First, a confession: I *hate* painting my nails. The sheer amount of time it take: base coat, two or three layers of colour, top coat. Then sitting waiting for them to dry, unable to do anything, not even twiddling my thumbs because you know they'll catch and smudge, then you're back to square one.
However, I love they way they look when they're all brightly coloured and I do enjoy experimenting every now and then, so when I'm feeling particularly patient and have several hours of stress-free time to fill (very rarely!) I'll paint them.
So. This is my take on a vintage manicure: traditionally the half moons at the base of the nails are left uncoloured, and I'll usually cover the rest of the nail in a gorgeous bright red.
My usual vintage manicure look
For the purposes of this blog post, and in honour to the lovely sunshine currently streaming through my window, I decided to be a little more adventurous and jazz the colour up a little.
I began by filing my nails to the same length, as they were quite long but one or two had snapped and I think that nails of obviously different lengths looks messy. I used Barry M: All in One which acts as a basecoat, top coat and nail hardener - it goes on smoothly and dries quite quickly.
Barry M: All in One
Nails after filing and using base coat
Because I don't like to sit around waiting for my nails to dry, I chose to use Rimmel: 60 Second nail polish and I chose two complimenting but daring (for me!) shades: Ethereal and Shocker
Rimmel: 60 Seconds polish in 'Ethereal' and 'Shocker'
I like the shape of these brushes as they're slightly curved to allow the polish to go on smoothly to the cuticle. I wasn't particularly impressed with the lighter colour though as it seemed to streak a lot and took several coats to build up a good colour. It also took much longer than 60 seconds to dry and I left about fifteen minutes in between coats.
Nails painted with light pink colour
In order to get the right shape at the half-moon of the nail, I use Nailene: Perfect Tips French Polish Guides. These are intended for use when creating a white nail tip but I place them at the base of the nail instead - because of the elongated curve designed to fit the nail tips, I had to over shape them when sticking them, but they still work perfectly.
Nailene: Perfect Tips
Where to place the guides for the half-moon manicure
I then used the darker pink shade of polish to cover the rest of the nail. This colour went on much better but I still applied two coats for impact, waiting fifteen to twenty minutes in between applications.
Waiting for the pink to dry
The good thing about this type of manicure is that you don't have to be particularly neat or careful at the base of the nail when applying the polish as the sticker tabs create the neat line required!
Wait until the nail polish is dry, then remove the nail guides.
When removing the tabs, be very careful as sometimes the top colour can lift away from the nail slightly. This happened on one or two of my nails and I gently pressed it back down.
Finish with a layer of top coat as this helps bind the colours together and creates a gorgeous high shine, then prepare to dazzle with your gorgeous vintage inspired manicure, with a twist!
The end result!
Barry M: the polish glides on easily though I do feel I have to load the brush in order to get a smooth line from the base to the tip as I have quite long nails. It dries quickly and is hard-wearing, which helps extend the lifespan of my nail colour.
Rimmel - Ethereal: as previously mentioned I like the shape of the brushes which helps cover the whole nail - I found I could paint my little finger and ring finger nails in one stroke. However the polish itself was quite streaky and took several coats to build up a good colour.
Rimmel - Shocker: A good colour which would still have a nice shade with just one coat of varnish. No streaking in this shade either. Despite the claim of drying in 60 seconds, I was very aware of my nails for several hours afterwards as they felt slightly tacky, though whether that was due to the product itself or the layers of different polishes I'm not sure.
Nailene: Easy to use, easy to peel and good sticking power - an old favourite.