Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Blue and White Pottery Inspired Nails

Hello friends, how are you all this week?  It feels almost like spring where I am right now, and not at all like a typical February here in the GTA. My boyfriend visited me last week and the weather was just gorgeous, it was so warm and sunny! I really hope that this weather lasts until summer, though that'll be unlikely. This week, I actually really wanted to do a spring inspired design because of how spring-like it feels outside. However, not wanting to jinx this beautiful weather, I decided against it. 
The idea for the design came to me because my mother showed me a post from her chinese website about dresses inspired by traditional blue and white pottery designs. I've always found traditional chinese pottery to be extremely beautiful. I've spent many hours as a child staring and admiring the the beautifully glazed ceramics.
With this design, I decided to that it would look best if done purely with nail polish. Normally, I would prefer using acrylic paints for such intricate designs, but I did not have any paints in this colour (I definitely need to add some more colors to my collection). Plus, acrylic designs tend to look a bit more flat compared to polish based designs and  I wanted to achieve that glazed ceramic feel without having to add thick layers of topcoat. That being said, I had not worked with nail polish as a medium in a while and I was definitely not used to how fast the polish dried up! It was certainly quite a fun process, and I think that I'd enjoy trying this with some acrylic paint in the future.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my tips and tricks on how to create these nails (and some more pictures)!

  • Start off by finding some reference pictures to give you an idea of how to do your own design (I google searched "blue china designs")
  • Paint your nails with an opaque white base color, I used 2 thin coats of Zoya's "Purity"
  • Prepare your "palette" 
    • don't use anything that will absorb or cause the polish to dry out faster
    • I used what was within reach: a post it note that I put tape over to create a smooth surface
    • Other things you can use are (but are not limited to): silicone nail art mats, plastic (bags, sandwich bags, cellophane etc.), tinfoil, wax or parchment paper
  • Prepare your rubbing alcohol or acetone by pouring some out into a small, shallow container
  • Choose a "true-blue" color and make sure that it is opaque; I used Essie's "Catch of the Day"
  • Dab out a drop of the blue polish onto your palette and dilute it using some rubbing alcohol/acetone so that it is not as "intense" and to make it easier to work with
  • Using a thin brush, paint on your design
  • Remember to constantly dilute the polish so that it doesn't become to goopy and hard
  • Clean your brush frequently (this helps with getting those details in)
  • Keep using fresh drops of polish as the bits on your palette becomes unworkable
  • When satisfied with how your design looks, finish off your nails with a shiny topcoat to seal in the design and give it that beautiful shine that ceramics have!
... and it's as easy as that!