Wednesday, 7 December 2011

NOTD: Tortoiseshell nails

My first NOTD! (Excuse the raggedy cuticles.)

I didn’t really have anything in mind when I did this design, I was just playing around with drag marbling and getting frustrated (I keep forgetting - if your base layer is really gloopy, everything sinks!). It’s a simple drag marble using ulta3 Black Satin (thick, opaque, black creme) and Sunkissed (metallic bronze shimmer).


I’ve found that when drag marbling, my nail polish dries way too quickly and the only way I can avoid too many bald spots is to do each nail one by one. I know bald spots can look like part of the design.. but when they’re on my nails they just irritate me every time I see them! One really good thing about this pattern is you can cover up any bald spots quite easily with a few dabs of nail polish, and it blends right in.
It’s really easy to do (but surprisingly difficult to photograph, argh!).

What you need:
  • 2 colours of nail polish (I like having a creme base and a metallic pattern)  
  • thin paintbrush (mine is about the size of a liquid eyeliner brush)
  • toothpick (I’ve used both the round and the flat wooden ones, they’re both around the same)
  • lots of nail polish remover for washing the paintbrush and inevitable mistakes
  • topcoat
1. Apply a double layer of your base colour. I didn’t use base coat since I made so many mistakes at first it was just a pain, and base coat seemed to encourage bald spots. One thin coat, then one thick coat worked well for me, giving me enough polish to flow well, but not so much that I’d end up with a bulge on the side of the nail.
2. Dab a thin paintbrush into your second colour. Don’t be shy, get a heap of nail polish on there, so it beads at the end of the brush but not so much that it drips off. I found it easier to handle if I transferred some polish onto a piece of paper. Paint a line around 3 mm thick down the middle of the nail (I usually had to re-dip).
3. Working quickly, draw a wide zigzag down your nail with the point of the toothpick. Draw strokes into the middle/out to the side until you’re happy with the pattern.
4. Fill in any bald spots with nail polish using the paintbrush.
5. Do your other nine nails.
6. Finish with topcoat (I used Seche Vite).
7. Show them off!

I wasn’t really impressed at first, but when I had all my nails done it really grew on me! 



It looks like the ripply patterns on a pair of tortoiseshell glasses. But more shimmery.

It’s such a complex, interesting pattern. I didn’t get sick of it for a week... which is a record for me!

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