The ingenuity of the nail polish world never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you’ve seen every variation of a nail lacquer – truly, how different can those 50 mint green polishes be from one another?! – something new comes along, opening up a whole new world of nail art possibilities.
Shocker to no one who’s been following this sorry excuse for a nail blog over the past year, but there’s been a certifiable dearth of actual nail art embedded in the actual ones and zeros contained therein. The long and the short of it is, I’ve had zero interest in fiddling with my nails. And when I have, it’s been gardening season – and at that time of year, they are anything but tidy little finger canvasses!
Then I ran across this trendy fluid art polish I purchased last year, Baroness X’s Nacre, and I decided to treat myself to a pretty new manicure. We shall not speak of my first attempt, which I chalked up to a lack of practice over the last, oh, eight or nine months. But my second attempt went swimmingly, and I’m so pleased with the results!
Here’s how fluid art polishes work. Containing a higher than usual percentage of oil, fluid art polishes interact with more traditional, water-based lacquers in exactly the way you would expect oil and water to combine – breaking apart into delicate lace, puddly little cells and swoopy streaks. I created the manicure shown here by dabbing three polishes – hot pink, orchid purple and plain old white – out onto a small silicone mat, one on top of the other. I immediately topped the tri-coloured polish pile with a generous blob of Nacre, before pinching the mat between my fingers, smooshing the four polishes together.
You will not think that this will do a dang thing – and it didn’t work for me the first time I tried it – but when you pull the mat apart, you’ll see the polishes spread out and split up into lacy cells, right before your very eyes. It was really so cool – effects polishes, when they behave, can produce the neatest looks. And Nacre is a great choice for experimentation, as it doesn’t have the most colour presence beyond that lovely mother of pearl shimmer.
After creating six or seven of these little cellular strips (I was just doing my one hand) I let them dry for an hour or so. Then when it came time to actually do my nails, I treated them exactly like nail decals, carefully cutting each delicate strip into a shape roughly the size of my nail bed, and then “sticking” it in place atop a single light layer of clear base coat. I then cleaned up the raggedy bits by my cuticles with a detail brush dipped in acetone, before topping with Seche Vite, as always. Et voila, a rather stunning and spring-y fluid art manicure, and a small, encouraging step back into the nail art world. 🙂