Today’s nail art forecast: partly cloudy with a chance of pastels. And, up next, in lifestyle: “What colors would you wear to a wedding?”
If you answered soft glistening pastels with white accents, then we are in sync. 😉
Although simple and sweet, this nail art design consists of a combination of mediums and techniques. Specifically, I used both regular polish and gel polishes — and even sculpted my own 3D embellishments with acrylic gel. And, if that’s not enough, I went with both simple and reverse stamping!
Not to worry, I outline the steps taken in case you’d like to get the look too. So, grab your cuticle oil and let’s have a quick read, shall we?
It’s a party!
Excitedly, I was able to participate in a nail-gram celebration hosted on Instagram last week for Rong’s double-theme Birthday and Wedding party. Last year, the party theme for her Birthday was Hello Kitty and now, this year, she’s married!! How fast they grow up! LOL
Since I’m getting around to write this up after the festivities, I can share the nail collage and you can see what a beautiful bride she made. It was an absolute pleasure to attend her reception in Singapore while sitting on my couch here in the States.
Here’s my Instagram party contribution photo:
In addition to the nail art, I also made two simple heart rings symbolizing the bride and groom.
Another nail friend and party guest, commented on my photo, “What fun! Hearts a-poppin’ & young love in pretty pastel”. She captured my vision perfectly! It stuck with me and became today’s post title. Thanks, Mina!
It’s a known fact that no matter how hard we nail girls try to utilize various types of indoor lighting and daylight bulbs, only the sun itself shows the true spectacle of holographic polishes. The resulting rainbow of holographic particles is mesmerizing! The picture below was taken outdoors in afternoon sunlight (as opposed to the picture above taken indoors under spotlights).
Before we get into the step-by-step, how about we continue talking polish for a bit.
The color inspiration for these nails started with the soft, angelic pastel holographic polishes by Color Club. I received one of their iconic Halo Hues collections for my Birthday earlier this month and couldn’t wait to try them. Also, noteworthy are the DIY 3D carved hearts made from sculpting acrylic gel, an item provided to me by Born Pretty Store as a PR Sample. However, at the time of this post, it seems that it is no longer listed on their recently updated website.
Full list of items used
Madam Glam Gel Polishes:
Ballerina (PR Sample)
Color Club Halo Hues Polishes:
Harp On It
UNT – Ready For Takeoff
MelodySusie – Base & Top Coat Gel
Madam Glam – No Wipe Top Coat
Want to know how to re-create this look? The steps I took to make this design are included below.
Note: Even though I utilized gel mediums in this design, I’m including suggested substitutions so it could be done solely with regular polish. Additionally, while I chose to use the reverse stamping method (applying the colored stamp image directly from the stamper to the nail), it could easily be adapted for the DIY decal method as well.
Prep all nails with base coat.
To make gel removal easier, I applied a thin coat of UNT peel off base, letting it dry completely, underneath my gel base coat.
Apply base colors to each nail.
I opted for white on my thumb, index and pinky; with pale blue and pale pink on my middle and ring fingers respectively.
Create reverse stamping images and let dry.
Using 2 clear stampers and white stamping polish, I picked up the heart grid pattern. After that dried, I colored in the open spaces with 4 polishes from the Halo Hues polish collection using a detail nail art brush. Leaving the painted images to dry, I set the stampers aside for roughly 30 minutes.
Stamp the small heart pattern on the non-accent nails.
I chose a monochromatic pairing for each nail. For a different look, you could alternate color pairings; such as pink stamping on blue base.
Apply the reverse stamped images to the accent nails.
The stamped images need to be dry when applying so that they don’t smear. Consequently, you need a sticky surface to “pull” the image from the stamper onto the nail. Because my base colors were gels that cure with a tacky surface, I was all set. If you are using regular polish, simply apply 1 thin coat of your stickiest base coat to each nail a few minutes prior (let it dry almost completely). This will give you the same tacky surface for the images to adhere to.
Seal the design with top coat.
I used a no-wipe gel top coat, but the same thing is achieved with regular top coat.
Add 3D accents to stamped design.
With a small dotting tool to “scoop”out the acrylic gel, I then rolled it between my fingers making a small ball before placing it on the nail. A silicone tool made sculpting the gel into a heart fairly easy. Once happy with the shape, I cured it under my LED lamp for 60 seconds. If you’re not using gel products, you could add similar interest with glitter polish, heart shaped sequence, or even a small stud using regular top coat to hold in place.
helpful tips for reverse stamping
- Use clear stampers so that you can preview your stamped image making sure there are no missed spaces in your coloring. I found I needed two passes to get the decal opaque.
- Some polishes need longer dry time which can effect the stamping decal. You may need to switch up the order of steps and complete #3 first.
In my design, both the stamping and the 3D hearts are white, so the effect was subtle. However, it did not keep me from enjoying the little heart shaped “bumps” on the nails. In retrospect, I could have painted the hearts to produce a more striking effect.
As soft as these photos are, you want to see more holographic sparkle, don’t cha? Yes!!! Okay, I’ve got you covered. The following outdoor shots show both the holo-ness and the 3D dimension with the help of the sun & shadows.
Although I tend to prefer vibrant colors on my nails, it is nice to wear the subdued ones every now and then. Using these holographic polishes added enough interest that I was happy with the less saturated colors in this design. As always, I’m curious to know, “What do you think?”.
Oh, and I must say, it was really neat to create my own 3D embellishments! I’m shamelessly patting myself on the back now. There are more ideas swimming around my head for other tiny sculptures to add to nail art. Have you ever tried it?
Till Next Time,