Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fancy feathers

From the Mert Otsamo runway show
Feathers are all the rage this season, and I'm very excited to see them appearing on nails...another little trick for my tool box! The above feathered nails don't rate highly as far as wearability, but who needs practicality when you have inspiration?!

Below is an example of feathered nails that are not only fabulous but are also wearable, the perfect combination! The design below is by Sarah Payne, a professional nail artist/manicurist in British Columbia. As with almost all of her designs, the design below is done with acrylic.

Blue Bird nails by Nail Designs by Sarah

Since my nails are natural, I attempted a variation of Sarah's process (explained below) using my go-to top coat for years, Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat, and it works! (See Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat reviewed at Luuux.com & totalbeauty.com, and by myself as a note at the end of this post.)

Here are Sarah's step-by-step instructions (written & visual) for how to do feathered nails using acrylic. 
Step 1: Like a fill file down acrylic to make it thin, prep & prime. If it's a full set, use forms and sculpt clear on all 5, then file thin and start.
Step 2: Apply the color you will use on all 5 fingers , you want the color to be dry before adding feathers.
Step 3: Apply thin wet coat of clear acrylic
Step 4: Apply feather and press down to make sure all feathers stick to the clear you placed down.
Step 5: Do to all 5 fingers leave bits of feather hanging off, you want nails dry before cutting feather.
Step 6: Cut excess feather ends off and pull off peices sticking up and off the side. do to all 5 fingers
Step 7: Apply your acrylic like you would on any nail fill pink then clear not to thick
Step 8: File, shape Buff wash and polish!

Below are my nails, adorned with feathers without any acrylic. I'm very pleased with them for a first try! Of course, I also have room for improvement.

My feathered nails using polish, done by me

This does take patience. If you want to try this with natural nails, this is the process I used (based on Sarah's) and some tips. Do your nails as you normally would. Apply the top coat and, while it's still wet, place the feather on your nail (I highly recommend using the Sally's one I used; it's strong and thick but you have to work quickly). If you're working with pieces of feathers as I did in some cases, it might be helpful to use tweezers to hold the feather while placing it. After placement, do not expect to be able to move the feather without disturbing the polish underneath; feather placement is a one-shot deal. I used the side of a toothpick (not the point!) to slightly hold parts of the feather against the nail polish if all of the feather didn't stick upon placement. For stubborn ends that didn't want to adhere to the polish, I used nail glue and then my toothpick to hold and secure the ends. After feather placement, I used one layer of top coat, let dry, and then trimmed the parts of the feathers that stuck off of my nails. It's important to trim your feathers slightly shorter than your nail so they do not catch on anything; I mean slightly--barely visible. Looking at your nails from the underside and slightly angling your scizzors when you trim can help you to get a closer cut. After this, I applied another layer of my top coat. I did this manicure 5 days ago (with two hair washes since then), and I have not had problems with the feathers lifting.

Whether on the catwalk or the sidewalk, feathers are one of the newest embellishment for nails; as far as I know, feathers are not even made for nails at this point. Experiment with this fun and be the one of the first to flaunt it on the streets. You won't be just one of the flock with these nails!

Note: As one review notes, occasionally when applying the Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Top Coat polish, it can slightly pick up the color from your nail; this might happen with 1/10 nails. It's never been enough of a problem for me to abandon the product. One user suggests using a base coat as a top coat first (or other top coat) and then finishing with the Sally Hansen. The Sally Hansen polish truly can't be beat as far as shine, hardness, preserving your manicure, bonding all layers of polish together, expediting drying time, and creating a glassy smooth surface, even with nail art designs that are uneven.


1 comment:

  1. amazing nails!!!