Saturday, 16 June 2012

My guide to nail art

Now I'm not sure if anyone wants this post but if it even helps one person I'll be happy :). I'm not taking my floral design off yet so I thought I'd do a post about how I do my nail art, just tips and tools I guess. It's a long one so settle down. 

Before you do any of this make sure you have been to the toilet, you have everything you need around you including a drink ;) and that you have plenty of time to create; there's nothing worse than starting a design and then realising you have to do the shopping, etc etc. 

So the first thing I do is find inspiration, now this can be from almost anywhere; other bloggers, clothing, fashion magazines are a good source for patterns, other people, nature, buildings, art etc etc. 
The next step is the most important, if I have never done the design I have in mind before I get my little blank notebook out and using fineliners I draw out the design quite big so I can get a feel for it. I recommend doing this before you even go near your nails as drawing it on paper is basically just practicing. Then I draw a nail shape that's a bit smaller than my own nails and try and fit as much detail of a design as I can into the little nail. Here's a few examples 
This was what I did for the Jil Sander paisley
This is the floral design, note the mess, I'll get onto that :P
I do this so that it's easier to draw the design when you get onto your real nail as you realise you have more space than you thought. If you don't feel confident with the design just keep drawing it over and over until you do. The more you practice the better you'll be :). 

Once you have confidence that you'll be able to do it on your nail, grab your tools and just go for it. The 'tools' that I use are Dotting tools from ebay for £2, make up sponge again £2 for however many, nail art pens - wah nails which have a striper and a nib but I only use the stripers as I find that the nib is too unreliable as the polish just flows out and I can't control it which ruins EVERYTHING. The other nail art pens I use are by Supreme nails and they are £19.99 for 10 and I love them so much, they only have a nib as the brush that comes with them are full sized so you can paint your nails with the nail art pen, I guess it's good if you are traveling as they can be joined together at the base. 

The most important thing I do before doing any nail art is to use Seche vite even if my nails are dry, I do this to ensure that there is a smooth base, if you have ever tried to do nail art on a less than smooth base you'll understand why. Also seche vite just makes sure that everything is perfectly dry, this might sound simple but never try to do nail art on wet polish, even if you think it's nearly dry, don't do it! It will drag the tacky polish off and then you'll get super stressed and messy. So just wait those couple of minutes longer. 

If you are using dotting tools you need a puddle of polish to dip into, I know a few people use a lid of something but I simply use paper, there's no reason why you shouldn't as long as you don't tip a massive great pool out you'll be fine ;). The puddle will eventually go tacky but that's inevitable. You can see all my spots of polish on the second photo, dotting tools are good for mixing polish too, that's how I made the light grey just mixed the two colours on the paper via a dotting tool. Another plus of using paper is that you can practice dotting before you go on the nail. Multi purpose indeed :). 

If you know that your non dominant hand will be shaky practice dotting etc repeatedly without polish on the tool, just go through the action slowly and then faster, this should help steady you. I think a lot of it is in your mind as well, if you think you won't be able to do it then you probably won't, so think positive and think of what movement you are doing, it really helps. Chances are if you can paint your nails with your non dominant hand then you CAN use it for nail art :)! 

Aim high but start off small otherwise it'll just knock your confidence if you find that you can't do something, you will be able to with practice. 
This time last year my left hand was shaky but constant practice has made it steady and in control (lol) you just train it to behave :P. 

I made this little book of designs sometime last year around september and I've improved sooooo much since then, so I'm proof that it  pays to practice! 

There you have it, I hope this wasn't patronising or too obvious for anyone, I just feel like I've learnt a lot over the past few months and I wish I'd knew it before. 

Hope this has helped! 


Lizzy said...

Awesome tips! My (male) cousin wants something a bit on the deranged side and these will definitely help me get it all to fit. Once I feel like doing it... :/ lol Glad you're enjoying the flowers so much. They really came out amazing!

Unknown said...

Your post did not sound patronizing at all!! I am sure that these tips will be very helpful to someone just starting to do nail art! I do the drawings too! :)

GoingtotheShowing said...

WOW! These are great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

Abbienail said...

You're welcome, I'm glad you liked them :)!

Abbienail said...

LOL! What?! That sounds interesting, I hope you'll do a blog post about it if you do it! Thank you :)

Abbienail said...

That's good then :) haha yeah drawing is the only way! :P

M. Fourey said...

Great tips Abbie :) I wish I could be half as good as you at freeganding tiny details. I guess I'm going to start by advice nº1: JUST PRACTICE YOU LAZY THING. Hee hee.
Well at least I have the little practice book, but as you can guess it's for geometrical stuff and random ideas I don't rely on myself not to forget ;)

Emma said...

That book is such a great idea! I am good at doing one hand but not the other haha!

I have nominated you for a blog award please check it out!


Toyarosie said...

I think these are great tips Abbie, and not at all patronizing - a lot of people can't do what you can, or at least don't know how! Thanks - it gives me something to think about if I ever get the guts up to try 'the real deal'!! :D

Olivia R said...

just came across you by typing in Paisley into google. I am so happy to have found your book of nails. question: what markers/pens do u use to color in samples? when ever i try with prismacolor colored pencils it just doesnt work out, andyour colors are so bold

Abbienail said...

Aww thanks, in the book? I colour them in with nail polish which is why they are messy :P and use nail art pens to do the designs in the book too, it's a good thing to do as like you say the designs are bold and it's practice :) hope that helps! Also I'm not sure if you have them but try any type of fineliner cos they have really good colour payoff :)

Caitt said...

Great advice! Thanks x

Anonymous said...

This is a really useful and interesting post, I'd love to see more of your designs and how you get the inspiration. I make glass beads and sometimes draw out the design, not as well as you do though!

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