During my childhood, my Nono often told a story that had interchanging subjects, but it always started with the lines, “The night was dark and dreary.” Believe it or not, these were always good stories, full of wonder and imagination. It is quite possible that you’ll need similar imagination to see this nail art design as the snowflake pattern that I attempted to create by drag marbling gels.
Regardless, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this post, no matter whether you see them as snowflakes that are melting…or maybe as fireworks….or just abstract designs.
Okay. So….first off, I’d like to reveal that recently Andreea from Madam Glam reached out and asked that I participate as a collaborating blogger. They have provided products for me to use in my nail art and share my experiences with you. How exciting is that?!!
You might remember, I had just begun my journey with gel polishes a few months ago and wrote a bit about my first time in my Hearts for Anja post. I’m slowly getting better at working with gels and realizing some of the benefits of the different technology.
In today’s nail art, I used **Supernatural Power for the background. This beautiful polish is from their Cat Eye Collection of gels. Just like other magnetic polishes, these cat eye effects are created when holding a magnet above the polish immediately before curing.
The cat eye effect of this polish is quite mesmerizing — I wish I had been able to capture it a bit better for you. It is truly just like a cat eye stone when moving your nails around the cat eye effect shifts its glow in the light.
It is recommended that you apply these special effect gels over a base color on your nail. I know some bloggers have shown them over a black base (like I did here) as well as over light bases and bare nails. Whichever way you choose will effect the overall look.
Specifically, in the photos above I applied one thin coat of black gel and then one thin coat of Supernatural Power. In hindsight, my coats were too thin for close-up photos. I have a few bald spots showing in the photos that were not visible to the naked eye.
By happy accident, because I forgot to use the magnet before curing, I applied a second coat of Supernatural Power on my thumb (shown below).
Wearing black undies not only gave me better coverage (especially for macro shots), but also brought out the blue tones. (Without a black layer underneath, this polish looks more grey).
Since I planned to add nail art, all of these photos are without topcoat. Depending on the angle of the light source, the amount of glowing pigments visible varies. I’ll admit, it was a bit of a challenge to get my hand and camera at the right angles that showed off the polish effects, and at the same time minimized the glare on the glossy gel surface.
I had so much fun with this polish, I just know I’ll be showing it to you again! In the meantime, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or an email.
Alrighty. Onto the nail art.
For a while now, I’ve been curious about the different looks that can be achieved in nail art because of the different properties of gels -vs- lacquers (regular polish). There are many professional gel nail artists who create stunning works of art; one such talented lady, @larisa_ilina80, a nail art instructor from Moscow, posts her creations on Instagram. I am completely enthralled with her Waterway technique. Despite the fact that I lack her experience, talent, and products…I gave the idea a go with what I had available.
I probably shouldn’t show you this because it makes mine look pretty sad…but I do recognize that in order to expand my skills I have to start somewhere. So take a look at her video below and then I’ll explain what I did to try and replicate these.
From what I can gather, the Waterway technique utilizes a clear product to use as the base for drag marbling that provides more of a softer, blended look than when you use two (or more) color gels. I thought I would give it a try by using a clear top coat (because that’s what I have).
If I had to guess, that special product Larisa uses is worth having, because the top coat is a bit too much like water without enough resistance. What I mean is that the design continues to flow until it is cured — resulting in the design sliding down the curved sides of my nails. Even if I were more experienced, I don’t think it’s possible to be fast enough at creating the design and curing without having this problem. As it was, I cured each nail immediately before I would move on to the next one.
After having my background layers (previously mentioned) applied and cured, this is what I did to create the snowflakes:
- In preparation, I poured some white gel polish on a plastic yogurt lid.
- I applied a thin coat of top coat. Specifically, I used a regular gel top coat (that has the tacky inhibition layer). I did NOT cure it.
- I used a medium detail brush to pick up and apply to the white gel polish the nail. For the dragging, I experimented with using the brush as well as a watermarble tool to finish off the snowflake shapes.
- Working one nail at a time, I cured the design just like a normal layer of polish.
- To finish, I applied a thin coat of no-wipe top coat and cured.
I’m really happy that I pushed myself to try this out. I know the results aren’t exactly the best (especially if they’re supposed to look like snowflakes, LOL)… However, it was a very rewarding experience to play with new mediums and techniques. I’m looking forward to trying more in the future.
In the picture above (and in the very first one of the post), the sunshine brought out an even livelier cat eye effect. It was well worth braving the cold in my finger-less gloves.
I’m quite curious to hear what your thoughts are about these!! Even if you didn’t like them, please tell me…I promise to take all feedback graciously.