Thursday, May 5, 2016

Shattered Glass nails with lilac background - & some troubleshooting

This lilac nail polish is a staple in my stash.  I love the hidden pink shimmer and the neon-like brightness, but at the same time, it is pastel enough to wear year round.  I had attempted the broken glass look over a white nail polish (here), but I was not too convinced with the end result.  This weekend, I had a little bit of time, and I was determined to get down a technique for it.  Long post ahead, hoping this helps someone.

Here is what I noticed from the last mani and => how I fixed it on this one:

- I had big pieces that I could not use => With my reading glasses on, I turned on more lights in the house, worked over a white background (a sheet of paper) and got really close to my project.

-There were some pieces with rough edges => This time, I used a relatively new pair of scissors that were very sharp and were initially made for cutting hair.  Although it is worth noting that, I did not do this for the mani in these pictures of my left hand, but I did noticed a huge difference when I repaired the nails on my right hand.

-Some yellow spots were showing up on the pictures => Initially, I thought that this was due to the yellow hue of the cellophane.  Then, I realized that not only was the base color (Funny Bunny) too sheer, but I had not waited enough for the layers to dry.  This caused the cellophane to make a dip, and the polish slowly traveled towards the edges of the 'broken glass piece' to pool around it, exposing parts of the bare nail.  So, this time, I chose an opaque color and allowed some drying time in between, plus I applied a fast drying topcoat before I began to place the pieces.  Although, looking back, the yellow spots were not noticeable in real life, it did not help at all with the sleek look that this trendy mani often has, because the pieces were not laying flat.  Instead, they looked curved (concave).  My number one suggestion for this is that the cellophane paper be placed over a topcoat or a basecoat that goes over the base color, not directly on it.  More on this shortly.

-I had some pieces sticking out that I thought I could smooth out with topcoat later => This was by far the biggest mistake.  I thought that it was normal the the paper would do this; and partly it is, but it can be avoided.  The edges that stick out are caused by either the last layer being too wet or too dry.  The way that I avoided this was by applying the base color and the fast drying topcoat, and letting it dry (smooth to the touch).  Then, one nail at a time, I applied a thin layer of NailNation Skunk Basecoat, which is a sticky basecoat that I use for placing nail art pieces, such as rhinestones.  I let that dry a minute, and proceeded to place the cellophane one by one over this tacky layer.  Right after this, I pressed on the nail, in a soft cushioning motion, with my other index finger.  This allows for the paper to stick and contour to the shape of my curved nails.  By doing this, you can also weed out the ones that didn't truly stick on.  Some fell off in the process, and I added a small dot of the Skunk and brushed it lightly, waited 30 seconds then added a replacement piece.  Then I went on to do the next nail.

-Some pieces moved/shifted around when I applied the topcoat => Very Important step, letting the paper dry in place.  This way the topcoat will be a breeze.  Also, I did two thin coats of topcoat, instead of pooling the nail with Seche, like I'm used to.  This way, none of the cellophane will have a chance to tend to 'float' up.  I must add that, before I applied topcoat I examined the nails this time.  By placing them at aye level against the light, I caught a few pointy edges that did not want to lay flat,  Those ones I just carefully cut with a sharp cuticle nipper.

-The end result was not as smooth as I would have liked it to be => This paper is thirsty, and it will deplete several layers of topcoat.  On my right hand (not pictured), I was able to get away with 3 coats of Poshe Fast Drying Basecoat, which I use to smooth out glitters (reviewed here), plus 1 coat of Seche Vite (a fast drying topcoat).  On my left, swatching hand, I used 2 coats of gel topcoat the next day to completely smooth out the crocodile-like surface.

-It took forever to cut the pieces => I definitely learned this the hard way.  It turns out that you need a lot of small pieces to get all 10 nails covered, if you want it to look legitimate.  You can not cut corners and apply chunky big pieces, because it will look tacky.  I have not done it yet, but I believe, that the way to go, if you want triangles, is to get zigzag scissors.

Overall, this took me about 3 hours for both hands.  I re-did 3 nails on my right hand, which is the one I use to practice.  Huge learning experience, and I was happy with the end result.  Totally worth it.

Layering Order:
Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter-A-Peel
2 coats Super Black Lacquers Purdy (I let the coats dry thoroughly in between)
1 coat Seche Vite Topcoat (dry fully as well)
1 coat NailNation Skin Basecoat (one nail at a time, 1 minute dry time only)
Cellophane paper, cut up in random pieces (1 nail at a time, applying over tacky basecoat ^^, then pressing the pieces on the nail until all edges adhere to the nail.  Dry fully, allows the cellophane set in place)
2 coats Seche Vite Topcoat (dry fully, wait 4+ hours when combining with gel topcoat)
2 coats Starpro Universal Topcoat (Gel, LED cured for 90 seconds each coat, with Gelish 5-45)

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