Since this week seems to be "Bea does nails", I couldn't let it slip by without at least attempting to do a galaxy nail print in honour of the amazing Vivienne Westwood Galaxy print bag that I blogged about recently.
Well, I tried stippling and it just looked crappy and bumpy and I couldn't get it looking as good as I wanted it to. So then I thought I would try dip dyed nails and Hurrah!! What a success. I got the idea from a post a while ago from here, at the phenomenal home of Syl and Sam, a pair of ladies who also seem to love galaxy print and Jeffrey Campbell's as much as I do!
With my little sister staying for the week I thought it would be the perfect time to test it out as it seemed a bit of a two man job...and by god it was! The end result was amazing, it looks beyond excellent and your never going to get a nail that looks the same, the downside- uurgh the mess... I don't know if its because we are just ridiculous and struggle with even the most basic of tasks but yeah...messy!
First things first, equipment list; you will need
Bottled water, not tap- apparently it works better...
A glass you are willing to sacrifice. If you don't have a glass you could cut the bottom off of a plastic bottle to create a cup. Cheap, chearful and does the trick
Your chosen nail varnish colours, 3 minimum.
Cotton buds, Cotton Pads and Cocktail sticks though of course a small pointy stick from the woods would work brilliantly if you happen to live near some woods or in a Disney cartoon...
Fill your glass an inch or so up, suppose this will depend how long your nails are. Hollie's were quite short so we only needed a few inches. If you have talons worthy of picking up field mice then a bit more water will be needed. Drop your first colour into the water. It should separate into a ring. I found that my more expensive nail varnishes did this but the cheaper thicker ones stuck together. It doesn't matter too much as your going to agitate them with your cocktail stick in a minute. Work quite quickly, I'd suggest having all your colours unscrewed first, and keep dropping each colour into the centre of the previous, creating rings or blobs close to each other. Also you need quite a bit of colour on the brush, I found it easier if you tipped the bottle on the side and then scooped a bit out with the brush.
When you have added you colours, pull the cocktail stick through it gently to make swirled patterns.
Find the nicest part of the pattern you have made and from the edge of it, gently and slowly dip your nail into the water. The water should push the varnish onto your finger and the pattern up the nail.
Leave the nail under the water for 30 seconds or so to adhere the varnish to the nail. The next step is where it is handy to have a buddy to help, especially if you were onto your second hand. You need to take a cocktail stick and run it across the top of the water to pick up all the excess colour sitting on the surface. It should stick to itself and the stick as you move it across the water and then you can lift it out onto the kitchen roll.
After you have cleared the water surface you need to hold back any varnish attatched to your finger with another cocktail stick so that it doesn't slip down your nail as you take it out of the water and you end up with a double dipped effect. You will have a sort of tail of nail varnish coming away from the cuticle so hold it up past the cuticle with the cocktail stick. Then pop your finger onto a piece of kitchen roll or old news paper to let it dry for a minute or so while you get the next set of colours ready.
They do take a while to dry up to about half an hour as the colour is quite thick so pop a Friends episode on or Extreme Knitting, whatever takes your fancy and sit back and have a natter for a bit. The next bit is the biggest pain and its cleaning your fingers. It does take an age and we have mutually decided that the whole thing may be a bit easier done onto some false nails but since both of us are useless with false nails and they last about ten minutes on us so we decided to be patient and stick it out the old fashioned way. Another idea that may work would be masking your fingers off with some tape? So after the great clean up operation you get....
How pretty are they!! I can't say that they have all come out Galaxy Print they seem to be galaxy meets tie dye but I bet you could improve it with practice and patience...Regardless, Im so pleased with them, so is Hollie and it was fun to play about with and waste an afternoon of sisterly bonding. What do you think? Were our efforts worth it or should we have just kept watching Extreme Knitting instead. Would you try them??