Tag Archives: tutorial

Aztec Nails Tutorial

I’ve had a nosey on the internet, and I can barely find any simple nail tutorials out there, I know that when I first got into nail art, these were what I wished was on the internet. Youtube provides some good ones, but there isn’t many on any blogs.
So i’ve decided to make my own series, starting with aztec. I’m going to be running this once a week, so if you have any suggestions, tweet me @paigemcdonagh, or email me at paigemcdonagh(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Aztec is one of the best nail art designs out there, firstly, its really on trend, clothing wise, and second, you can make mistakes, and cover them up as if they was meant to be there. I love aztec designs, they go with everything, and you can pretty much make them up as you go along.

Firstly, paint your nails with any base colour you fancy… I used Models Own: Concrete Mixer


Then add a stripe anywhere you fancy of a contrasting colour. I choose Flourescent Orange. Give your contrasting colour a black outline, and add some black and white stripes. (wherever you want)


Add some detailing, you can use a nail art pen, a paintbrush/nail art brush, a dotting tool, or even a toothpick! I used my nail art pens in black and white. Be creative, look around for inspiration. I will post some pictures and links at the end of this post, for some inspiration.



Now, add some dots! in black, or white, or any other colour you fancy!
Make this design fun!


As bad of a photo that is, you can see I dotted around the cuticle line, and up to the free edge.
Add some topcoat, and your finito! ;)

This is just my take on Aztec nails, you could do something completely different. This is a great place to start as a beginner to nail art!

WAH Nails: the official best of the best for aztec nails:

Effiesmakeupbox: did a lovely set of Aztec nails, she does awesome nails too, check her out :)

That’s me done for today…

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candy floss nails.

i made this when i was going out for the birthday meal with the family+the boy.
was like a week ago now, just totally forgot to do this one.

i wanted something really subtle, but then again, i wouldnt call this subtle!

i started with a white base, i didn’t bother with more than one coat because i was in a rush!
i used elf, white.

then i got all my pastels, and started sponging.
i used…
yellow: 17: sherbet lemons
pink: models own: pastel pink
purple: opi: do you lilac it
blue: barry m: cyan blue
green: 17: mint choc chip

used these flowers from viva la nails’ blogger pack!
was really easy to apply, used matte topcoat over everything.

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gradient manicure tutorial.

i’ve never done a gradient before, because most people complain how hard it is to do etc, so i’ve steered clear, then i thought, im really good at sponging polish in different ways (see tomorrows post) so i thought i would try it. technically i did this manicure yesterday, and the post tomorrow will be from my mani on sunday, so im kinda doing this backwards.
onto the tutorial….

i used: barry m: white
barry m: black
barry m: grey
topshop: cloud
models own: grey day
seche vite
nails inc oxygenating base treatment

step one,
paint you nails with a your base coat, then your base colour, im doing a grey gradient, so i chose the lightest grey i own, realised that it wasn’t light enough, so mixed barry m white with models own grey day and used that, just use another brush to paint them with, i used a lid to mix it in.

step two,
take the next darker shade you have, i used, topshop cloud, mixed in with the colour i mixed myself, and take a makeup sponge, -the key to an amazing gradient- and sponge it about 3/4 of the way down the nail. (WARNING: this is on my left hand because i forgot to take photos of the steps on my right, so if it looks a bit sh*t, thats why, but i will show a photo of my right at the end to show how well it went)

step three,
then take the next darker shade, i used topshop cloud, and sponge just above where you last did it, you’ll be able to tell by the photograph.

step four,
repeat step three, using your next darker shade i used barry m grey and sponge a bit above again.

step five,
last step of sponging: use your darkest shade, or mix one up, i used barry m grey, mixed with barry m black and you just sponge the tips. TIP: if the lines look to harsh, or you can see where you have sponged previously, use the colours again, and re-sponge to make it look more mixed.

step six,
use a topcoat of your choice to mix all the colours together.

this is my right hand…

this sounds a lot harder than it actually is, just experiment and im sure you’ll get it!



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ruffian manicure tutorial

really been meaning to try this, but couldn’t decide on half moons, or ruffian.

incase you don’t know, this is the difference….

ruffian: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4090/4845510023_b12e5c49e9_b.jpg

half moon: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eYNIYJe4QTQ/TH95Sg-SKpI/AAAAAAAABbA/qLps64b6UyE/s400/c4a6012df45d1124_Half_Moon_Manicure.jpg

(images courtesy of sites stated)

i ended up deciding on ruffian because its easier :)


start with a base colour of any choice, im using the 2 colours my boyfriend got me for my birthday!

now…you can choose to do this free hand with a nail art brush, if wanted. but to make it extra easy+quick, you can use some french tip guides, but upside down, you can normally pick a pack up of like a 100 for 99p.
place them just above your nail line, however far up you want the ruffian to be..
as you can i see i’ve only done 2 nails to make it not confusing!

then just paint in the gap between the guide and your cuticles, TIP: don’t paint too thick or you’ll get paint seeping underneath the guides.

make sure you pull these off when the polish is still wet, and slowly and gently, otherwise the polish will dry to the guide, and it will all come off together, (i’ve made that mistake before)

ahhhh, lovely ruffian’ness! ;)


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a galaxy far far away.

i couldn’t think of any other title by the way. :$
i’ve adored people that do ‘galaxy’ nails before, but i’ve been to scared to try myself because it looks so difficult!
i grew a pair, and tried it, and its so easy, it took me like 5 minutes, its taken me longer to do this blogpost!

first, you need a black base, one with a slight shimmer/glitter preferably. it adds more depth to the whole design. i used cosmic from eyeko.

next you need to find a tool to ‘sponge’ with, i used a makeup sponge, but i guess you can use tissue or something like that? you then need a holographic polish of any colour, i usedholographic from gosh. you need to sponge it, anywhere on the nail, but not covering it, so like, up one side, in a diagonal across the nail, a tip. differ it on each nail for a different effect.
you then need a sheer polish, a colour like, purple, navy, medium blue, pinky. i used a sheer duochrome from maxfactor called sunny pink. you need to sponge this on in the same way as above, you can go over the holographic, because its sheer, it just adds to the effect.
now, do the same thing, but with another sheer polish, this part is optional, you can leave it how it is if thats the desired look, and skip to the next step. i sponged on dazzling blue from maxfactor, i sponged it in the same way, i basically just filled in gaps that i thought would need filling in.
lastly i added a glitter topcoat over, i think flakies could look quite nice instead of glitter aswell, because you cant really see it that much, but it adds a slight look in different lights. i used twinkle by elf.
to finish i added some rhinestones, and a coat of seche vite to make it extra shiny, and the rhinestones to stay :)
ill definately be doing this again, maybe with some more colours to add some more depth.
ps, excuse the cuticles, i’ve just slapped loads of lemony flutter on, i think its all the writing+revision i’ve been doing :)
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newspaper nails tutorial.

i keep attempting to read my nails and try and make sense of them.
these are dead easy to do.

you will need:

-white nail varnish, well a plain colour, like ‘greige’ even
-10 pieces of newspaper larger than your nails
-a shot glass worth of vodka UPDATE: you can also use whiskey i have learned.
-a topcoat

Firstly, paint your nail, the colour you want it,
i went with white

then soak your nail in the vodka for 1 minute
place the newspaper on the nail and press down firmly for 30 secs
peel off gently+add topcoat…
voila :)
click to enlarge it, it looks a lot nicer close up.
also, this was pre-cleanup, excuse the polish on my cuticles.
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rainbows on grey days.

the rain influenced this post!

because its all grey and ugly and rainy outside, but just grey is boring, so i added some water marbled rainbows!
slight bit of trial and error with polishes, but i think i got it…
my set up!
stage 1
stage 2
never got any pictures of the other stages because i was too busy actually dunking my nails in :)
left hand
right hand
i can never ever get a good photo of the other hand. grrrrrr.
i used….
red: opi: color so hot it berns
orange: opi: flit a bit
yellow: collection 2000: sherbet lemons
green: china glaze: kiwi cool-ada
blue: barry m: cyan blue

and the grey was models own: grey day.
plus 1 coat of seche vite.

i did have a purple, but i took it out because it was making it look a bit too dark+harsh
until today, i have never really been able to do a decent marble, but i think im getting the hang of it..
-use a base colour (i used grey)
-make sure the polishes are thin
-definately use ‘room temp’ water
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