How about some pretty stained glass nail art to brighten up your day? This post is complete with lots of photos, in-progress shots, and the details you need to re-create the look. Sound good? I’m pretty sure you’re nodding your head. 😉
The Digit-al Dozen – January Theme: All That Glitters
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of leadlight nail art. I can vividly recall the first time I saw the technique demonstrated by Julia of Messy Mansion. Totally, love at first sight. And, love at first trial too. There are numerous looks you can create with this technique. Over the past few years, I’ve had a lot of joy making a handful of nail art designs incorporating leadlight effects.
With today’s post, I bring you my first successful leadlight over glitter. Specifically, I’ve been wanting to create stained glass nails for a long time. I was delighted to find that the glitter base provided the texture and sparkle closely resembling stained glass.
And, just as with a real window pane of glass, these nails had plenty of interest as seen in indoor lighting (above) but really sparkled in the sunlight (first photo).
Here are the steps I took:
Start off with a silver polish, the more chrome-like and reflective the better. Below, I’m wearing 2 coats of Cascade by Mineral Fusion. If I were to wear it alone, I would have put another 1 or 2 coats on to cover the visible nail line. Isn’t it so ethereal?
Then, for texture, add lots of silver glitters. I sponged on a very pretty one by Ciaté called Locket. I really think this polish is the key to this whole look. In case you’re in need – at the time of this post, Locket is still currently available. It has a perfect mix of super shiny different sized glitters. I sponged 2 coats over the silver base.
Now, I had tried to make these nails once before and they came out horribly. At the time, I didn’t know the reason they looked so bad. After making today’s nails, I have now figured out why.
Before, I had used a silver glitter base just like here, but the silver glitter also had a holographic finish. The holo ended up just muddying the light reflections I guess. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that plain silver glitters are the trick.
Moral of the story: not all glitters are alike. Plain silver glitters are best for leadlight nail art.
Okay, back to the steps. To smooth out the surface of the glitters before stamping, I applied a quick dry topcoat. Then, I stamped each nail with a different image from Moyra’s Stained Glass stamping plate.
Again, another coat of topcoat should be applied after the stamping. This will seal in the stamping and keep it from smudging when you leadlight. Even though the stamping polish is dry, the wet polish you’re painting over it would re-activate it and smear.
To do the coloring, I like using a detail brush to leadlight, but I know lots of folks use a dotting tool.
In the photo below, I’ve added the colors to the insides of each image. To give them a bit more interest, I continued to add layers of different colors, blending them together. Note: Not all jelly polishes make pretty shades when layered. I recommend testing them out first.
We’re Not Done Yet
You certainly could stop here. However, for these, I really wanted that partially frosted look for the background parts of my stained glass. So I painted on a very, very sheer light gray polish over those areas only. Everything is sealed with a final application of a glossy topcoat.
With that grey added, I really felt the look was complete. Particularly, the grey polish I used has a crelly formula. Being partially opaque helped to give those areas a more authentic look. It also allowed the colored sections to really pop in the light.
Let’s see that difference again:
Which way do you prefer them? It takes longer, but I preferred them with the grey added. In any case, this nail art is so bright and cheery!! I really hope you like them as much as I did.
Let’s get the polish and supplies info out of the way, then I’ve got some close-up pictures for you to see too.
- Mineral Fusion | Cascade
- Ciaté | Locket
- Hit The Bottle | As Black As Night
- Moyra | Stamping Plate 44 Stained Glass
- Moyra | PiXL Clear Stamper No. 12
- Born Pretty Store | Snowflake Dual-head Clear Stamper #41330 (PR Sample)
- Essie | Watercolor Silk Jellies: Art New-Beau, Love Sheen, Blush Stroke, Muse, Myself, Highest Bidder, Point of Blue, No Shrinking Violet, Pen & Inky
- Sinful Colors | Simple But Fun
- Liquidus | Peridot
- Creative Cuticles | Mary
- Wet Paint | Prepare For Takeoff, Sheer Stockings
- OPI | My Pointe Exactly
- Pure Color | Nail Art Brush #10
- Fab Ur Nails | Angular Kolinsky Brush
- Lantern & Wren | Mani Defender Liquid Latex
- UNT | Ready For Takeoff
- Seche | Vite
NEW! Links to shop found on page: Kimett Recommends
As soon as it was released last year, there was no doubt that this stained glass stamping plate by Moyra would be mine! Isn’t it fabulous!!! The images are very large though; about 20x25mm. If you have small nail beds it may not work well. Having said that, in case you’re wanting to get one – I purchased mine from DRK Nails. Other stockists include Beautometry and What’s Up Nails.
If you’ve every tried Moyra plates, you know they have some of the finest lines in their stamping images of all the brands. Under normal circumstances, the plates work great with no pick-up issues at all. However, it had been so cold and the air was so dry in my house, that I had a little trouble getting the fine lines of these stamping images to stay wet long enough to stick to my nail. On a couple of occasions, I lost some lines that made up the background sections – mostly because they pulled back up with the stamper after rolling it over my nail.
To fix that, I used the tiny clear stamp head from Born Pretty Store‘s dual-headed clear snowflake stamper. I would apply polish just to the area of the plate I needed and stamped those lines to my nail completing the image. I was planning to do a review of this stamper soon, but I’m really glad I had it at the ready. Below is an image from their online store that shows you the dimensions of each head. The smaller one was perfect for picking up tiny sections at a time. After testing it out, I can tell you both heads pick up images well considering it is not very soft nor sticky.
Nails That Glisten And Glow
Alrighty, are you ready for more stained glass nail photos??
And, as I mentioned earlier, these glistened even more in natural light. This next shot was taken near a window with the sun streaming in.
Then, this shot was taken outside. The snow reflected the light even in the shade.
And my favorite shots were taken with the advantage of some afternoon sunshine.
Time to wrap it up now. Did you enjoy this post? Would you want these stained glass nails to wear yourself? Hopefully, I’ve included all the info you need to re-create these. But, if I’ve left anything out, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below. Also, please tag me in your post or social media pic so I can see yours too!
So, we’re halfway through the week and I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m feeling the burn. But, I’ve got two more posts for the All That Glitters week of The Digit-al Dozen to go. It might be time to break out the emergency chocolate. LOL
Don’t forget to check out my fellow members’ blogs too – there are some very sparkly designs this week so far. Today especially there are some pretty darn creative nail art designs!!
Till Next Time,