Pink Hearts on Gradient
Valentine Nail Art Tutorial
by Heather D. of Once Upon My Nails
1. Apply 1 thin coat of base coat of choice. I used CND Stickey Base coat
2. Apply 1 thin coat of white polish as the background color. I used Pretty Serious “Forbidden Fruit” – which I found gave nice even opaque coverage in one coat. Other white polishes might look better with 2 coats. Keep in mind, this base doesn’t need to be super opaque, as you will be sponging on additional polish.
3. Create a gradient using the same white polish used as the background color, and a red or dark pink of choice. I used Chirality “Bloodshot.” I put a few drops of white polish and a few drops of red polish about a centimeter apart, and used a toothpick to blend a bit of both colors together in the space between. When done, you should have an elongated “puddle” of polish, ranging from pure white to pinkish to pure red. Using a fingernail sized rectangle of cosmetic sponge, dab the sponge in the puddled polish, and then apply to your nail. Allow to dry (2-3 minutes seemed adequate), and reapply as many coats as needed to achieve a smooth gradient. I did 3 coats.
4. Clean up around nails. Sponging on the gradient gets polish on the skin around the nail. I cleaned this off using a eye shadow brush and some pure acetone in a shot glass. The brush that seems to work best for me is an angle liner brush – I use an old MAC 208.
4. Stamp on hearts using the red color. I used Shany plate 214. If your stamping skills are like mine, prepare for a bit of a mess. After stamping – I needed another round of acetone and brush clean up, to remove any design that went beyond the nail. The Chirality polish worked pretty well for stamping.
5. When dry (allow 3-5 minutes), use a good top coat to seal in the design. I used Hong Kong Girl Top Coat because I have read that it causes the least chance of smearing of the stamped design. In my experience, using a slightly thick application also helped prevent design smearing.
*** JUDGING NOTES ***
Heather underestimates her skill and her entry was complete, with detailed instructions. This is a beautiful stamped manicure and she should be proud of her design. As much as I would have loved to have this design win…ultimately, it’s too difficult–many people struggle with stamping. In a world of nail art contests where the better artist wins, I’ve flipped things upside down. The design has to be simple—can a beginner do this design? Heather is gifted with a great sense of color combinations and pleasing design.
What do you think of this this design? Comment below….