Hello! I have an exciting mani to share today: my first ever attempt at fluid nail art! I have been loving these for almost a year, but hadn’t gotten around to trying, until now. In all honesty, I don’t love how this mani looks on my hand, but I think that has more to do with the order in which I applied the polish. I am very happy with how the cells formed.
So let’s start at the beginning. For those of you unfamiliar with fluid art, it is a technique whereby you apply several colours together and let them flow into each other and interact to get swirls and other organic patterns. It is often used in the art world with some kind of silicone oil or hair oil containing dimethicone (a silicone-based additive). This interacts with the paint to form what are known as cells – small areas where the paint separates and the layers of paint underneath show through in round, oval, dewdrop or other interesting and organic shapes. Here is an art piece with lots of cells.
Nail artists picked up on this trend a couple of years ago, using a variety of silicone products, including special effects polishes such as the Sinful Colors Hypnotic Top Coat and Dance Legend Spot-It, that are made specifically for this purpose. Recently, a talented YouTuber I follow shared a tip from another nail artist about using Garnier Fructis anti-frizz hair serum to make a DIY spot-it style polish to create cells.
I tried it immediately because this is such an easy ingredient to find. I suspect it will work with any other silicone-based hair serum containing dimethicone as one of the top ingredients (ingredients are usually listed in order of percentage volume, so the first one listed is present in the greatest amount). You can watch her video outlining the process here. In summary, I added one pump of the serum into a 15-ml bottle of Wet n Wild Clear polish, which I have a ginormous stock of at home because it is the most amazing for making nail decals. I shook it up really well and let it sit for a couple of days because I only do nail art on days when baby is at daycare. According to Kyong, letting it rest overnight should suffice.
For the manicure, I made decals on my Born Pretty mat. I found out a bunch of nail artists are following the same colour palette each Friday for #fluidartfriday and decided to join in. The goal is to see how different and unique fluid art is even with the exact same colours. If you’re on Instagram, you can follow the hashtag #fluidfridayfriends too see. This was the suggested colour palette:
I followed the palette almost to a tee because I’m such a rule-follower. The basic process is easy: apply a thickish coat of polish to the mat in a rectangular shape and apply drops of the other colours over it. Finish off by applying two to three drops of the DIY spot-it polish and then quickly do one of three things: fold the mat over itself once or twice to smoosh the polish, apply a scraper or flat card gently on top and lift immediately, or use a stamper to gently smoosh the polish and lift immediately. The goal is to make the polishes interact and let the spot-it work its magic. Because this was my first time trying fluid art, I tried all three techniques to make the decals and eventually decided I like using a stamper most of all. Here is a tutorial if you want to see how I did it.
For the base, I used OPI Dope Taupe and then applied drops of Shleee Polish Retro Lovely 2.0 (mint), Tonic Polish Deep Sea-crets (turquoise), Color Club Macaroon Swoon (pale yellow) and Moyra stamping polish SP-19 (pink). Here are some decals that I finally used, not the best quality of photos, but I hadn’t planned to share these and only took quick pictures to show my friend:
I didn’t take too many pictures of this mani. For some reason, I didn’t like the overall look of this on my hands, even though the decals looked great to me and I’m very happy with how many cells formed. Also, the pastels seemed to freak out my camera and turned my skin greenish. I could only do so much colour-correcting to my skin without changing the colour of the mani itself. Here are some macros:
I’m in love with how the gorgeous shimmer of the Tonic shines through! Maybe if I had started with a brighter base colour instead of the taupe, the overall effect would have been less grey.
I stamped over this to see if I liked it better, but I did not. It was just one of those days when nothing seems to hit the spot.
I used Moyra black stamping polish and Bundle Monster XL-153 for the stamping, topped off with matte top coat.
So there you have it. If you’ve made it to here, thank you for patiently reading this long post! I am very excited to try more of this technique. It’s very easy to do and I love how organic the designs are. Each nail is unique and it’s always fun to see how they will turn out. I hope to play with this again soon. Until the next post, toodles!