Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons ‘Jelly Shoes’

Aaaaand it’s another Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons post! I’m starting to build up a little bank of entries and there’s still just under a fortnight left to get involved with the Tara’s Talons giveaway.

I’ve set myself a little challenge to use one of my Tara polishes for every mani I create until the closing date and I’m really enjoying the whole experience – I find it hard to set my creative side free and this has forced me into it – another reason why I love Tara’s Talons polish!

My polish choice this time is inspired by the whole creativity feeling as a kind of “thank you!” to Tara for inspiring me to push myself to be more free (and giving me a good excuse to post as much as I can!).
I’ve opted for ‘Jelly Shoes’ – I loved mine when I was a little girl (and really had to try not to buy a pair when they started popping up again!)
This delightful creamy pink polish dotted with sparkly silver glitter is a match for the ones I had so I couldn’t resist it. I feel like I’m repeating myself but it’s true – fab formula; applies easily; dries in no time. Gaaaah I looooooove Tara’s Talons! Every polish is consistently AWESOME 😀

I really wanted to try to watermarble ‘Jelly Shoes’ with Barry M Gelly in Key Lime so I got everything organised and prepped my nails (click here to find out about more about watermarbling in my original post).

I’m sad to say my experiment didn’t work out BUT I will say that considering the glitter type and content I was impressed by how well it stood up to the challenge. ‘Jelly Shoes’ sat happily on the surface of the water – both glitter and polish – at first but the motion of the water and the size of the glitter caused small rings to break up around the glitter pieces. I’ll definitely try again with this polish though, I think the ring effect would turn out quite nicely and I’m intrigued to find out.

I had my heart set on using this technique and these two polishes so I improvised – I painted one coat of ‘Jelly Shoes’ over my white base and let it dry, then I watermarbled Barry M Key Lime with a clear polish and transferred my pattern over the Tara’s Talons base.

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I really love how it came out – the colour combination is fantastic (if I do say so myself) – and I can’t believe how bright and glittery just one coat of ‘Jelly Shoes’ came out!

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Click here to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning a Tara’s Talons haul of polish and goodies!

Click here to follow Tara’s Talons on Instagram.

Click here to browse Tara’s Talons Etsy store.

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Spotted Watermarble Nails

Time to try something new – well sort of new. I love a watermarble so here’s a variation of the pretty, patterned – but sometimes really tricky – original. It’s a little easier but the final effect is just as impressive!

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You’ll need:

  • A container large enough to comfortably dip a finger in filled with room temperature water
  • Nail polish – a base and another polish to use in the watermarble (I used Barry M White Nail Paint as my base and Barry M Gelly in Papaya as my watermarble)
  • Tape OR my Super Easy Clean Up Secret Weapon…see below!
  • Cotton pads or kitchen paper
  • Orange sticks
  • Acetone or nail polish remover that contains acetone
  • A spray bottle
  • A safe place to work – well away from any wooden or polished surfaces – I used a plastic tray

Prep for watermarbling. Set up your acetone spray. Pour a little into the spray bottle and give it a couple of schooshes (NOT over your good coffee table!). Make sure everything you need is at hand (container of water, polishes, orange sticks, cotton pads and acetone spray) and prep and paint your nails with base colour.
For more detailed instructions on getting ready to do watermarble and tips and tricks that I’ve picked up while experimenting that may help you if you are having trouble click here to view my original Watermarble Nails post.

Tape up or…

Use your Super Easy Clean Up Secret Weapon! Clean out an old empty polish bottle by pouring in some acetone, replacing the brush and giving it a good shake. Empty the acetone out and repeat a couple of times, then rinse with water. Leave the bottle and brush to dry completely then, fill it with cheap PVA glue – I got 250ml from Asda for £1.48! Using the brush, apply the glue to the skin around your nail that you want to protect from polish and allow it to dry. This creates an easy peel barrier that let’s you simply peel away all the messy excess polish you end up covered in when doing sponged ombrés, watermarbling etc. One thing to note when using this method with watermarbling is that when dipped in water, the water-soluble glue ends up wet and sticky so you will have to allow it to dry fully again before attempting to peel it!

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Make a circle of polish on the surface of the water by adding drops of polish quickly but carefully. Remember to stay close to the surface but not to touch the water!

Spray the polish with acetone. Spray once or twice over the polish, across the rim of your container – not directly into it – to create a blotchy, spotted pattern.

Dip your nail. Once you’ve found a part of the design you like, dip your nail into the water at an angle to transfer the polish. Always be careful of your other fingers! Make sure they are well out of the way of the water and polish – I learned that lesson the hard way.

Clean up the water surface before lifting your nail out to avoid messing up your design. Use an orange stick in dipping and swirling motions, dragging the excess polish away from your finger.

Allow to dry fully. This is particularly important if you used glue as your protectant. Wait until all the white, sticky patches have turned clear and shiny before attempting to peel.

Remove protectant. Whether you used glue or tape, remove it by pulling down and away from the nail so that any tugs of slightly damp polish peel back into the nail as opposed to up and away, leaving patches exposed.

Tidy up. If you have any polish remaining, use a fine brush and acetone to clean up around the cuticle and a cotton pad for patches further away from the nail.
TIP I’ve found disposable eye shadow applicators are a useful alternative to cotton pads for removing excess polish – the little stick allows me to avoid getting my freshly painted nails covered in cotton wool and acetone and the applicator head allows for precise cleaning.

Topcoat. Essential, as always. Topcoat seals your manicure and finishes it off beautifully.

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Done! Show me yours using #brawclaws on Instagram 😀

And don’t forget to watch out for my Braw Claws Loves Tara’s Talons series! Follow my blog or find me on Instagram to keep up to date with new posts 🙂

Watermarble Nails

Woohoo – first blog post! And it’s a goodie…watermarble!

1. right hand finger

(dull Scottish daylight)

I’ve stared in awe at pictures of watermarble nails in the past and always wondered how they were so perfectly painted not once considering water could be used in nail art. I was feeling confident last week so I searched YouTube and found a fantastic short watermarble tutorial by cutepolish – you can find it here.

Let me get it out there right now; I have no idea what I’m doing, I am brand spanking new to even having nails to play with so I’m a perfect example to show that anyone can master these techniques as long as you have patience.

You’ll need:

  • A container large enough to comfortably dip a finger in – I’ve found plastic works best for me.
  • Water – room temperature, preferably filtered however mine was just regular Scottish tap water.
  • Nail polish – at least two colours, I used Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Key Lime, Satsuma and Guava.
  • Tape – I used microporous: the papery kind, not the easy tear.
  • Cotton pads or kitchen paper.
  • Orange sticks.
  • A pin or needle.
  • Nail polish remover.

I knew this was going to take a few attempts at least so I decided to make up some little false nail finger sticks to practise with:

1. nail stick

I made these by pressing an orange stick against the back of a false nail and using microporous tape to secure it.

TIP: It’s important to have all of your equipment set out neatly in front of you with everything within easy reach – I do a sort-of run-through before I start any nail art technique to make sure that everything is exactly where I need it to be.

1. set up

Fill your container with room temperature water.

I had a few dud attempts at the start. You’ll know that your water is not at the correct temperature because the nail polish will just refuse to co-operate. It’s just right when the polish settles in a clean, unbroken ring and the subsequent drops of polish settle happily outwards toward the edges of each other.

TIP: You may need to refresh your water after using it a few times – some sneaky wee invisible bits of polish can remain in the water after clean up and ruin a nail later on. I refilled mine after completing my first hand.

Basecoat and white-out.

Logic says it’s important to get a white base on if you want vibrant colours with a watermarble as the polish surely thins as it spreads – although I haven’t tried it without yet. My imagined conclusion is quite pretty…

Tape up polish-free surfaces.

Very important. Unless you want to spend ages attempting to clean polish off your fingers and inevitably wrecking your pretty new watermarble manicure.

You want two strips of tape for each finger – one across the base of your nail, close to the cuticle but not so much that you’re exposing white base and the other wrapped up from one side of the nail, round the fingertip and down the other side. Press the tape down firmly around the edges and onto the skin.

1. taping

(Click here to find out about my Super Easy Clean Up Secret Weapon in a later post!)

Quickly and carefully make a bullseye with your polishes.

Tap one drop of nail polish off of the end of the brush onto the surface of the water. You want to do this quite close to the water surface but not so close that the brush touches it. Add as many layers, in as many colours as you like to the bullseye but remember that if you’re not quick, the outer polish rings will dry up and when you move to the next stage – drawing your design – the polish will just cling to the pin and you’ll end up with a sticky mess.

TIP: Before you start, shake your polishes well and loosen all of the lids so that you can grab and go quickly with the drops.

Quickly and carefully draw your design.

This bit can be tricky. I found that it’s safer to stay away from the first two rings of polish that you create. Very carefully draw the pin or needle across the surface of the nail polish – don’t dip the pin right through into the water or you may end up with a clumpy blob stuck it that refuses to let go and ruins the design.

TIP: If your bullseye moves around too much as you try to draw your design try to gently anchor it by using the pin to pull an outer edge to the rim of your container. Be careful to do this very slowly and gently or your design will stick to the pin and clump up.

Dip nail and clean up surface.

Choose an area of your marble that you really like and take some time to ensure that your nail is positioned well above it. When you are happy with your chosen design, slowly but decisively dip your nail at around a 45degree angle straight through into the water below. Don’t lift your finger out of the water yet!! Grab an orange stick and making sure not to catch your polished nail, dip it into the water using a twirling motion to catch any loose polish that remains attached to the design.

TIP: Think about where you are pulling at the design when twirling it away on the stick – try to pull backwards and away from the nail to avoid smudging and polish clogging under the water.

1. 1st false

(standard halogen home spotlight)

Lift nail out, remove tape and allow to dry fully.

Next time I try this technique I think I might wait until the nails are dry before removing the tape as I pulled a couple of edges away when I done this when wet – what do you think? Have you tried watermarbling and had the same problem?

I struggle to have patience when drying my nails but I knew better than to risk touching these too early. I waited a good fifteen minutes.

Tidy up.

When you remove the tape, it’s likely you’ll have a few messy bits of polish on your skin. Using a small brush and some nail polish remover, carefully brush away any untidy polish.

TIP: Invest in a nail art corrector pen! They’re fantastic for tidying around the cuticle area as they tend to be firmer and I find them steadier to use for a clean line than a brush dipped in remover. Mine is Barry M’s Nail Art Corrector Pen and it only cost me £4.99 in Superdrug.

Topcoat!

My favourite right now is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat – it’s super fast drying and really shiny! I love it’s staying power, it protects my manicures from chips and peeling for seven days (and that week includes working full time in a pharmacy dispensary too – with all sorts of nail nasties like removing staples and popping out pills a standard daily requirement).

I added a coat of my absolute favourite holographic topcoat made by the fabulous UK based indie polish maker Tara’s Talons.

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It really helped to hide and blend the little edges where I had caught the wet polish and exposed white base – and it’s delightful to look at too! Tara’s not currently selling her amazing polish creations – but keep your eye’s peeled she’ll hopefully be back at it again soon!

There you have it. Watermarble manicure.

1. left hand finger (dull Scottish daylight)

1. full right hand

(dull Scottish daylight)

Questions and comments are welcome!