Nail art for beginners on a budget...

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Gosh, I'm all over the tutorials at the moment!  Right, I'm sure most people are aware that the nail industry is BOOMING at the moment.  Fashion seems to be more about what is on your nails than what you are wearing these days (well, it is in my nail-centric area of the universe).  New trends are cropping up all over the place and it is so exciting to see all these new ideas and fun ways to jazz up the old talons.  However, if you aren't careful, what can seem like a budget way to get a little treat or fix can soon mushroom into an expensive hobby (hello empty bank account!), so I thought I'd put together a little post for those who are interested in getting into nail art with some budget ideas for recreating some funky looks without breaking the bank, in fact all of these manicures involve household items you’ve probably already got knocking around.

So; here are the looks you can create using, hole-reinforcers, sellotape, cling film and newspaper.

ring reinforcer nail tutorialsellotape nails tutorial
cling film saran wrap nail tutorialnewspaper nails tutorial


1. Dotting tools

Now, I would say if you are going to invest in anything at all for nail art, you need a set of dotting tools.

nail art dotting toolsnail art dotting tools

You can pick these up pretty cheap on eBay / Amazon, but I have an alternative for you. Now, you could use a cocktail stick, but I find that you won’t get a great round shape to your dots, you need something with a small, round end. Instead, if you get a pencil with a rubber on the end and stick a pin into the rubber, you instantly have a DIY dotting tool.  Use a noticeboard pin with a larger ball on the end for a larger dotting tool.

diy dotting tooldiy dotting tool

To polka dot up your nails, you need a scrap of paper, your polish and your tool. Blob some polish onto the paper, dip your tool into the polish (you don't need loads of polish on your dotting tool, just a little bit) and dot onto your nails.

diy dotting tooldiy dotting tool

diy dotting tool

Polka dots instantly add some jazz to any manicure, and if you are looking for some inspiration, I have about a bisquillion polka dotty nails for you here. However, wait up! I am going to show you some other ideas, and there will be polka dots involved!


2. Hole Reinforcers

ring reinforcer nail tutorialring reinforcer nail tutorial

A lovely friend of mine sent me some hole reinforcers a few months ago to use with manicures, and these are a really great idea, especially if you aren’t confident painting patterns directly onto your nails. If you don’t already have some knocking about, I believe you can get a pack of 100 or so for about 29p in Tesco.

Now, these are popular to use for half-moon manicures, and I’ve used them in the past to create some cute owl nails, but I wanted to show you something a little different today. For this manicure you need your reinforcers, and two polishes, preferably contrasting shades as this will show off the design better, and top coat.

ring reinforcer nail tutorial

So for this manicure, I have painted my nails with a base colour of Barry M Dragonfruit. Make sure your basecoat is completely dry before proceeding! Next, take your reinforcers and stick them onto the side of your nails. Smooth the reinforcers down so that there aren’t any ridges.

ring reinforcer nail tutorialring reinforcer nail tutorial

Take your second polish and paint over your nails. It is best to pick a colour that is fairly opaque in one coat, if you layer up too many coats of polish it will take AGES for the polish to dry enough to take the reinforcers off without pulling the polish off too.

ring reinforcer nail tutorialring reinforcer nail tutorial

Once the polish is dry, carefully remove your reinforcers. Finish with a couple of layers of top coat to smooth your nails, and hey presto, you’ve got a cool pattern on your nails.

ring reinforcer nail tutorialring reinforcer nail tutorial

Now, whilst this looks cool, I think we could do with some polka dots. I’ve used a black and a white polish to add some polka dots and instantly you’ve got a tribal style manicure that looks tons more complicated than what it actually was. WIN!

ring reinforcer nail tutorial

ring reinforcer nail tutorialring reinforcer nail tutorial


3. Sellotape

sellotape nails tutorialsellotape nails tutorial

Sellotape you say? I actually use sellotape quite a lot for my manicures, as it’s great to use as a guide and to get straight lines, and again, everyone has some sellotape knocking about. On the rare occasions I do a French manicure, I always use sellotape (instead of the more expensive nail guides you can buy) to get a straight line. For this manicure I’m going to show you how to do a square/rectangular pattern on your nails, and you need sellotape, two/three polishes, again, preferably contrasting shades as this will show off the design better, and top coat. Whichever colours you choose, use the lightest colour as your base colour.

sellotape nails tutorial

So for this manicure, I have painted my nails with a base colour of Collection Cosmetics white. Make sure your basecoat is completely dry before proceeding! Also, it’s best to cut your sellotape up in advance and have it ready (I usually have it all lined up along the edge of the table), so you don’t get stuck together! Start by sticking one corner of the sellotape from the centre of your nail, towards the base, and another piece from the centre of your nail on the other side, towards your tip. Repeat this for every nail and make sure it’s smoothed down.

sellotape nails tutorial

Take your second colour and paint the base area of your nail that you haven’t masked up. I have used Barry M Greenberry for this.

sellotape nails tutorial

Then take your third colour (you don’t have to use a third colour, you could just do this using two colours), and paint the tip area of your nail that you haven’t masked up. I have used Collection Cosmetics Liquorice for this.

sellotape nails tutorial

Then, leave this to dry for a few minutes and then carefully take the polish off, and finish with a top coat. Tada! Checkerboard pattern on your nails.

sellotape nails tutorialsellotape nails tutorial
sellotape nails tutorialsellotape nails tutorial

I’m obviously not going to leave this alone, so again, add some polka dots and you’ve got a cool little pattern. This time I’ve placed polka dots inside polka dots to make the pattern more interesting. Easy, right?

sellotape nails tutorial

sellotape nails tutorialsellotape nails tutorial
sellotape nails tutorialsellotape nails tutorial


4. Cling Film

cling film saran wrap nail tutorial

Yep, you can actually use cling film to jazz up your nails! This actually gives you a pretty cool marbled type effect on your nails. For this you need, cling flim, two polishes and top coat. Cut the cling film up into small pieces and scrunch into small balls, one for each nail.

cling film saran wrap nail tutorial

Paint your nails with a base colour and leave this to dry completely. For this I have chosen polish name Collection Cosmetics - Starlet.

cling film saran wrap nail tutorial

Once your nails are completely dry, paint on one coat of your second colour (I am using Barry M Limited Edition Gold), grab your scrunched up cling film and immediately dab this all over your nail while it is still wet. This will lift off some of the second polish to give you the effect.

cling film saran wrap nail tutorialcling film saran wrap nail tutorial

cling film saran wrap nail tutorialcling film saran wrap nail tutorial

Tidy up any areas around your nails using a cotton bud and some nail polish remover.  Then, finish with some top coat, and you’ve got some easy-peasy funky nails going on. WITH CLING FILM.

cling film saran wrap nail tutorialcling film saran wrap nail tutorial



5. Newspaper

newspaper nails tutorial

You can create a pretty funky manicure with newspaper, and some alcohol. Now, I’m not one to suggest using alcohol for anything other than drinking, as that does seem a shocking waste (*sob sob*) but you only need a tiny, tiny bit. So feel free to glug down whatever you’ve got leftover. So, for this manicure you need some newspaper, scissors, alcohol (vodka), and a pale base colour and top coat.

newspaper nails tutorial

Paint your nails a pale base colour. I have used Barry M Lychee for this.  Before you start, cut your newspaper into pieces, enough for each nail.

newspaper nails tutorial

Soak your nail in the alcohol for a few seconds, and then grab your piece of newspaper and apply the printed side face down onto your nail.

newspaper nails tutorial

Press over your nail gently, but keep the newspaper in place, so that the pattern doesn’t blur.

newspaper nails tutorialnewspaper nails tutorial

Keep the newspaper in place for 10-15 seconds and then carefully lift it off.  Repeat this process for all your nails, finish with top coat, and then wash your hands to remove any of the newpaper print that is on your fingers.  It is important you do this after you've sealed your design, or that will wash off too.

newspaper nails tutorialnewspaper nails tutorial
newspaper nails tutorialnewspaper nails tutorial


Anyway, I hope these are useful to anyone who is thinking of giving nail art a little go!

If you fancy trying something a little more complicated, make sure you check out my tutorials page, which has loads of different ideas and is updated regularly. Also; for some tips on removing glitter polish with no hassle; check out the tin foil method.

Also, if you do give any of these tutorials a go, I'd love to see your nails on my facebook page; www.facebook.com/nuthinbutanailthing.


And to finish, here are my top tips for a great manicure

Look after your nails! And your cuticles! Moisturise your hands regularly, remember; nail varnish remover is very drying, and if you are taking your polish off a lot, there’s a risk that the skin around your nails will dry out and start looking tatty. 

Keep your nails filed neatly and all one length. So this means, if you snap a nail, they all have to go. Sorry! Having differing length nails just looks scruffy! File in one direction, don’t go back and forth like you are using a saw – this could make your nails weak and likely to snap again in the future.

Apply your polish in thin layers, and try to do just three strokes on each nail, one down the middle, one down one side, and one down the other side. If you put too thick a coat of polish on your nails, it’s likely that it won’t dry properly, or you may get bubbles in it. If you keep going over the same area, the polish will drag and again, it won’t look smooth and neat.

Tidy up! It’s all about the presentation. If you are a bit of a messy painter, worry not! But do clean up any polish you get over your fingers afterwards; nothing ruins a lovely bit of nail art more than not tidying it up. I always clean off stray bits of polish from my fingers with a cotton bud dipped in polish remover.  Or, you'll find most of it will come off your fingers in the bath/shower once your polish is all dry.

And finally, get yourself a quick-dry top coat. Seriously, this will improve your life by 60%. I swear by Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, and as well as your nails being touch dry in under a minute, it leaves them looking lovely and shiny, and will stop the chipping too. 

Moneysupermarket.com are currently holding a competition for bloggers to enter; simply showcase your best money saving nail art ideas on your blog for a chance to win a prize worth up to £300.  Visit Money Smart Nail Art at Moneysupermarket.com for more details and terms and conditions.

31 comments:

  1. Absolutely awesome blog post Claire. I never considered hole reinforcers. I really should be more creative since I make and sell cards! Saw someone use lace the other day too. I also thought sellotape would pull the nail varnish off. I'll have to try these. Again, great post, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you! As long as your nails are dry the polish shouldn't come off!

      I actually have something else involving some crafty bits planned that I'm hoping to get done in the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled!

      Delete
  2. By far one of the best comprehensive and simple nail art tutorials I've seen. Thanks. I've shared in on FB so my friends can see how easy it is :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you Gina! <3 and thanks for sharing xxx

      Delete
  3. With this post your mani seems more easy! :))
    It's a great post and in my opinion very usefull for people careless like me!! :DDD

    ReplyDelete
  4. so useful for beginners! i didnt know about the ring enforcers trick!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good Luck Claire with the comp x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that's the best post I've ever seen! so useful :) x

    ReplyDelete
  7. An absolutely fabulous post, O Nail Guru of Awesomeness. I hadn't heard of the cling film thing, I shall try that :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. These tips are brilliant! I'm about to buy a set of dotting tools but I would've never thought of using hole reinforcers or any of your other tricks. I'm bookmarking this right away!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Claire!

    Thanks again for all the nail inspiration.

    I did my version of the whole reinforcers, using different colours. Thought you might like to see what you inspired! http://twitpic.com/c7i55t

    I'm not sure about my version as it's not as neat as your BUT I have received two compliments on them today when I've been out and about!

    Karen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I am so glad you tried it! That looks lovely! X

      Delete
  10. This is amazing, I'm new to nail art, how do you shape your nails? I can NEVER get them to look good/even. :)
    My little blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda, I don't really shape them that often, I just use large clippers (meant for toenails) to chop them straight across (carefully!) every 4-6 weeks when they start getting too long, and then just file in one direction across my nail to smooth out any ragged bits. But I only do this each time I cut them, or if I nick them a bit.

      I think though you'll find your nails have a natural shape that they prefer to stay in if that makes sense? Mine do not like to be curved round, so I just stick to the square/squoval tips.

      Delete
  11. PARABENS PELO BLOG! JÁ ESTOU TE SEGUINDO... SE PUDER RETRIBUIR, FICAREI MUITO GRATA!

    www.lupapodemulher.com.br
    www.lupapodeblog.com.br

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like the sellotape look. I have about 50 colors so I'll have to try this look with different colors each time. I did the newspaper print a month ago but used rubbing alcohol. Never heard of using Vodka. That's kinda funny. With a topcoat, it stayed for a week.

    ReplyDelete
  13. amazing! Great ideas really helped me

    ReplyDelete
  14. awesome ideas and lovely nail designs

    ReplyDelete
  15. Best budgeted nail design tips for beginner. I want more tips like this?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Claire, great tips there, just wondered is there a particular size reinforcets to use. I got some and they were too small to use.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...