Saturday, May 14, 2016

Half-Moon Nail Art

I got bit by the beauty bug first with nail polish and I'm glad nail art is becoming a form of beauty self-expression. My hands get photographed in behind-the-scenes photos or sometimes when I do product shots so I try to have the constant effort of my nails looking just as good. Since I do a lot of cooking and some housework, nail polish lasts just a few days on me. I discovered that nail art does last longer due to the layers and the chips sometimes aren't that obvious. So, I sometimes explore nail art options.

The problem though with nail art is that I'm not ambidextrous so while it looks picture-perfect on one side, it looks funny on the other hand. I figured this gets better with practice. For beginners, I recommend and try to research on techniques which does not require a lot of fine drawing skills on both sides, but easy ones that require simple strokes but just as pretty. I discovered so many endless possibilities. Once you get the hang of it, you can combine different techniques and make your own. The drawing will come later. If it doesn't come, who cares?

Half-moon manicures are like different from your traditional French manicure.

A photo posted by Well Polished (@wellpolishednailspa) on

It uses stickers to act like guards to create the half-moon shape at the base of the nail. It looks hard but with practice, you'll get it.

Now here's my own version.

What you would be needing are the usual basecoat, topcoat, two nail colors,

Basecoat: China Glaze Strong Adhesion Basecoat
Nail Colors: Revlon Nail Enamel in Sophisticated and Revlon  Parfumerie Scented Nail Polish in Sunlit Grass

Aside from that, you would need small round sticker labels like the one below.

I was able to get a pack for around Php30.00 at National Bookstore. Most of the tutorials I could find used reinforcement ring stickers but they seem to be out of stock in the two National Bookstores I went to. So I made do with these round stickers. If any of you know where to get reinforcement stickers (like those round donut-like stickers you place when you punch a hole in papers for filing) please let me know.

Start by painting your nails in your base color. That would be the "moon" color. If your nail polish is quite opaque, a coat will do. Some polishes, depending on the finish may need another coat. For here, I used yellow and gray, which is very mod and 60s.

If you're wondering about the yellow polish, yes it is scented! You won't smell it at first in the bottle. In fact, when wet, it still has the chemical-like, plastic balloon-like scent of regular nail polish. The scent comes out when it dries. They have so many nice scents, so it's hard to choose because you're kind of torn between the scent and the shade. Sunlit Grass smells really fresh, like freshly cut grass. You can even smell it even with topcoat on. However, just like perfume, it does fade in like, a day or so.

It is super important that the polish dried up completely so the sticker does not stick to the wet polish and ruin your "moon". Clean up the sides with a cotton bud dipped in polish remover as well.

Place the reinforcement sticker or sticker label as shown. Make sure that the edges of the sticker are firmly planted on the nail.

Paint over the nails in the contrasting color. If your base is gray, paint over with yellow and vice-versa. Remove the sticker label while the polish is still wet. If you didn't wait for your "moon" color to dry completely, you will understand the need for this step.

Half-moon design!

Repeat on the remaining nails. Let dry for 3 minutes or so until the top color sets a bit.

For added shine, apply topcoat. Clean up edges with a cotton bud soaked in polish remover or a those polish eraser pens.

This technique took me quite a while to perfect though. I really learned the hard way that you really have to make your "moon" color dry up super completely. I can't stress this enough. If you can get reinforcement rings, that would be better since they're smaller and easier to deal with pressing the sticker onto the nail. I had a harder time with the circular labels since they're bigger. You may also jazz up your half-moon by adding more art.

Note also that since the layers are thicker, it takes a while to dry. 15 minutes will get you the top layer nice and set but give it an hour or so before you take a shower or go to bed or chop veggies. The patience is worth it.

It's my first time to do this so I'll be perfecting this technique in the next coming days.

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