Category Archives: Pearls
I had to go to a cocktail party at a conference. Themed. Part of me squeals like a teenager at the thought of hunting down a cute costume, while another part of me shrivels up in distaste at having to actually think of a costume. ‘Nautical or Nice’. A rather broad theme, wouldn’t you say?
Well, luckily I’ve always had a thing for mermaids, so the decision was already sorted. But what do I do about my nails? I’ve already done two mermaid inspired manis… What’s left? O.o
I had this wicked idea for a snowflake manicure, and I simply had to do it. I specially bought some snowflake decals on eBay for this. For all my enthusiasm, I am somewhat less than ecstatic with the results. Still a lovely manicure, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not exactly what I’d had in mind. Isn’t that always the way?
Cue, my instructions on what NOT to do.
Follow this guide, and your nails will look much better than mine :)
Start out with a base coat. Apply a thin coat of pearlescent polish – I thought white might be a tad bland for sparkling snowflakes. If your polish doesn’t form a consistent layer, apply a second coat. It doesn’t have to be a perfect, solid paint job; it only forms the base of your gradient. I used Revlon’s Pure Pearl. It has a more of a silver tinge to it, but each to their own.
Dab some blue nail polish onto a make-up sponge, and gently sponge the colour onto your nail, starting at the tip, and ending just short of the cuticle. You want some of your pearl to show. You’re aiming for a gradient effect, so have a light hand. I used Sally Hansen’s Pixel Pretty.
This was not a good idea.
I’d originally wanted a paler blue, like Inglot’s 315, but when I applied it I couldn’t even see my first layer. That was my first mistake: giving up so easily. I should have persevered with the light/pearl blue instead of resorting to a heavier colour. I was told by multiple people that my nails looked like water more than snow.
I guess I can see why.
Starting from your tip, gradually build up the intensity of your blue, but each time, don’t go so far down. You want quite a heavy coat at the very tip of your nails to contrast with the pearl at the base. The blue will have a rough (ish) texture. Don’t worry; top coat will smooth this right out.
Once happy, apply a layer of glitter polish. I used my delectable Sally Hansen Disco Ball. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really show up in these pictures, so…use your imagination. There are sparkles there. Lots of them. Really.
All that’s left is to decorate your nails. I started with the snowflake decals. Place the decals sporadically across your nails, alternating occassionally between one and two snowflakes. I found that they showed up better on the blue than the pearl, so don’t follow my folly by putting them between halfway and the cuticles. Pur them closer to the tip of your nail, where you applied the heavier blue polish.
This last step is completely optional. I applied a top coat, and while it was wet, I randomly placed small pearl-like beads on my nails. They are really only half a bead, with a flat side to stick to your nails (bought them off eBay). I used a pearl colour and a pale blue colour. The people who thought I was going for a water theme thought they were bubbles, but I had kind of envisioned them as big sparkles. Something like that. You decide what you think of them.
Apply a top coat or two, and you are done :) Lovely nails for Winter (even though it’s actually Autumn…)
I hope you’ve learnt from my mistakes, and create a stunning manicure!