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.
Week #19 – HOW TO: Real pressed flowers
Just when you think you are running out of ideas of ways to pimp your directional nails: pressed flowers. We had this idea wondering the city streets and marvelling at all the spring blossom (most of which is gone now), but blossom from trees is, in the main, way too large to be pressed onto a nail.
Forget-me-nots, however are perfect! Directional! Editorial!
Pick some of the flowers (respectfully!), then separate the flower itself as much as possible from the stem and bud so that it presses as flat as possible (this is much easier on the larger flowers, but we still used a couple of small ones for variety).
Then find as big a book as you can and put the flowers between some sheets of kitchen paper in the book, and leave to one side with added weight on top if you like. A couple of days was fine for me.
When the flowers are dry and flat, apply two coats of your background colour to the nail, wait a minute or so for it to dry slightly. Then use tweezers to place the flowers on the nail – take care not to dent the surface of the nail polish, and if you do perhaps it can be covered with a flower?
Finally, to keep the flowers from escaping. apply a thick coat or two of a good top coat like Seche Vite.
Some of the flowers did gradually go brownish over time, but I would say they only became unacceptably brown around the time I needed to do my nails again anyway (i.e. at least a week) so I wouldn’t let this put you off.
The other nails are inspired by stained glass windows. The colour blocks are kind of like the glass, the and black lines are like the lead/resin-type-stuff that holds it together.
Also, we experimented further with eyes, after a successful – if slightly creepy – eye-based design in the past.
We guess the eye juxtaposed with the stained glass, and the actual flowers of God’s creation is kind of human wonderment at perception of the divine or something.
We like this and will probably be re-using all these techniques in new combinations in the future. The stained glass window nails could have been a little neater, however.
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).
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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.
Nail Fail #2
Been a long while since we’ve drawn attention to a Nail Fail, especially as we are all trying to be positive in these dark, dark times.
But this time we aren’t picking on Miley ‘She’s-Just-Being-Miley’ Cyrus…it’s our own fail. Best City Nail Fail. An own goal, if you will.
Because we thought OBVIOUSLY you can just stick bits of magazines to your nails…
The only marks here are for effort.
It didn’t look good from a distance, just murky, fleshy colours. Up close, as you can see, was even more of a nightmare and that was before everything began to peel, and water began to seep beneath the paper.
For those who can’t tear their eyes away this is L-R: Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears, Katie Price, Gwen Stefani and Kerry Katona. Selected from an old issue of Closer magazine solely on the basis of their being about the right size (although if it could be done well, a whole set of the Stefani eyes might be nice, after all she is a Nail Queen!)
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.
Welcome to Best City Nails
Welcome to BEST CITY NAILS…
You’ve heard of CITY BEST KEBAB, and BEST AMERICAN PIZZA, and BEST CITY FOOD…well now it’s time to give London’s raggedy nails what they deserve – the best.
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