Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A tutorial for 'cloud' nailart

Because I've had a lot of interest in this mani I've decided to create a tutorial on how to re-create this look for yourself.
Trust me it's relatively easy if you take your time with it! Just make sure you have all the items you will need, a good light source with a comfortable chair and table.... and no distractions.

 Follow the pics, starting from top right down and across to the left.

1. Choose 3 shades of polish that you would like to use, and an additional glitter topcoat if you want to add that as I have.
Note: It's important to use a basecoat and topcoat. The basecoat protects your nails from staining and also helps the polish adhere better to the nail. I know I used to think these 2 items were an unnecessary expense, but they really can make a difference to your manicure lasting. And a fast-drying topcoat is all I ever use, as I am way too impatient to wait for my polish to dry!
A topcoat can also be invaluable for smoothing any uneveness which occurs with nailart, especially this design where you have uneven layers of polish and glitter. I like either Poshe 'Fast Drying Topcoat' or Essie 'Good To Go'. Applying a new slick of topcoat every day is also the best way to extend the life of a manicure.

2. After applying basecoat to your nails, paint your nails the main colour that you have chosen. Here I am using Revlon's 'Plum Seduction'. I have used 2 thin coats but the good thing about this design is, if your basecoat is still showing your nail line, the following coats will cover it.
For extra steadiness and support, lay the hand you are working on flat then rest the side of your 'working' hand on the table and just move your index and thumb, to control the brush and application of polish.(I hope that makes sense, I think that's the way I do it!)

3. Once the base colour is dry (or, if you're in a rush, use some fast drying topcoat between colours to speed up the process) take the second colour and using the brush, paint a vertical strip starting about 2/3rds up the nail and about 1/3rd the width along one side of your nail.
I have used Ulta3's "Flirty Bikini' here and in the pic you can see I have completed my pinkie and ring finger and only 2 strips on my middle finger.(the ring finger didn't work out as well as I'd hoped and the light makes it look like there is 1 big strip and a smaller one on the edge).
Don't worry too much about this stage, just make sure to take your time and remember that any uneveness can look a great deal improved if the final colour is done more neatly! If you find your 'clouds' are looking more like 'steps' you can use the tip of the brush and make an upside down U shape at the top of the strip to give it more of a curve. You also may need to apply 2 coats of polish for opaqueness.
Thin coats are always better than thick ones which can take too long to dry and look lumpy.

3. Take your final colour and repeat the 2nd step but leave about a brush width of the middle colour polish. I've used Face Of Australia's 'Have Your Cupcake & Eat It Too'. Make sure to cover the whole tip edge of your nail to give the best result. If you wish to add a layer of glitter do that once the 3rd colour is dry. I've used Savvy's "Purple Viking' and personally preferred the look of a few layers of this glitter, as it was quite thin.

4. Finally add a generous layer of topcoat and apply right down over the lip of your nail edge so the polish is encased all along the tip. This can prevent shrinkage of the polish and tip wear.

I hope this has been helpful :) I saw a tutorial on Instagram a while ago that I wanted to credit here as my inspiration, but I can't seem to find it now.


  1. You've done a brilliant job with your nails/your blog name and your blogs, Kate. First time I've investigated and it won't be my last - I'm relatively selective in the blogs I follow.

    Your posts via Beauty Heaven are thoughtful and caring. Your blog really does seem to be a wonderful extension of your lovely persoanlity. All the very best.


    1. Hi Trish, it's lovely to read your feedback and thankyou so much for your kind words! Sorry it's taken so long to reply I haven't been blogging for forever! I've had some health issues and struggling with my mum's lymphoma diagnosis and treatment which has been really depressing. So I haven't been on BH for ages either...When I do occaisionally read some posts on the BH forum your posts always stand out for their kindness and thoughtfulness.
      Kate xx