it might have snowed in calgary just two weeks ago but thankfully it was over before i could crawl out of bed that day, and despite this momentary lapse, spring HAS indeed arrived. and with it we are starting to look at spring trends. this time last year we were on our tour of korea & japan and nail art was playing a major role in the trip’s success, so much of my beauty inspiration comes from that part of the world. kawaii everything and nails are no exception. when we visited seoul i had my first run in with nail art and i was hooked! what a great way to add some colour and personality to an outfit without the big commitment or risk (monetary or otherwise). the trouble with nail art is that you have to be quite dexterous. in truth, practice makes perfect, however, there’s always the benefit of having a real pro showing you the ropes. in an effort to take my nail art skills to the next level, i collaborated with fellow blogger, mandy lee of nailsandthreads.com, to bring you the best of what nail art has to offer.
we have a month filled with amazing nail art on the way via instagram (#manimasterpieces), but to get you in the spirit of things we thought we could start off with a how-to on one of the trickier patterns. at first, the gradient seems like black magic but a few household items as tools and a little bit of patience can really go a long way. the best part is that everything we are using to create these looks you can find at your local shoppers drug mart. a one stop shop and you can inspire a whole lot of nail envy.
even though this look works great on a number of different colour combinations, we opted out to use pastels. spring asks for brighter, sweeter colours, so to match the blooming cherry blossoms we went for this colour combo from sally hansen extreme wear + nicole by O.P.I: 481, breezy blue; 340, mint sorbet; 270, lacey lilac; 300 white on; and N1 G11, naturally… and threw in the 360, mellow yellow for some added visual effect.
follow these steps (and our visual aids) to achieve the perfect colour gradient:
step 1: apply essie’s apricot cuticle oil and rub it with you finger tips. the natural oils moisturize the cuticles and make them softer; prep is as important as any of the steps when doing nails. making sure to have well manicured nails is already half the battle.
step 2: apply 2 coats of white polish to clean nails and let it dry. we skipped the base because there are already so many layers; this also depends on how long you want to your look to last.
step 3: apply a clear top coat to seal the white polish. we used the revlon quick dry top coat.
step 4: on a wedge makeup sponge, paint 4 horizontal stripes of each polish, overlapping the colours slightly to get the gradient effect.
step 5: using the sponge, slowly ‘stamp’ the polish onto the nail, moving the sponge from one side of the nail to the other to ensure full coverage. you can repeatedly apply the sponge until you get the desired effect.
step 6: once your nails have dried, finish with a clear top coat like the revlon quick dry we used earlier.
step 7: once the top coat has dried, dab some q-tips in nail polish remover and carefully clean up the polish around your nails. mandy also used a small makeup brush for better precision. another alternative is to tape around your nails at the very start to avoid all that mess. a clear scotch tape will work.
tada! make sure to let the coats dry enough in between application for the best effect otherwise you will be doing double the work. i am so sucked into the world of nail art now! i can’t stop searching hashtags and inspiration for what i will be doing next. stay tuned on instagram for more fun nail art ideas and make sure to follow mandy on nailsandthreads.com for non-stop nail inspiration.
you can get your hands on the latest nail looks at shoppers drug mart. plus, from may 23 – june 19, get 15x the shoppers optimum points when you spend $15 or more on participating nail products. everyone loves some bonus shoppers points after all! shoppersdrugmart.ca/nailthelook
disclosure: this post was brought to you by shoppers drug mart via mode media canada. the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of shoppers drug mart.