I got a bit screed-y in my last post, and while I stand behind the sentiments expressed therein (TL;DR – Canada Post sucks) I don’t care to continue lingering in that frame of mind. Since my kitty passed away not quite two weeks ago, I’ve been mired in a sea of fretful unhappiness, and I desperately need a break from the heartbreak. I don’t need to make it worse by freaking out about the mundane and expected (that Canada Post sucks.)
So that’s what led to this simple manicure, my first attempt at any sort of nail art-ing in about a month’s time – I just needed to get out of my own riled-up mind for a second or two. Here I used nothing more complicated than the polish brushes themselves to swipe on first one stripe of KB Shimmer’s Blush Money and then one stripe of KB’s glittery Turning Pointe over a sheer nude base. Pretty in a monochromatic sort of way and not too difficult, ideal for my first foray back into some more arty, less teary and rage-inducing, endeavors.
With a little help from some water vinyl nail art stickers from Daily Charme. More on those in a second.
But first, the polishes! Which would be KB Shimmer’s soft, coral-y pink, Blush Money, topped with KB’s leopard print glitter, Spot Sign. Blush Money, a peachy-pink holo sprinkled with gold shimmer, is a real chameleon, shifting from a bright coral-rose in the shade to a warm, glowy peach in the sun. I think both in the bottle and as against my very pale skin it looks like Nars’ venerable Orgasm blush. And Spot Sign, as always, is awesome – a leopard print mani in just a few swipes of the brush – but temperamental. The little C-shaped leopard glitters want to stick together and they really do snag on everything, so Spot Sign will require your patience, and about two layers of topcoat.
So the nail art stickers? Bit of a learning curve with these guys. Having never used water vinyls before (really, I’m not much for nail art accessories of any description) I didn’t know what to expect, and the instructions on the back of the package were somehow both overly simplistic AND needlessly complicated. And that really did these vinyls a great disservice, because in the end, they turned out to be fantastically easy to apply. They’ve also worn beautifully and didn’t smudge all to heck and back when I topped them with topcoat. That’s nail artist pay dirt right there!
The instructions for these cute kitty nail stickers called for an assortment of cutting and soaking and buffing and then, somewhat alarmingly, the back-to-back use of both water and a blow dryer. Sounds dangerous! Also made very little sense to me, which is why I was initially left with the impression that these stickers were total garbage.
But they weren’t! Far from it, actually. I just needed to spend a bit of time tinkering about with these very versatile vinyls. Basically, it went a bit like this:
Peel the protective film off the sheet of stickers. The printed designs will be on one side, and a simple, lightweight piece of adhesive paper will be on the other.
Taking a pair of sharp manicure scissors, cut out the design or designs you’d like to use, including the adhesive backing. Don’t feel confined to taking one design – here the cute black kitties – at a time; if there’s two designs side by side on the sheet that you just love, then cut them out together! Also, you don’t need to cut in extremely close to the design, as the backing on these vinyls is translucent and the edges disappear entirely once topcoated.
Taking a small bowl of room temperature water and working one at a time, drop your tiny speck of paper into the water. You’ll immediately see the adhesive backing take on water, and then after another 10 or so seconds, the vinyl design will separate from the paper.
Reach out and touch the tip of your finger to the vinyl – it’ll cling to it a lot like a contact lens. Then apply the vinyl to your (painted and dried, but now slightly damp) nails by simply touching your finger to your nails. The sticker will now cling to your nails, and if your nails are wet enough (dunk them in the water you used to soak the vinyls and blow off the excess) you’ll have a bit of play to push your sticker around until you’ve found the perfect place for your design.
Top with a layer of high gloss topcoat and marvel at the streak-free finish. I really can’t oversell that point enough – many a mani has been ruined or at least severely compromised by streaky black detail paint! That these kitties came out so crisply is something of a nail art miracle to me!