Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nefertiti nails

My nails, diagonal cut with gold nail art: Illamasqua Stance with gold leaf

Metal leaf is a fab way to add unique texture and shine to your tips. For this manicure, I used metal leaf from the craft store, but there is also metal leaf specifically for nail art. Metal leaf comes in copper, simulation gold, gold (available in different karats), sterling, simulation silver, or multicolored. The Beauty Department

offers a tutorial for using cut pieces of metal leaf, which gives a different, much sleeker look. Working with metal leaf can take much patience (or skill); it sticks to itself, sticks to your hands, breaks easily, and creases. For this manicure, I used cut up and pulled apart small, irregularly shaped pieces of metal leaf to provide more texture and avoid the frustration of trying to lay larger pieces of uncreased metal leaf on my nails. I highly recommend using a tiny brush or orangewood stick to apply small pieces metal leaf. Before applying polish and then metal leaf, I shaped my nails on a diagonal using a coarse file (not scissors) to emphasize the diagonal stripe of gold leaf and add a bit more pizzazz. To apply the gold leaf, I laid it on top of wet, clear nail polish and layered several coats of clear on top. 

The nail color pictured is Stance by Illamasqua, a rich purple that has a slightly more magenta hue than what appears in the picture. Illamasqua, a UK company that doesn't test on animals, is known for its bright bold colors and richly pigmented makeup. This cosmetic company's inspiration was stage makeup used in Berlin in the 1920's. For a brief but interesting look at the history of nail polish through the ages, check out Inspirationail's history of nail polish

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