In my ongoing series of showing that I'm not so great at nail art, I decided to attempt a manicure for the 4th of July. If even I can make something that looks decent, then every one of my readers should be able to as well! I didn't want to go red, white and blue. Stars and stripes seem so obvious for the 4th. I decided that trying fireworks would be less precise, therefore easier and much more my speed.
My first attempt at a fireworks manicure was an epic nail art fail. I basically had a few colors on a dark blue nail, dots radiating out from a center point. They didn't really look much like fireworks.
I decided to look around on-line and see how some very talented nail artists paint fireworks, and I found great videos from both szuchnic (her Fireworks Nail Art! video) and Robin Moses Nail Art (her Firework Nail Art video). I'm sure there are more amazing tutorials and videos out there, but those two were the ones I found to be most helpful. With my mere mortal skills, I was able to come up with a decent looking fireworks manicure after watching those two videos.
I started my manicure with the same prep that I usually do. I use the Sally Hansen Push-n-trim cuticle trimmer and the Instant Cuticle Remover to get my cuticles in shape. I like my nails to be a bit of a squoval, and they need to be short due to my job (less than 2mm beyond the edge of my nail bed), so I shape them with the nail file. Finally I like to gently buff them with the No More Ridges buffer just to even things out.
The real key to completing this look is having the nail tools. After looking around I finally found the Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Tools at Target. They have the biggest selection in store, so just head there to grab a box! I also had 3 polishes, Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Black Out, I Heart Nail Art Striper in White and Complete Salon Manicure in Gilty Party. Don't forget a shiny top coat as well, such as the Sally Hansen Glitter Top coat!
Inside of the I Heart Nail Art Tools, you'll find a few useful things. The first is a collection of nail art stencils. I haven't played with the stencils much yet, but I love that there are a wide variety of designs in the box! There is a dotting tool with 2 sizes and then 2 sizes of nail art brushes. I used the dotting tool, the smaller brush and a q-tip.
I started with just the Black Out on as a base. I like to make sure my polish is very dry before doing the nail art on top, so I waited about 2 or 3 hours. First I took the White polish and dotted once on each nail to show where the center of each firework would be. You could do more on each nail, I decided to do just one to keep things a bit simpler.
Next I used the q-tip to dot a little Gilty Party on and around the firework center. The q-tip kept my application a little lighter and spread out the glitter a little. In person you could still see the white dot underneath, but the polish is pretty blingy so my camera picked up on all of it. It isn't solid, but is a pretty heavy application of Gilty Party.
Next, I used the small nail art brush to paint white trails of polish out of the center of each firework. Note that they don't come out straight, you need to arc each trail, as if gravity is grabbing the firework. I liked the look of not super skinny trails, but not really fat either. With more fireworks on each nail I do think smaller trails look better. Play around with what looks best.
Next I added a light layer of Gilty Party over the white trails (note, wait until the white is dry before adding more bling), and this I spread over most of my nail to be the shimmer of the firework.
The finished product is definitely glittery (again, the camera is picking up more shimmer in the center than you can see in person), with white firework trails coming out. I went pretty neutral with just white and metallic, but this would also be a lot of fun with color!
This post is part of a collaboration with Sally Hansen and Style Coalition. All opinions are my own.