Hi everyone! I am so happy and honoured to be able to share a post with you today here on Katie’s blog! I blog over at Painted Fingertips, where I post lots of nail art and some nail polish swatches. A little while ago I had an idea that it might be fun to do a sort of crossover guest post – I post 99% nails and nail art but I really enjoy makeup and other beauty posts. I don’t have the makeup skills to share my own face on here too often, so I thought I’d invite a guest, and Katie was the perfect option. She’s one of my favourite beauty bloggers – I always enjoy her colourful makeup looks and ooh and aah over swatches. I was so glad when she agreed to a post exchange!
We decided to each do something summery, and the first thing I thought of was neons. Neons are often associated with Summer, but this year I feel it is even more so than usual, at least in the indie nail polish world – so many brands are releasing neons at the moment and you can get everything from neon cremes, to neon shimmers, to neon jellies packed with flakies.
Neon Splatter Nail Tutorial
I considered a few different possibilities for a summer neon look – flowers, or a dotticure, a watercolour neon look, watermarble… there are so many options! In the end, I decided to go with something that requires absolutely no special tools or skills so that any of you can try to recreate it, whether you are practiced at doing nail art or not. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:
- Base coat (optional, but recommended)
- Black nail polish
- Liquid latex OR scotch tape
- Neon nail polish in a few colours
- A straw
- A working surface – anything from a nail art mat to an old magazine or piece of foil will do
- Top coat
- Nail polish remover and cotton balls or q-tips, clean-up brush if you have one.
Start off with your base coat followed by black polish:
I used Sinful Colors Black on Black. I like using Sinful Colors’ black and white polishes since I go through these shades so quickly – they are affordable and decent quality. Next, if you have liquid latex, apply this around your nails to help with clean-up. If not, you can use pieces of scotch tape/sticky tape along the base and sides of your nail. Tape works perfectly well – in fact, I used it for years for messy manicures before I finally got some liquid latex. Latex lets you get in a little closer to the nail, so I usually use it now.
One disadvantage of the liquid latex is that it will stick to itself, so you have to be careful not to let your fingers touch each other – hence my awkward splayed-fingers pose.
Now for the fun part – the splatter! This is where you need the straw. I keep a straw amongst my nail art goodies so that I have one on hand whenever I decide to do a splatter manicure. I like to cut off about 5 cm to use and the rest goes back in my nail art drawer.
Pick out your first neon polish – I used Music City Beauty Aphrodisiac – and drip some onto your working surface. I like to use this nail art mat from Born Pretty Store, but plenty of other vendors carry mats or you can just use an old magazine, piece of foil, or anything else you happen to have that won’t mind getting a little polish on it. Dip one end of your straw into the polish and try to pick a little up with it. You want the polish to cover the straw opening, not just be around the rim – I usually dip/scoop at an angle to get the opening filled. Finally, hold it over your nails, and blow through the clean end of the straw!
It will probably take multiple dips and blows to get enough neon on your nails, so repeat as many times as you need. I always seem to wind up with the prettiest parts of my splatter on my nail art mat, so move your fingers around so they’re at the optimal angle from the straw!
Depending on the neons you’re using, you may want to thin them out a little to make this part easier. The ones I was using from Music City Beauty were a little thick for this technique, so I added a drop of nail polish thinner to the polish I’d poured out on my mat. If you don’t have thinner, please do not add nail polish remover into your bottle of polish – it can damage the polish in the long term! However, you can add a drop of remover to the polish you’ve poured out for use in this nail art only.
Keep going with more neon colours! I used the same piece of straw with each colour since I was only dipping it in polish I’d poured out, so no chance of contaminating a bottle with a different colour. I decided to add yellow and pink, using Music City Beauty Showgirl and Attention Wh*re. If you’d like to learn more about these neons (they’re still available!) I swatched the full 6-piece collection here.
Once you’re happy with the splatter on your nails, carefully peel off the latex or tape:
As you can see, that gets rid of the worst of the mess, but I still managed to have polish splashed all the way up my fingers, along with some right next to my nails. For the splashes up my fingers, I like to use a cotton ball with nail polish remover to quickly wipe it away. The best method to clean up right next to your nail is using a clean up brush – basically a small flat paintbrush that you can dip in remover then run along the sides of your nail and cuticle. You don’t need any fancy brush that’s specifically marketed for this – in fact craft store brushes often work best. If you don’t have one, just do what you can with a cotton bud and remover – it will likely be good enough.
Finally, carefully add a shiny top coat. This brings out the shine in your nail art and also protects your design! Some parts may be a little thick, so make sure you give it enough time to dry. At the moment, I’m using Sweet and Sour Lacquer’s Gloss Sauce top coat. I really like it, but it’s not always in stock – a good easier-to-find option would be Seche Vite.
The beauty of this technique is in its randomness. You pick the colours, but there’s only so much you can do about how they actually splatter! As you can see, I ended up with a few blobs on my thumb, while my favourite parts of the splatter kept falling right next to it on my nail art mat. Fortunately, the blobs look really cool too! Just for fun, here’s how my mat looked at the end of this manicure:
A beautiful mess! This could definitely be a fun technique to make some decor for around the house as well. How cool would splatter coasters be?
This technique can of course be used with any colour combination you like – I went with a black base to contrast with my summery neons, but you can also get a lighter look by using a white base. This is also the perfect technique for Halloween blood spatter nails – a nude base plus red splatter and your Halloween outfit is halfway done!
I hope you’ve enjoyed having me over here – and don’t forget to check out Katie’s guest post on my blog! (spoiler alert – she looks lovely).
If you’d like to see more of my nails, come and check out my blog Painted Fingertips! I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr – and I’m trying to work on more videos for my Youtube Channel.
Thanks for having me, Katie!