Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Hello!  I've got a tutorial for you all today that I've done for Nail It! magazine. I've done a few Mexican Sugar Skull manicures recently, but haven't ever done a proper tutorial for this, so that's what I've got to show you today.  I've decided to mix up the look a bit for Halloween, so I've added some orange and red into the colour mix.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

So, for this manicure you will need the following:
  • White polish
  • For your gradient: 
    • Yellow, orange and red polishes for your gradient (if required)
    • Make up sponge (dampened)
    • Cotton wool
    • Nail polish remover
  • For your nail art
    • Black polish
    • Dotting tools
    • Scrap paper
    • Diamantes
    • Orange stick
    • Fimo canes
    • Sharp knife
    • Superglue (if required for longevity)
  • Top coat


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

So, start by painting your nails a white base colour and let this dry thoroughly.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

I've then added a yellow / orange / red gradient as my base colour for my sugar skulls using a dampened make up sponge.  If you want some tips on creating a gradient, I have a tutorial especially dedicated to gradienty goodness here.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Top coat and tidy up your gradient.  Now, this is an option for your base colour, however, you could leave your base colour white, go for a solid background or go for a different coloured gradient.  Up to you, just make sure you are completely dry before you move onto the next stage.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Take your black polish, place some onto a piece of scrap paper and then use a small dotting tool to create small dots or stipes at the top of the nails.  These are the "eyebrows" for your sugar skull, so make sure they are right at the top of your design and don't take up too much space.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Then, use a larger dotting tool and place some large long length dots along the tips of your nails, these are going to be for your mouth.  Try and have five large dots.  Start in the centre and work out either side so that it is symmetrical.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Next, take your small dotting tool and add some more dots and stripes around where the mouth is.  Make sure you leave space between these patterns and the eyebrows, as that is where your eyes are going to go.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Then take a white polish and a small dotting tool and fill in some small white dots inside the mouth.  These are your teeth.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

I've also added some small white dots within the patterns I created for the eyebrows and cheeks.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Use a small dotting tool, (or a nail art pen) and draw a line across the mouth, to finish off the teeth.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Next, for the eyes, you need some fimo canes.  You can source these quite cheaply from eBay or Amazon.  They come in long rods, and you can cut small pieces off using a sharp knife.  I've gone for using a mixture of fruit and flower shape pieces to create my eyes.  If you don't have any fimo canes, you could use different coloured polishes and create flower shapes with dotting tools, like I did in this recent design.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Cut all your fimo canes in advance, and also get out any diamantes that you want to use for the design in preparation for affixing to your nails.  Now, I've top coated my nails and then used an orange stick to position on the diamantes and fimo canes.  This will hold them on pretty well once dry, but if you want to be super sure they are stuck, you can use super glue (but be careful!).  I've used some heart shaped diamantes positioned upside down for the nose, and stuck some smaller diamantes in between the eyebrows and on the cheeks.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

Place a small dot of top coat into the centre of your fimo cane shape and add small diamantes for the eyes. 



Continue this process for every nail.  I've gone for loads of bright clashing colours so that they stand out and look really vibrant.



And that is it, mexican sugar skulls, done!  If you do give these a try, I would love to see your creations on my Facebook Page.


Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial
Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial
Nail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorialNail It! Magazine - Mexican Sugar Skull nail art tutorial

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