Saturday, August 21, 2010

Simple Nail Art Designs Using Konad Stamps as a Base

Have you ever wanted to do a fun nail art design, but had absolutely no idea how to get started? That's how I felt right before I started this look. I was so excited because I'd gotten a couple of KISS Nail Artist Nail Paints, but I had absolutely no idea what to do with them. I just don't paint all that well. Then I had an idea:  I would look through my Konad/Fauxnad plates to see if anything grabbed me.

Before long, I'd settled on image plate m76. I like the flower design I chose for several reasons. It's fun, it's cute, but most of all it has lots of open spaces. I can paint those open spaces with other colors to make it look much more complex than it really is. Plus, I don't have to worry about drawing the design, or if I'm doing it right. It's like doing a paint-by-numbers kit, only I get to choose what colors go where!

Granted, I only had room for the pink KISS striper, but that's ok. I can use the blue some other time. I know I'll use it because it's a gorgeous shimmery royal blue, and I have a thing for shimmery royal blue!

So, next I had to decide on a background color. I made a somewhat strange choice, but I think it worked out well in the end. I put three coats of Maybelline Express Finish in Golden Plum. This pink is absolutely divine, my lovelies. It's bright, but it's also sheer, so that you can get away with it in lots more places. The glass fleck in this polish is so, so pretty. There's something about the depth that I love! I could have left this as is with just a coat of topcoat, but no...

I wanted more.

That's where the Konad stamping comes in. This part was actually pretty easy, if somewhat nitpicky. First, I stamped my chosen image. (Come on, you're still with me, right? I just showed you that picture. Scroll up if you have to!) I decided to use white for the stamp, so that it would look nice against the pink. It looked cute on its own- my husband actually preferred it without filling in the colors. Oh well.

Then it was just a matter of filling in the various bits with color. I think the animated gif I made explains it a bit better than I could with words. Honestly, isn't that usually the case? I used a variety of polishes for the various colors. The petals were KISS Nail Artist Nail Paint Soft Pink, the flower center was a mixture of Sinful Colors Let's Meet and Love My Nails Hot Tamale, the leaves were a mixture of Wet n Wild Wild Shine Carribean Frost and Sinful Colors Happy Ending, and I put Sinful Colors All About You over the various bubbles and things in the design. Sinful Colors All About You is a gorgeous mix of golden and coppery glitters, so it added an interesting punch of color from the right angles.

As I was painting, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. In fact, up until I put the topcoat on, I was half sure I would hate it. But as I put the topcoat on, I realized that the combination of polishes reminded me of cloisonne, a surface treatment in which compartments are filled with enamels or inlays. Something about the way the flower petals were surrounded by the white of the Konad stamp really reminded me of the way the metal barriers contained the enamels in cloisonne beads. I didn't hate it after all!

I also learned something new with this particular manicure. I'd read about repairing broken nails with a tea bag, but had never actually had to do it. Thankfully I had both nail glue and tea bags on hand, because I was walking through my hallway, tripped over my own feet, and managed to split the nail on my left hand ring finger down the center. I was lucky that it didn't go past the white part and didn't hurt or bleed or anything, but I was so upset. That's my swatching hand!! I've got a lot of stuff to show, what do I do?

Well... I mended my nail using a tea bag, my nail glue, and the sweet KISS manicure kit I've been holding on to. Luckily, it had a sanding/buffing block that let me smooth everything after it had dried, as well as emery boards to smooth the end and file off the extra glue-saturated tea bag. I'll talk more about my manicure kit later, but just know that it saved my butt with this! Can you see the repair in the pictures?

So that's my nail adventures for the week! I learned, I experimented, and at the end of the day I was pretty darn happy! What do you think of this faux-cloisonne look?  Do you think you'd try it?

The KISS Nail Art Paint and manicure kit were provided by KISS's PR company for review.
I used them because I like them, not because I'm being compensated to use them.
See my disclosure statement for more information.