Saturday, 6 April 2013

Paisley Porcelain Nails

Recently I've seen lots of blue nail designs due to Autism Awareness Day. Although it isn't one of my favourite shades, I've been gradually building up my collection of blues, and have recently purchased Models Own 'Blueberry Muffin' (from the Scratch 'n' Sniff collection). I was actually really surprised that the varnish smells like its namesake. It makes a lovely change from the usual fumes!
I painted these yesterday and I absolutely adore the colour. It's so cute and delicate, and looks lovely on its own. I was tempted to sparkle up an accent nail, however I managed to refrain as I knew I'd be attempting a more intricate design today! Leaving the nails over night was a good idea, as I tend to be a little impatient during manicures, and often smudge the base because I can't wait to get arting!

As soon as this polish arrived in my Models Own order, I immediately pictured incorporating it into a Chinese blue and white porcelain design. The design is typically blue over a white base, however my NYC 'Pinstripe White' has become a bit gloopy recently (adding a little nail varnish remover to the pot has been recommended, so I will try this!), and so pale blue was a good alternative. 


The equipment

Models Own 'Blueberry Muffin'
Models Own 'Feeling Blue'
Models Own 'In The Navy'
Rimmel 'Azure'
A fine nail art brush
A slightly thicker nail art brush
Clear top coat
I also Googled 'Chinese porcelain' and trawled through the results until I found something suitable. This image is actually a cushion, and I decided it would be much easier to copy the pattern from here rather than curved vases and plates. Once I'd printed it out, I sectioned up the most interesting areas and used them as a focus for each nail. Obviously I couldn't follow the design precisely, as some parts are extremely complex, but it was a good starting point for sizes, shapes and colours.
Using my thicker (but still very fine!) paint brush I applied the larger shapes using Models Own 'Feeling Blue'. These involved leaf patterns, vines and flowers.
Once dry, I used 'In The Navy' for further details. For this I used my finest paintbrush, and took much time to ensure neatness. You can tell the day was coming to an end in these photos - the manicure began before sunset and ended in complete darkness!
I then used Rimmel 'Azure' to add extras. The varnish has a light shimmer to it and gives a little 'kick' to the otherwise matte design. I added a few highlights, making sure to not ruin the effect with too much sparkle!
Once 100% dry, I added my top coat! Each nail differs in its design, however I thought it best to use my thumb nail for the tutorial as it's the most complex. My index finger is more floral, while my middle finger sports a section of an abstract circular pattern. My ring finger has a leafy design, and my little finger received the simplest pattern (it's far too small to do anything too complicated). I'm yet to attempt my other hand, as although I'm gradually growing more ambidextrous, this design will be extremely difficult and time consuming! Once it is complete I will have to post another photo, and results can be compared...

I really love this design, and the fact that one nail polish shade inspired such a complex pattern. It's nice to do something totally different though - I doubt there are many Chinese porcelain nails out there! Has anyone else tried this sort of thing? And where do you find your inspiration?
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