Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Manicures - the High Tech Way!

Many years ago, I took classes in various things, make up and manicure were among them.  I did it, partly because it fitted my arty nature and partly so as not to go brain dead, looking after a couple of toddlers. I loved them to bits but one night a week at college with adult (female) company was great!

So, this being many years on, I decided to see if I could help those who find painting their nails really difficult. One of the styles that many women can't cope with on their own, is the French Manicure, where the nail is painted a natural pale pink and the tip is painted white.

I got around to wondering if my modern tech gadgets could help and came up with a plan. I would use my Cameo to cut some templates, and my airbrush to do the complicated tips.
Here is the Studio file  - these sizes are fine for me, you may need to alter them to suit your nail shape or size..
I used this and put it on the sort of tissue paper that kids use in school - it's kind of non stick and very thin. I used the Studio 'copy paper' setting to cut it out, giving me discs with a backing paper.

I found though, that the tape wasn't quite sticky enough to adhere properly to my nails, more of that later.

The first step, is to manually paint your nails with either a clear coat (my preference) or a pale pink. I suggest doing it either the night before or at least a couple of hours before, it makes life easier.

For the 'white' bit, I used
It's a pearl white because it is the only white I had. NOTE this IS craft paint! Yes, you can use it on your nails, it is the stuff they would use if you went in a salon to have nail art done.  I loaded some into my air brush and set the pressure at about 30 PSI - I also diluted the paint a little.

I then put on my nail templates

and sprayed the tips.  OOOPS!  The pressure was way too high and the paint too thin. What a mess!  I cleaned off the right hand and decided it was time for a go at the left...
 I added some more paint to the mix and put the pressure down to 15 PSI. That was much better! 

Make sure to use light coats, it comes out so fine you just go over each tip several times to build it up.
If I had been worried about over spray, I would have used a flat art brush to put vaseline around my nails, but excess can be cleaned off easily with nail polish remover, so I didn't bother. I would use it if  spraying the whole  nail one colour though, it makes life easy!  Remove templates as soon as painted and allow to dry for a few minutes before topping off with a clear coat (applied by hand).
Oh and incase you wonder - I have double jointed and webbed fingers......:)

The photo does not do it justice but not bad for a first attempt- here are my thoughts for the next time...

Cut the templates ( maybe from acetate) and use a normal masking tape to wrap around each finger, ( as you would put a sticking plaster on a cut.)  The low tack was not sticky enough so they lifted up a bit. I need to work out pressure settings and if I really need to dilute my paints at all, I suspect I may not need to. 

Incidentally, clean up of the brush was a case of emptying excess paint, wiping out with remover and rinsing with water,  then putting it back on the hose to blast out water until it was clean. Not hard at all.  It would be a great way of having a nail party with friends for a special occasion.  If you don't have an airbrush, just use an artists brush with the templates and carry on from there.

EDIT- here is an amended file, cut out in acetate and use tiny rubber band to secure over nail. It's easier and stays put better!

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