ND11: Clay Cubes

Nail Design Eleven: Clay Cubes.

I decided I needed a design that explained my short nails, and this is the reason:

image from potteryblog.com

Clay! I've taken up pottery, and unfortunately, you are supposed to have short nails for ceramics, so chop-chop went my nails.

But, on the other hand (haha!) it gave me an idea for a manicure...and so I went looking for a clay colored nail polish that would complement pink nail polish (pink for October = Breast Cancer Awareness).

This October there were a number of pink polishes released for Breast Cancer Awareness, but at the time I was looking I couldn't get my hands on any, so I stopped by my local drug store and found this pink little gem: Bubblegum Pink by Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear. The name fits this lacquer perfectly since it's a nice shade of mid to light pink. What's not really seen in all the photos is the tiny silver shimmer that is visible in the polish bottle.

Onto the clay colored polish! I went for a light gray shade since I use gray colored clay. I picked up Wet Cement by Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear the same day I picked up the pink. I thought it would make a great polish for nail art. Unfortunately, as is later visible in some of the photos, this polish was both goopy and runny...so, not so good for layering or for nail art. If you are looking for a cheaper-end gray shade of polish to use for a full on manicure, I think this polish might work for that, you just need to make sure to watch the brush handle and make sure no polish drips off in random spots (as happened to me).

Step 1 is to simply lay down the bottom color.

This is two coats of Bubblegum Pink with a top coat.

Step 2 is the first cube to make. The idea I went with here is that you'll only want three rows and three columns of cubes, so you have to gauge how large of a cube to make, so the others will be about equal size on the nail.

Begin vertically or horizontally by placing both strips of tape, so both inside edges of the tape are at points of one third and two thirds of the nail across or down. If you have longer nails, the vertical length of this first square may be longer than the horizontal length thus making all the squares into rectangles, but unless that shape difference will bother you, you can still have three even rows at the end of this manicure.

After placing the first two strips either vertically or horizontally, place the second set of strips the opposite way, so that a square (or rectangle) is formed. Fill in with the second color of polish and immediately remove the tape strips in the direction they were laid down, being careful to not pull the tape strips at an angle (because that could possibly pull unwanted "strings" of the polish onto the bottom color of polish).

For Step 3, you will need 4 thin strips of tape for each nail. First put down two strips vertically so each outer-most side of the square is covered vertically. Then use the other two strips to cover the horizontal outer-most edges of the centered (first) square.

From here, make sure the tape is pressed down enough so that no polish will seep under the tape, and paint the second color in the squares that have been formed by the tape; so that one square is diagonally upper right to the center square, another square is diagonally upper left to the center square, and the third and forth blank square spaces to be filled are diagonally bottom right and left.

Remember for this step, when placing the tape on the center square, you want just the tiniest bit of each corner of the square to show, so that when you lay down the second color of polish, it will either meet or barely overlap each corner, connecting the squares.

Step 4 is to simply add top coat.

Especially if you have used the same colors I chose to use, a top coat is needed not only to seal in the polish, but also to even out the layers.

And here is an extra look at the manicure. I'm holding a pink dish glove I got this month that supports Breast Cancer Awareness. It's nice they make pink polish for Breast Cancer Awareness, especially for those of us that love polish, so we can wear pink to support a great cause, but I also like the fact that in October, so many other products that aren't usually available in pink, are available in that color - and all to celebrate and support Breast Cancer Awareness.

So what do you think of this manicure? I really wouldn't recommend using the colors I used. Perhaps a matte gray over Bubblegum Pink would have worked better than Wet Cement because it would have been more opaque, less runny, and faster drying.

While I'm mentioning the drying time of the polish I chose, I'd also like to point out that while I thought Wet Cement was dry when I moved on from Step 2 to 3, it clearly wasn't because you can see where I had to go back and glob in some polish into the middle square to cover where the polish pulled off the nail. From time to time, this may happen in nail art if you're using an adhesive product over it (like blue tape) - and especially if it is done without sealing the layers of polish in with a top coat first - so don't be afraid if you have to go back in and add a dab of polish here or there, a good top coat will be able to smooth it all out in the end, and the incident will be unnoticeable afterwords.

Hope you've enjoyed this October manicure...let me know any thoughts or ideas you might have on it - or if you try it!