Saturday, 14 July 2012

Nail Art Tutorial - Agent Smith

Hi Goddesses

Today I'm going to do a tutorial for you.  Now, it's key to remember here that I am a SPLODGER.  That's right, a SPLODGER.  I am not Sarah Chalkboard, or Colette from My Simple Little Pleasures, or Lucie and her stash - i.e, I am not exact, precise or perfect.

So, in my tutorials, we're going to focus on my areas of expertise - being messy, going wrong, and trying to sort it out !!  There's no way I can pretend that I am perfect, and you shouldn't expect perfection either, so instead we're going to focus on the experience of trying to get it right, and trying to get better.

So, first of all, let's remind ourselves what Agent Smith looked like.  It's a fairly simple design - black, white and some striping!

In terms of tools, you don't need much for this - a white polish, a black polish and either a striping brush or my favourite art accessory in the world - China Glaze Ink Pot.   It's a little 9ml pot of polish with a striper brush inside it, and it's perfect for nail art.  Because it sits within the bottle, it's always moist, and therefore creates perfect lines.

So, step one - paint your nails white. We can do that!!

Step 2 .... we need to make the outline for the suit.  This is just 2 diagonal lines.  A cross.  Just make sure that they don't intersect in the middle of your nail, but about 2/3 of the way down.  We can do that!  (Apologies for the strange lighting in the photos - the nail room has a horrid pink tinge to it, and I couldn't colour-adjust it out :().

Step 3 - create the tie.   This is basically a straight line, and then aknotty shape at the top - part circle, part square, part hexagon.  We can do that!

Step 4 - colour the suit in.  As you can see, this is where it got messy for me.  I tried to colour it in using the brush from the polish, which wasn't nearly small enough to get into the corners.

Step 5 was another coat of black, and an extra special attempt to get into the corners.  Yeh, that didn't work ...

So Step 6 involved using a thin brush to get into all those nooks and crannies.  Here's my brush.

And here's how it moved the mani along.

And finally Step 7 - clean up.   Clean up seems to be a hot discussion point at the moment, and I have various techniques I use according to the type of emergency we are dealing with.   In this case, you can see that there's quite a lot of colouring outside the lines AND it's with a black polish.  At this point you have 2 options - the Q-tip or cotton bud or a clean up brush.

This is my rule - if there is a LOT of clean up to be done, OR  we are in a dark colour situation, NEVER start with the brush.  Why ?  Because it smears it around, and you end up in a worse situation.  Instead, use the cotton bud but PRESS it on to the polish and lift it off.  Do not rub.  Press and lift.  Press and lift.

And THEN you can use the clean up brush.  I have 2 brushes I use, both of which look like this.  The thing I love about them, is that they go stiff after use, so when you next use them, they have nice stiff edges.  The minute your brush goes floppy, it stops being as effective.  And that's why I have 2, so that at least one is always stiff.

Finally, top coat.  I ALWAYS use Poshe.  It dries fast and very glossy.  I think top coat is an incredibly personal choice, and the only rule is this - use whatever works for you.  Don't use Poshe because I do, when you're perfectly happy with the TC you currently use.  Different things work for different people - I hate Seche Vite, but I know a lot of people who love it and would happily bear it children.

And voila - here's our finished version.

So, how was it for you?  If this style of post works for you, please let me know, and if there's something else you want to see in a a tutorial, let me know that too :)

Enjoy xx :)
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