This technique is called "colored drops" and I found it at Vampy Varnish HERE, but I took it a step too far.
The idea is kind of like a cross between a nail decal and watermabling....without the water.
You start by painting a layer of topcoat on a slick surface. This is my trusty silicone baking mat, but you could use a sandwich bag or even a spatula. While the top coat is still wet, drop other polish onto it and it will spread, much like when you drop polish into water, only on a smaller scale. Because the top coat needs to be wet for the drops to spread, don't use a fast drying one. After you achieve the look you want, let the decal dry, peel off, trim and apply to your nails with more topcoat.
For my base, I used three coats of NYC Tudor City Teal. I had never tried this brand before, but my three year old nephew picked it out for me. In real life it is much more green than it shows in the pics, a pale blue leaning green, a very pretty color actually. The formula, however, was not good. It has a gellie finish, which I usually like, but this sucker was a balding, streaking mess. This is three coats, and if I was going to wear it without any art, I would have added a fourth to cover patchiness. Four fricken layers! For a crellie that isn't exactly anything special. I like my cremes to be one or two coaters. Four layers? Ain't nobody got time for that!
In looking through my stash for finish changing polishes, I realized that I don't have many, so I picked some polishes that I know I would usually layer over something rather than wear on it's own (except Ninja Polish Divinity. It is one I am willing to do with three or four layers, it is so gorgeous!) I used Nfu-Oh 40, a blue/green shifting flakie, the aformentioned Ninja Polish Divinity, a purple/maroon/green/blue shifting beauty, Wet n Wild Frosted Over, a pearl/blue/pink/lavender shifting shimmer with a bit of glitter, Zoya Chloe, a pink/green/gold/orange shifting flakie and Glitter Days Sundown in Seattle, a lovely pink/copper/orange/brown shifting topper.
So there were several reasons that I consider this a fail. First of all, I piled on so many drops that I had a mini volcano mound of polish which, when dry, was very stiff. Getting these suckers to curve around my nail and stick down was a total hassle. Using a fast dry top coat (Seche Vite) helped, but I still had edges sticking up all over the place.
Also, to blend the edges, I had to add the most/thickest layers of top coat that I have ever used. After the first coat over the whole nail, I went back and added top coat to the edges, let it dry and then added more to the areas of the nail that only had the base color. When I was finished I looked like I had acrylic nails on! Seriously, my thumb, especially, was over a quarter of an inch thick!
As always, with new techniques, I learned a lot. If I do this again, I will not use flakies or glitter, they just add too much bulk. I also would try to do it directly on the nail, rather than as a decal, to avoid the bubbles, rough edges and general hassle of using a thick, stiff decal.
So what do you think? Was it a fail? Is it worth trying this technique again with the changes mentioned? Do you like the color combo? Tell me all about it! Thanks for looking and commenting!