That being said, it's not that I don't like nail art - I think it looks so cool! So I was quite chuffed to be invited to a nail masterclass with Maybelline, and here are some shots..
These were the three that we were taught, and you can find tutorials for The Kiss and Flowers online but it seems there isn't one for the Ombre Leopard Print - which is incidentally my favourite! I learnt a lot of techniques in just these three looks, which could easily be transferred onto other looks I want to create in the future.
For The Kiss, we used this thin brush with about 3 strands of hair and it was probably the easiest of the lot. Flowers was challenging because of the shapes, but again, it was about where you put what shade and the thinness of the brush that made a difference - definitely watch the video, it's great to know how to do flowers for the upcoming warm weather! The Leopard Print Ombre was by far the most difficult and with the most technique involved because of the ombre! We painted the lightest colour all over, then the second lightest on the top 2/3 of the nail and blended it together with a sponge-tip eyeshadow applicator. It was difficult to get that blend because you literally have to do it right on the edge of the colours - any further up and you'll remove the colour! The print itself was okay, because you draw a bunch of C's and fill empty areas with blobs :)
Here's one I tried at home, but I don't think the brush was thin enough - they're a bunch of blue blobs, and the green was definitely too bright! In the class we used Moss by Maybelline Color Show, which was a great muted green you see above.
The class was loads of fun because we had Michelle Humphrey (I could listen to her talk for hours, she sounds like Jessie J - in fact, she kind of looks like her too!) walking us through the steps and it being blown up on a screen, AND we had our own set of Maybelline Color Show polishes to do it with (see below!).
I actually really like these polishes, they have a great balance of pigmentation and depth, they dry quite quickly and has a really nice gloss to them. The brushes are reminiscent of the Rimmel Lasting Finishes, in that they are thick and flat and super easy to use, and the consistency of the polish is just right - not too thin but not too thick. I also love the really long necks the bottles have, just for design. You wouldn't believe they're just £2.99! I toddled off to purchase the white shade in Winter Baby for the above look.
Something else I discovered in the masterclass was the new Maybelline Express Remover (£4.99) which is due to be released this month. It's one of those jars with a huge sponge soaked in polish remover that you dunk your finger in to remove your polishes. The good thing about this one, is that it's paraben and acetone free, and contains avocado oil which has moisturising properties.
Now I'm usually not a fan of these pots because of my dry finger tips and it usually stings and unfortunately, it's the case with this one. However, I've found it very encouraging to do nail art and swatch polishes for the blog because it's so quick, effective, mess-free and easy. My boyfriend's aunt had a pot that didn't sting but I can't remember for the life of me what brand it was from..
We finished off the polishes with Essie's Top Coat, and I have to say I was impressed by those as well. Very good drying time and a lovely gloss that brings the look together. It has a similar effect to my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri but with a less gloopy consistency!
Needless to say, I'm very excited to be taking on a bit of nail art into my repertoire, although I'm far from competent just yet.. I had a go at the leopard print with just 2 shades of ombre but again, my brush was too thick! I think I need to invest in one, because many people have complemented my nails thinking they were wraps! Hopefully with the bits and bobs I've learnt, the inspirations I've gained and my Express Remover, I'll be experimenting a lot more and mastering these techniques - who knows, maybe I'll be able to come up with my own designs!
Do you do nail art?
What's your favourite design?