Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nail-aween Challenge 7: Spider Nails + Tutorial

Howdy everyone!  Goodness this month is flying by, isn't it?  It'll be Halloween in less than a week!  I'm going to show you my Nail-aween Challenge manicure and then I'm going to give you a tutorial on one of the techniques I used to get the look.  The 7th Challenge is Spider Nails and here's what I came up with:

These didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped and I'm particularly unhappy with the orange spiders.  But my blog is as much about my successes as my failures, so I'm putting it up here.  I used Wet 'n' Wild's Wild Shine in French White Creme and Black Creme and then Julep's Parker for the spiders.  Parker is a great orange creme for Halloween.  Stay tuned after the jump for the tutorial on the background faux water marbling.

Tutorial time!  I've had a couple of folks ask me for a tutorial on the faux water marbling technique I've used in a few manicures lately.  Basically, I make water marble decals and apply them to my nails, rather than dropping polish into water and dipping my nails into it.  Alright, let's get going!

To start, grab all the items you'll need to make your decals;  base coat, top coat, the polish colors you want to use, a cuticle stick or toothpick, saran wrap and a book (or a zip lock bag), paper towels for clean up, and tape.

To create your decals, you'll need a non-porous surface for the polish to dry on.  I use saran wrap around a book like the above photo.  You can also use a zip lock bag or anything else that you can peel polish off of.  I wrap the book in the saran wrap and tape it across the back to make a flat surface. 

Now you'll start with your first color of polish (I used French White Creme here).  Apply a thick coat of polish on top of your prepared surface.  You do need a fairly thick coat to ensure that you don't have bald spots in your decals.  Cover as much of the surface as you think you'll need to cover all 10 nails.  I do a bit at a time so the polish doesn't dry out as I'm working.

Using your next color of polish (Black Creme shown here), drip it onto your first color in any pattern you like.  I arced mine across the first color to create the webbing in my spiderwebs.  You can drip a bull's eye pattern like you do for traditional water marbling, or just a random pattern as well.  I'm only using 2 colors here, but you can use more if you like.

Take your cuticle stick or toothpick and draw through all the layers of polish on your surface.  I did straight lines radiating from a center point for my webs, but you can swirl, twirl or whatever else you like to create your own design.

When you're done creating your design, let your polish dry.  You can test small areas for tackiness, just like you might if the polish was on your nail.  I try to let mine dry for at least an hour before peeling them up.  If you do it too soon, your decals will stick and tear, so be patient!  While you're waiting, you can paint a base color on your nails (only 1 coat, I'll explain in a minute!).  I used French White Creme again for my base and I'd suggest you use one of the lightest colors in your marble for a base.  That way, if you do get small holes in your decals they will blend in.  If you use a dark base color, you run the risk of it showing through your decals.

Now the fun part!  Using the flat end of your cuticle stick, gently push under the edge of your dried polish decal and begin slowly peeling it from the saran wrap.  If your polish is thoroughly dry, it should come up pretty easily.  If they're sticking, wait a bit longer and try again.  I place my decals on a paper towel until I'm ready to use them.  Don't lay them back on the saran wrap or on top of each other.  They will stick to themselves and it's difficult to get them apart without ripping them!

Above is an example of a finished decal.   I cut mine down into smaller squares so I don't have too much excess when I apply them to my nails.  Remember earlier when I said to only do 1 coat of a base color on your nails?  Well, now you're going to do another.  I go one nail at a time and then let each dry a bit.  You want the polish on your nail to be tacky, but not sopping wet.

When the polish on your nail is mostly dry, place your decal on your nail.  Gently press it down to remove any air bubbles and ensure a strong adhesion.  

I apologize for the blurriness here, my camera was running out of batteries and I was trying to get these taken!  I'm not sure how well you can see, but I'm using the cuticle stick again to press the decal from the top around the edges of my nail.  This will perforate the decal enough that you can gently pull the excess bits away from your nail.  

And that's it!  Apply your top coat and you're done.  It's really pretty easy and clean up is SO much less messy than with the water method.  Let me know what you think, if you try it.  I hope this tutorial was helpful!

Witch nails are next for the Nail-aween Challenge and I'll have another game day manicure for you guys this weekend, as my KSU Wildcats take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders, another big game!  So tune in to check it out!  Thanks so much for reading!


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