Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Floral Manicure: A Comprehensive Guide to Full Nail Water Decals with Tutorial

Disclaimer: Product featured was provided for review.
Hey hey hey, happy Wednesday everyone! Today I wanted to post a tutorial on how to apply full nail water decals because the concept of them isn't always intuitive, the first time I tried ordinary water decals I applied them on backwards... 
So I made a tutorial with pictures to show how easy they are to apply in hopes of encouraging more of y'all to try out these god-sent gifts to the nail art world.
The decals I am using are from Born Pretty Store, which is basically the ultimate online store for nail art supplies, they carry pretty much any type of nail art supplies you will ever need. Their price is super affordable and the shipping is free!
Anyways, let us get started......

What you will need:
-A base nail polish color; a light cream polish is best for full nail water decals because they allow the decal design to show up better.
-A good top coat; try to find one with a thicker formulation that doesn't "sink" when it dries, also a topcoat with a wider brush is also preferred because small thin brushes can sometimes cause the ink on the decals to drag.
-A small container with some warm tap water
-A tweezer; try to find a used one that you don't mind getting dirty. Because you are working near polishes and decals, sometimes the tips of the tweezer can get pretty gunky, but everything is easily removable with some polish remover.
-Water decals; the ones I am using today are these cute floral patterned full nail decals ($2.55) from Born Pretty Store

What the water decal sheet looks like:
Here is a standard water decal sheet, it consists of three components:
1. A thin plastic covering
2. The water decal sheet, which is basically a very very thin sheet of plastic printed with patterns on it, it is very flexible and will adhere to your nails not with actual adhesive but with static electrical force (I think, don't quote me on this).
3. The paper backing, this is what the water decal is initially adhered to, this, along with the plastic backing, needs to be removed before you place the water decal on the nail.


Prep Steps:
With full nail water decals, the decals need to be first cut out and trimmed to the shapes of your individual nails. You can do that however you like but a trick I use is to use the paper backings of nail strips (Incoco, Sally Hansen Salon Effects, etc.) as patterns. I simply place those on the backside of the decal sheet and trace out the outlines.

How to apply:
1. Start with clean nails. I usually wipe them down with some alcohol wipes to remove any remaining oils on the nail surface.

2. Peel back the plastic covering of the water decal and drop the water decal with its backing into the warm water. The warm water will soften the backing and the decal will naturally come off of it. While the decal is soaking (I usually drop in a few pieces at a time), move on to the next step.
3. Paint your nails with one layer of the white polish. There is no need to get the polish fully opaque because the patterns on the decal will completely hide any imperfections.

4. Take your tweezer and carefully pull the water decal (ditch the backing) out of the water. Position them over your dried base color. After it's in position, use your finger to press down the decal onto the nail so it is fully "adhered". Some minor puckering is fine. If the design looks way out of place, simply lift up the decal with your tweezers and reposition.

*The key is to apply the decals when only the surface of the polish is dry. This way, you can reposition the decals if you mess up but once it's in place, you can use your fingers to really press it down so it melds with the base coat.

5. Now here comes the slightly tricky part. The excess decal hanging off the tips of your nails need to be trimmed and filed away. I first take some small scissors (or a cuticle clipper) to trim off the excess. I then fold the remaining excess towards the tips of my finger while filing them away. Be careful as too much force may cause the tip of the decal to tear.

6. There is no waiting time. Apply a generous amount of top coat over the decal to seal it in place. The top coat will help erase any puckering and the design will appear as if it were printed on your nails!

7. Give the design some time to dry and then treat your cuticles to some cuticle oil.

*Optional step 8: Photograph your new mani and plaster it all over Facebook and Instagram
And there you have it. These guys take a couple of tries to master but once you get it you will seriously fall in love with them because compared to stamping and pretty much all other nail art trends, these are the simplest to use and give the coolest result!
Here is one more picture......
To check out these and other awesome water decals, click on the banner below, use the code VGL91 to get 10% off of your purchase.
And finally here is a Pinterest friendly version of the tutorial:
Hopefully this post was helpful for those you wanting to venture into the water decal world. And if you already tried water decals then you already know how amazing they are! Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comments section, thanks for dropping by!
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