21 October 2013

Valentino-Inspired Nail Art Tutorial

Hi everyone! A few days ago I posted my fashion-inspired nails for the 31 Day Challenge. The inspiration was a gorgeous grey, black and cream-coloured dress with metallic silver embroidery from Valentino, done for the Fall 2013 Couture collection. Technique-wise there is nothing ground-breaking about this design, however, sometimes it's nice to break a design down into different steps. Also I'm trying to push myself to do more tutorials because I know that they are helpful to many of you.

What you'll need:
  • A fine detail brush (for filling in the areas of polish)
  • A fine liner brush (for the line work)
  • Nail polish thinner
  • A black polish (I used Orly Liquid Vinyl)
  • A grey polish (I used Essie Cashmere Bathrobe)
  • Two nude coloured polishes, one light, one mid-value (I used OPI My Vampire is Buff and Essie Sand Tropez)
  • A white polish (I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls)
  • A silver polish (I used China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets)

Step #1: Start with your base. Here I used Essie Sand Tropez on all my nails, except the accent nail where I used Essie Cashmere Bathrobe.

Step #1

Step #2: Mark each section. I used black polish and a fine liner brush to mark where I am going to add the sections of grey and black polish. It should be as close as possible, but if you make minor mistakes it is easy to fix or cover up. 

Step #2

Step #3: Fill in the grey section completely and start the black. I did the grey section first because grey is more forgiving than black. I used a small brush, not a liner brush where the hairs are long, but something with shorter hairs so you have more control. When possible, I used the brush in the nail polish bottle to apply polish to each area.

Step #3

Step #4: Fill in the black sections. I did this exactly as I did with the grey - I used the brush in the bottle when possible, or else I used a detail brush. If you don't get the polish completely smooth, it is not a big deal. It won't be noticeable once you have a top coat on.

Step #4

Step #5: Add some details. Here I added an irregular edge to the black sections - so that it looks like the edge of a lace garment. You can see this better in the detail photo. Also using a watercolour technique - polish with some nail polish thinner - I added some variation to the nude section using some grey and light cream polish.

Step #5

Step #5 (detail)

Step #6: Add the detail lines. Because metallic polishes are not always the best for precise lines, I painted the embroidery details first using white polish. I used a fine liner brush (where the hairs are longer than a normal brush) and thinned the polish with some nail polish thinner to make it more fluid.

Step #6

Step #6 (detail)

Step #7: Add your metallic trim. With your silver metallic polish, go over the white detail lines very carefully. Depending on the finish of the polish, you might be able to get very precise lines, or you might obscure them. Generally, metallic finish polishes are good for more detailed work, while foils and fine glitters are not. I used a polish with a foil finish. Although you are covering up the white lines, the white still gives the embroidery more emphasis.

Step #7

So that's it! It's not as complicated as my last tutorial, but I hope you enjoy it regardless. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below and I'll try my best to get back in a timely manner.

What do you think of this? Is this something that you would try?

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