Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Saran Wrap Nails Tutorial

Nail Art Nail-Off: Two Takes on One Nail Art Technique!

Arden here: Today, both Lisl and I are going to show you our own unique versions of the same nail technique: the Saran wrap marbling effect.

We're starting with me, because I went through A LOT of trial and error to perfect my technique.  First, we have my very flawed attempt at using NOT Saran wrap.  When I first sat down to do my nails, I couldn't find any Saran wrap in our apartment, and decided (erroneously) that we didn't have Saran wrap.  I put on my MacGuyver cap, and decided that surely I could just use a Ziploc perfect portions bag (basically the consistency of a produce bag from the grocery store).  Fun fact: this does not work as well as Saran wrap.

Here's my first attempt using this less effective form of kitchen plastic:

Index finger: This was with one coat of the base color (gold), then the top color (turquoise) immediately on top of it.  As you can see, a LOT of the polish was pulled off.  There's a lot of natural nail shining through!

Middle finger: Two coats of base color, then top color.  This worked better, but there were still a couple of holes.

Ring finger and pinky: Two coats of base color, one layer of fast-drying top coat, then the top color.  This was definitely the best way to do it, but it still didn't look quite as good (and marble-y, if that's a word) as Saran Wrap nails are supposed to look.  MacGuyver might've been able to make a bomb out of Windex and a coat hanger, but Ziploc bags really aren't a good replacement for Saran wrap when it comes to nail art.

Colors used:
Zoya Wednesday
Essie Good as Gold

But then Lisl came home and told me, "What are you talking about?  Of course we have Saran wrap!  It's here in the pantry by the trash bags." 

Enter: Saran wrap nails, the sequel!

Sadly, it was not smooth sailing once I procured the Saran wrap.  Things started off ok.  I painted my nails a new base color, Revlon Dreamer.

But I did not heed the lessons of my first attempt, and forgot to put a top coat on the base color.  I painted my nails the top color, Maybelline Color Show Sapphire Siren:

 And then I dabbed at my nails with a small piece of Saran Wrap, like this:

And that resulted in this:

Not exactly that perfect marbled look I was going for.  After throwing up my hands in despair, I talked with Lisl and figured out the two key lessons I needed to successfully pull of the Saran wrap technique:

1. Put a fast-drying top coat on the base color.

2. That picture of the small piece of Saran wrap I was using to dab at my nails?  DON'T DO THAT.  Instead, you need to use a larger wad of Saran wrap, like this:

After mastering those two key lessons, I finally created the beautiful marbled Saran wrap nails I'd been trying for the whole time! (Excuse the excessive number of pictures-- I was pretty proud of them after I finished!)

This color combination really reminded me of blue china tea cups (like this one)-- I randomly wandered around our apartment looking for something in a similar color scheme to use as a prop.  This sake cup was as close as I could come:

Lisl here: so I had done a saran wrap manicure once before, and figured I was a total expert. That is how expertise works right? You do something once and you're an expert.  I got a little ambitious and wanted to see if I could do a Saran Wrap gradient.  

I started with a base of Revlon Impulsive.

Then I layered Essie Fear of Desire and China Glaze Rich and Famous over that in two broad stripes, before dabbing with Saran wrap.

This didn't work. I don't have pictures, but I couldn't get the two colors to blend very well, so it just ended up looking like two jaggedly stripes, rather than a smooth gradient.  I'm not saying it will never work, but I suspect it would be better to mix the colors on separate surface, dab with Saran wrap and then apply that to your nails.

Chastened, I tried to go back to the simple Saran wrap system.  I switched my base to Revlon Minted, since I also had some problems getting the China Glaze pink to show up well over the dark purple.

I used two coats of Minted plus a coat of Seche Vite quick drying top coat.  Aside: I am obsessed with mint/pastel greens and am constantly on the search for the "perfect" mint.   This one is pretty great, though I always have difficulties with Revlon's formula and bubbles. 

To make sure the bottom layer was adequately dry before applying the contrasting color, I slept for 8 hours before continuing with the manicure.  This is probably a little overkill, you could probably just wait a few minutes; I was just sleepy.

For my contrasting color I stuck with China Glaze Rich and Famous.  I love this color.  It's my permanent pedicure color (not literally permanent, I didn't get it tattoo-ed, I just don't want anything else on my toes, like, ever).  I then topped everything off with a coat of Seche Vite.

I really loved how these turned out.  It was a little difficult getting the dabbing to be even, different fingers have different amounts of base color showing through, but I think the overall effect is awesome.

Once you get get the hang of it I think that the Saran wrap technique is a simple and quick way to add a cool marble texture to your nails So have any of you ever tried a saran wrap manicure? What worked and didn't work for you?

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