Week #22 – Eye of Horus
Today I have finally got round to two designs I have been thinking of for a while.
One is this rope/plait/chain type thing, which I have done on top of a Barry M ‘Instant Nail Effects’ cracked-effect colour.
The other is the Eye of Horus, an important symbol which I have borrowed from Egyptian myth. Eyes, triangles and motifs like this are zeitgeisty in nail art at the moment thanks to Sophy Robson. Also, Madonna at the Super Bowl and Rihanna at Hackney Weekend have both added an Ancient World flavour to their much-talked-about performances.
I have enhanced the eyes with nail art jewels from Poundland.
The second 8 in a row. These work well. Into the chains, but they probably would stand out more with a less messy background. Alternating black and white might be nice. It was also hard to draw the black outlines and detail on the chains after covering the wet gold paint with glitter, but these are the challenges we face in life.
You can see these nails in motion below:
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!)
CLICK FOR HD
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.
CLICK FOR HD
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.
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 #14 – Disaster Strikes
Yes there have been some severe nail art setbacks, significant breakages. But now I have set the standard of honesty I am soldiering on and letting you grimace at process. The dream is now long square tips like KID SISTER. Here’s some short, some medium, mostly kinda square, raggedy cuticles…eugh it’s basically a war zone.
This was achieved with a lurid yellow base, then Barry M ‘Dazzle Dust’ and ‘Fine Glitter Dust’ in blue and pink. Then white zig zags with a gloopy old striping brush, and gold glitter applied to blobs of wet nail varnish and scruffily circled in eyeliner. Apply a coat of Seche Vite, and despair.
They are kind of fun, and the housemates are into them, but the disparity in nail lengths and sloppy execution really holds this one back.
A bad week.
Enough to make you want to go back to writing about Lana Del fucking Rey.
Week #13 – Happy New Nails! Masking tape adventures…
Seems ridiculous, as masking tape is such a staple in the word of intermediate-level home-manicures, but this is our first foray into masking tape fun.
What do you call this look anyway? It’s not Cubism? Art deco? Geometric? Dunno what it is exactly but it’s lookin fressshhhhhhhhhhhhh
SOME TIPS: See that pink colour and that purple colour? They’re actually the same, but just with the black or white base showing through SO, maybe it would be better to start with all the nails the same colour to avoid unexpected variety and/or use good quality, thick-texture varnishes, not like me at CheapSkate City.
The nails look a lot better in the top photo which used a flash, and they look at lot better in real life, but I feel I can put the masking tape technique to better use, I feel the gold stripes are a bit too thick AND there are a couple of vexing imperfections (that terrible whisker of white on the index finger could easily be edited out, but these photos are all bona fide and honest so you can join me in my quest for excellence).
And DON’T FORGET I have added these new special buttons to make it easy for you all to TWEET, FACEBOOK AND TUMBLR Best City Nails. SHARE THIS SHIT.
Week #12 – Eyes on the Prize, Violet…
This week the nails involved a repeat of Week #11’s psychedelia, a glitter nail, a pattern a bit like the nets tangerines come in, half-moons, topical glitter use, and EYES.
Many of us are of course familiar with the eyeball manicure popularised by London’s WAH Nails:
Picture: WAH nails
Here, as you can see, the concept works well as the nails are, more or less, quite a round shape so each nail is a WHOLE round, bloodshot eyeball.
Well here at B’ City Nails we don’t have too much time for nails this short, and it didn’t take us long to realise this would look shite on us, like an eyeball on widescreen.
We ended up painting two eyes, and even the make-up around the eyes, too. This was quite a nice look, but may take some time to perfect.
I am buying better brushes and pens soon, also, so stay posted for some product-based posts cos it has got to the stage now where my cheap-o tools are holding me back!
ANYWAY here’s the new nails, eyes n’all.
Both thumb nails broke recently so their inclusion in the photo (although they were painted) would ruin life.
I feel I have been marking myself too generously recently, and 2012 is the Year of Brutality after all. Not good enough will simply not be good enough, this year! I have decided I can’t fault the design of this manicure, each nail works great with the next one, etc. But the execution is just a bit too wonky for higher marks, and I am not 100% committed to that green glitter half-moon, either.
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…
WHAT WE USED:
Seche Vite – Dry Fast Top Coat
Rimmel – Nail Tip Whitener
Rimmel – I ❤ Lasting Finish (280 Sunshine)
Beauty UK, Glam Nails – (52 Jade)
Purple ‘Nail Star’ striping brish & pen (eBay)
Glitter (Art shop)
Wait for the white to dry completely before painting two layers of the Jade (so the glitter only sticks to the wet colour)
One finger at a time, and as soon as you can after painting in the tips, sprinkle the glitter. If you don’t want too much glitter – like here – sprinkle from a greater height. If they white is totally dry, the glitter shouldn’t stick.
This last step shows the purple lines, and the top coat (remember, the more Seche Vite, the better. It dries very fast so don’t worry too much about layering it on. It can be quite hard to drag over the glitter without a good few drops).
Again, a ‘colourway’ that looked pretty fly in the bottles just doesn’t look the same when painted out, and in different amounts. There’s something of the gaudy bathroom tile about that Jade colour, but then the yellow messes it all up.
Still, I like the V-shaped tips with the regular-shaped half moon. Muy bien.
Here’s just a little something I whipped up, y’know.
The main colour is Rimmel’s 60 Seconds, in ‘Blue My Mind’ – delightful.
The second coat of this was liberally sprinkled with silver glitter of the coarse kind you can buy in an art shop, and sealed in with a top coat.
As you can tell in the main picture, there are two dividing lines – one hot pink and one glittery purple. This look would have worked better without the purple line because it is too close to the main colour, so it just looks like there’s a gap between the pink and the tips.
It spoils the strength of the look.
Zebra tips, always a favourite.
– losing out on full marks because of the purple stripe fiasco. So near, yet so far.