Saturday, 7 April 2012

Nifty Nails - English roses

Ok. I’m just gonna come right out and say it.... I LOVE painting nails. Ever since my big sister bought me a nail polish “pyramid” from Argos for my 10th birthday, I’ve had a love/love relationship with the stuff. I used to mess around doing polka dots and stripes with the help of a pin (needs must!) and a steady hand, and I’m pleased to see that there are now some brilliant and inexpensive ways to DIY on the market. I’ve never had a manicure done by a professional (I enjoy it too much) so I’m going to use my blog to show you some easy tricks of the trade that I’ve figured out myself during the best part of the last fifteen years. And I’ll pass on some ideas and styles I’ve spied on my many forages for inspiration on ‘t’web.


Rose print is everywhere these days (thanks Cath Kidston), and I’m not complaining. I have to admit, though, I was very surprised to find just how easy it was to translate to nail art. It’s one of those styles which look a lot more difficult than they actually are! Cue admiration from copious till attendants and bus drivers, and a rather smug smile every time you look down at your hands. Here’s what you’ll need:
·         Nail polish in four shades (plus clear base/top coat) – I chose lilac, raspberry, candy pink and bottle green. You can, of course, make up your own variations on this.
·         Tooth pick
·         Paper to lean on and keep your mum’s kitchen table clean
Now, hang on a second! Before you do ANYTHING don’t forget to paint a clear base coat. I cannot stress how important it is to always always put a base coat on your nails – not only does this prevent the nail polish from leaving a nasty orange stain a smoker would be proud of, but it creates  a smooth and even surface for the polish to cling to, giving a more professional and long lasting manicure. Any brand will do a good job, really, but at the moment I quite like Sally Hansen because it really helps stop my nails chipping and strengthens them. It’s £5 a pop but well worth it if you paint your nails as religiously as I do.

Step One: Paint a layer of your preferred base colour. I think a light shade gives a more contrasting result, which is why I chose lilac for this. I tend to choose a polish which gives good coverage with one coat – you’re going to be layering lots more nail colours on top of this, and the less you use overall then the less likely it is to chip.


Step Two: Use the brush of your dark pink polish to paint two well spaced splodges on your nails. They don’t have to be perfect circles – in fact, the more irregular they are the better.


Step Three: When these are dry, you can paint the contrasting light pink petals. To do this I find it easier to work with a tooth pick. Put a drop of the light pink polish on your paper and use the tooth pick to paint alternating semi-circles on the rose. I didn't have the right shade so I mixed white with pink until I liked the colour. Work quickly before the nail polish dries.


Step Four: Place a drop of the green polish onto the paper and use the tooth pick to paint triangular leaves on the sides of the roses. Et voila!


Oh, and don’t forget to paint a clear top coat when this is dry. Sorry for the gawd awful photos – I’m still figuring out how to take good photos of nails! But you get the idea, eh? Let me know if you have a go at this yourself!

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