“Statement” fingers, crackle effects, magnetic designs, bedazzling.
These terms are all a part of the great nail polish and nail art boom in the past year, since high-fashion adopted polish as the new “it” factor. Considering that nail polish is affordably priced and can be a great way to add extra “oomph” to an outfit or daily look, it’s no wonder that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for this particular nail art fashion trend.
Brands such as Essie, OPI, Zoya, Butter, and more have been benefiting from the boom in nail polish enthusiasm. But, this isn’t your mother’s polish! As much as polish and nail art plays a vital role in affordable fashion, recently, there has also been a big push for polishes to have “B3F” formulas.
“B3F” signifies that the polish is “Big 3 Free” – meaning that the formula does not contain the toxic chemicals Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, and Toluene. While the long-term effects of the chemicals are unknown, they can still be causes for major allergies and reactions. More information and a list of B3F brands can be found here.
With the help of Pinterest and blogs such as The Beauty Department, nail art enthusiasts have great resources in finding new design ideas. The following is a list of ways you can brighten up your nails:
1. Sharpie Art
Grab a metallic Sharpie and use it to draw precise designs over your base coat.
2. DIY Nail Polish
– Eye shadow
– Clear nail polish
– A toothpick
Step I: Pick a shade of eye shadow.
Step II: Make sure the eye shadow is loose (otherwise grind it between the papers). Make a funnel with the paper.
Step III: Pour the eye shadow into the bottle of clear polish with the funnel. The more eye shadow you add, the more opaque the polish will be.
Step IV: Stir the eye shadow and the clear nail polish with the toothpick.
Step V: Mix the bottle well and start painting your nails with your fabulous new colour!
3. Marble Nails
– A glossy top coat (used in the picture is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails).
– Clear plastic wrap. Cut 10 small pieces (one for each nail), and don’t worry if it crumples or sticks together.
Step I: Paint your nails with your base color. Make sure to let the polish dry completely before moving on.
Step II: Working with one nail at a time, apply a coat of the second polish over one nail. Grab a piece of plastic wrap and move on to the next step while the polish is still wet.
Step III: Immediately blot the top of your nail once or twice with a crumpled piece of plastic wrap. When the sticky wrap touches the wet polish, it will pull up a bit of the color, creating a marbled effect with the base color underneath. If you pull up too much of the wet polish, just add a little more color and dab at it with plastic wrap again. Continue until each nail is completed.
Step IV: If you end up with some polish smudges outside the lines, dip a Q-tip or a small brush in nail polish remover to clean up around the edges. The surface of your nails may be a bit bumpy, so finish your marbled mani with one or two layers of top coat to achieve a smooth and shiny surface.
4. Mini Hearts Manicure
The Budget Babe provides a video tutorial for the perfect Valentine’s Day manicure tutorial.
5. Scotch-tape Stripes
Step I: Start by painting the nails white.
Step II: Paint blue, pink, green or whatever color you love on a piece of tape. Wait for it to dry and cut it into thin strips. You’ll need 6-10 strips per finger.
Step III: Lay 3-5 strips horizontally on the nail.
Step IV: Then lay the other 3-5 strips vertically.
Step V: Trim the excess with cuticle nippers.
Step VI: Apply a quick drying top coat to seal your gingham pattern.