a diagonal, literally like cutting the corner of a piece of paper. Which is very dispiriting if you wanted a row of ferocious fake-looking angles and have to gradually watch them chip into meaningless neither-here-nor-there shapes.
Also I am told, a lot sharper. Whatever.
We’ll soon be making the transition back.
Week #9 – Back in Business
SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS.
This week’s are the sickest yet!
This is a great time to say how happy I am to be sharing my progress developing as a nail painter with you. We’re nearly up to 4,000 views on this blog, so subscribe, stay updated and keep ’em coming because my nails are only gonna get better.
Sorry for no details on products or technique, but it would be too long a post with each nail different.
Yes, yes, these are still far from perfect and maybe a little ‘derivative’, but I feel I have put my own spin even on the god-damn leopard.
PRAISE JESUS AND BEHOLD…
Week #8 – Trip to Dalston
So I visited Pak’s Cosmetics in Dalston where you won’t pay more than £1.50 for a nail colour.
The quality is very thin so it is yet another of these 4-coat situations, but sometimes you can’t argue with spending £1 instead of £10. It’s up to you. Lion King, Lion Queen, as they say.
WHAT WE USED:
Beauty Forever – 30
Beauty Forever – 49A
Beauty Forever – 130
No 7 ‘Stay Perfect’ in Betty Blue (so blue it’s actually black after one layer)
Standard cheap as chips eBay striping brush.
I didn’t feel as though this contrast nail really worked well with the rest. It was a clash…not enough to be gaudy and satisfying, but enough to slightly irk.
Was very into the custard / skin colour, though. Hope to put to better use in future.
The glittery polish was so gloopy and thick it took an age to dry. About two weeks later there is still no sign of chipping to these nails, so they have been incorporated into the next look.
More X Factor Nails
So judges’ houses (yeah, I should have got this up sooner but life as a bootleg nail diva is busy and hard)
…judges’ houses provided a little more nail intrigue for the show.
First up, 16-year-old Amelia Lily, who is now out of the show, displayed this mixed-colour manicure while she was weeping about the fact that her Dad loves her.
Why be harsh? The poor girl’s already been kicked off the show. Usually we find red and black combinations a little Dennis the Menace, and rather angry-looking, but maybe a little more anger is what’s needed these days. It goes nicely with her spooky, gothic jewelery and the nails themselves are very elegantly shaped.
Well done Amelia.
Mischa ‘B’ (Eugh – Jessie J, Katy B…give up, Mischa!) showed us all this baffling look while she was weeping about the fact that Jennifer Hudson came and stood by a swimming pool.
Not being funny but anyone will just look at an index finger nail, twice as long as the rest, and they’ll all be thinking it is for sniffing coke or picking your ears, etc.
Contrast COLOURS are fun, and look pointless. Contrast LENGTHS look as though there is some nefarious practical purpose. Contrast colours look frivolous and fun, and we’ve all just about gotten used to them now. Will be a long time before contrast length (and only on one hand, too) stops looking creeeeeeeeeeepy.
Why do you need that claw, Mischa?
This week, of course, Tulisa has outed Mischa as a cruel bully. Perhaps that single red bead on the offending nail is a symbolic drop of blood, squeezed from a puncture in the lungs of one of her fellow competitors.
If so, that is quite badass, and it is this potentially ferocious little red dot that saves Mischa from a much lower score.
Week #7 – RuPaul-inspired colours
RuPaul is a huge hero of ours, and his wisdom and beauty should be an inspiration to everyone with an open heart and mind.
In light of this, our pretty simple and rushed manicure is a pretty paltry tribute for the Supermodel of the World.
In fact, I copied this look from a girl I saw crossing Kingsland Road in East London. I then realised the hot pink and black and white check is EXACTLY what the Drag Race promo shots are all about!
These were quick and easy to do and were eye-catching. We might need to create some more kind of exquisite RuPaul dream nail in the future, but for a QUICK FIX, these were pretty cool.
Week #6 – more ‘Powder Gradient’
I realise that the ‘Week such-a-number’ blog titles have become a little meaningless now, but whatever.
Here’s more experimentation with the Powder Gradient and the now unstoppable Contrast ‘#kellyrowland’ Nail.
As you know, loose eyeshadow (we use Barry M, because there’s really no need for an upmarket version of pigment powder – not on nails anyway) is sprinkled and dabbed over the wet nail polish to achieve a colour fade.
Looks nice, but this ones boring and we all know it.
Celebrity Contrast Nails: Kelly Rowland
Further celebrity support for the Contrast Nail can now be seen in the audition stages of the X Factor.
Our glamorous new judge from across the pond is on point with a blue/pink contrast manicure that can be seen from Episode 1!
Notice that Kelly’s pink Contrast Nail is on the traditional finger on her left hand but, controversially, on the right hand the Contrast Nail is on the INDEX FINGER!
Got to give Kelly only
…love that you’re wearing [we think] your own nails, girl, and the colours are right, but this mixed finger business bugs us out. The only thing that stops Contrast Nails looking like a mistake is that they’re in the same god-damned place.
If Kelly’s Contrasts were on the same fingers, they would nestle neatly together, adding to each other’s impact, as Kelly hides behind her hands in this oft-seen despairing/mirthful pose.
She’s a beautiful woman and full of fun, but she’s taken this too far.
Celebrity Contrast Nails: Serena W and Cher L
The whole contrast nail situation has become a very definite thing since we first introduced you to it in our Street Style at the beginning of the year (well, early April…but we spotted the look weeks beforehand)
Since then we’ve tried our own (more to come) and now celebrities are getting in on the trend, which has sprung from Peckham and East London.
Seen on the court here with a purple set, and silver contrast.
Obviously we go for a slightly more complex design at Best City Nails, but Serena’s purple/silver look is on-trend and appropriate for sports.
Most people really aren’t into Cher Lloyd’s debut Swagger Jagger. The tune itself would be OK as a novel album track but for a debut single it doesn’t really showcase her well enough.
BUT you can’t fault the video for it’s on-point nails. A very slightly over-styled Cher sports a contrast manicure even simpler than Serena’s (which is probably for the best, as there is already so much ‘going on’).
Cher’s slightly pointed (good) black/silver nails are first seen at the beginning of the video, lining up the track:
And again, as Cher blows a kiss-kiss to the haters:
With give both Serena Williams and Cher Lloyd
…because we’re just so very into a Contrast Nail.
Hard to go wrong.
For Glastonbury festival, we opted for a favourite colour combination of purple and orange. One of those glorious clashes.
For a bit of the sun we hoped for, a nice yellow was used on the Contrast Nail.
And, if you look closely, the Contrast Nails…CONTRAST WITH EACH OTHER! Mindfuck.
…as if you needed to ask the score for these beauts.
Time to show you our own CONTRAST NAIL experimentation (more to come, rest assured)
WHAT WE USED:
Some manky old French Manicure coat – Rimmel, seriously vintage
Rimmel Nail Tip Whitener
Rimmel 60 seconds (610 Pompous)
Black striping brush – eBay
Pink neon – eBay
Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat
As you can see – the deliberate mistake here is that I forgot the contrast nail! Otherwise, begin with the French manicure pink. No need to go right to the top as they will obviously be white. Then begin the moons – dark purple (or even, Pompous).
Add the white tips – remember, three or four vertical strokes can be more accurate than going right across your nail.
White dividing lines between the moons and the main. As you can see, the raggediest one here is the one that is SUPPOSED to be the contrast nail, anyway! Praise!
The main colour of the Contrast Nail is added!
This has been given a perfect score. Obviously it isn’t executed with complete perfection, but in theory – the patterns, colours, shapes, etc – there is nothing wrong with this manicure. It’s funky, and fresh.
As you can see from this picture, the cheap pink colour is still quite see-through, which is a shame. That is one of the things holding it back.