With the likes of Harley Viera-Newton, Alexa Chung and Zooey Deschanel leading the nail art movement (yes we said movement!), pimping your nails is having a serious moment. From stars in the night sky to Beyoncé’s baby Blue Ivy, no creation is too “out there” for the top nail artists of New York City.
East Village Nail Artist Miss Pop is behind many innovative nail designs such as watermelons and “Andy Warhol” nails (bananas, Marilyn Monroe, etc). Here she shows us step-by-step how to achieve your own glitter ombre nail art at home. And it’s not at all difficult!
Miss Pop advises you start out by tending to your nail condition. “File the nails first, then apply cuticle softener. Next, place your hands in warm soapy water. Take a metal pusher or an orange stick wrapped in cotton at the tip, dip in the water or polish remover and gently push the cuticle at the base of your nail back to form a smile line.”
Apply basecoat. Always. Why? “It makes your manicure last longer and protects your nails from staining. It also helps the polish color pop more.” Miss Pop explains. “You can tell you have a bad basecoat when you take off your polish and your nails are yellow. I recommend CND Sticky Base, you can find it at Ricky’s or online. It’s not that common but you can find it with a little effort.”
Pick a polish color of your choice. “The darker color, the more the glitter will show up,” she says “but here we chose nude for a sophisticated look. I’ve put it on lawyers, vice presidents…it’s a look you can wear to the office and wear out at night. Choose your nude shade based on your skin color, If you’re a pale, go peachy. If you’re tan, go for a neutral taupe. If you’re brown, go for a sheer pink.”
Always apply two coats (“it lasts much longer”), and never allow the brush to touch the cuticle. Although she says it’s not an unmitigated disaster if you do. “People think they can’t paint their own nails but they can—just avoid the cuticle. If you do get any polish on the cuticle it will just come right off in the shower, particularly when you watch your hair. Don’t take a shower for at least four hours after your mani though, or better yet the next day. Hot water is nail polish’s natural born enemy. It causes shrinkage at the tip and encourages chipping.”
After two coats of nude polish, let your nails dry completely. “You need to work on dry nails because if your polish is still wet you’ll leave brush tracks in the nail when you go to add glitter.”
Wet your brush again and again remove excess polish, and about a third of the way up the nail make a U-shape down from the edge across the nail, lightly covering all the way across.
Then using a very loaded brush, you make a French tip with a layer of glitter.
Take the more coarse glitter polish, get a good scoop of it and go to town! Dab one stroke all the way down and the rest stays mostly at the tip. “With the bigger glitter pieces, you can slide them around while they’re wet with your fingertip if the brush happens to dump a large clump. Follow the lines you’ve already made with the smaller glitter,” Miss Pop says.
Always add a top coat, it helps your nail art last longer.
Miss Pop says: “File your nails at least once a week and every time you change your polish. It will make them strong and keep them from snagging!”