Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easy Peasy Lava Nails

Today I have a decidedly non-Eastery (well...unless you're going for a Good Friday/Holy Saturday look, I suppose) manicure to show you. I've been intending to do lava nails for some time, and I finally did. Fortunately, I absolutely love them! I can't stop looking at my nails, which, while vain, is how I know when I've done something I'm really satisfied with. For your benefit, I took pictures along the way and did a little tutorial. First, here's the finished product:

indoors, artificial light

I think it looks pretty cool! My favorite thing about this manicure, though, is that it's stupidly easy to do. I kid you not - all you absolutely have to have that some people might not is a black or grey crackle nail polish. Here are the steps, and you can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you like. I left them as small as possible to avoid making the post a bazillion miles long.


1) Apply base coat - this is especially important because you're using colors that tend to stain - and a red base. I used Ulta Silk Wrap Base Coat and one coat of OPI Red My Fortune Cookie, which is my absolute favorite red. I'm not sure what the black dot on my nail is, but I left it alone since I knew I'd be covering it up anyway. Also, sorry for my gross-looking fingers throughout this post.


2) Splotch on some orange. I used a dotting tool and OPI A Good Man-darin is hard to find, but you could use just about anything since you're not going for perfect, round dots - a pencil eraser, the head of a pin, a toothpick - use your imagination if you have to. :)


3) Splotch on some yellow in the same fashion. I used Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta. As you can see, the design kind of looks like crap at this point, which is the beauty of the whole thing - this really isn't nail art.


4) I clearcoated the whole nail with Wet n Wild Clear to keep the final product from looking quite so lumpy and to ensure that the crackle would crack properly, but that's really a matter of personal preference. You can probably skip this if you choose.


5) Crackle time! I used China Glaze Black Mesh, but you could use any other black crackle, and I imagine China Glaze Cracked Concrete would look good as well. As with any crackle manicure, try to work quickly and use even strokes.


6) Clean up your fingers with polish remover, add top coat (I used Seche Vite), and ta da! You're done. *looks around for obnoxious red button* *pushes* That was easy! Now go show off your fierce lava nails to all your friends.

25 comments:

  1. ooow i like this a lot!! :)

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  2. I love that crackle makes this looks 100 times more complicated, but it's not at all!!! Great colors!

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  3. Thank you! I do love manicures that look hard, but really aren't. :)

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  4. I am trying that with my black shatter..ASAP.. this is awesome!

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  5. Thanks! Please post pictures; I want to see! :)

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  6. It looks like dying embers in the bonfire. Neat!!!

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  7. This is sooo awesome. I love it and am gonna steal it at some point in life.
    I wish that you didn't have to use topcoat on a crackle to make it stay though..that texture in the second to last photo is so cool and I would love to be able to keep it.
    Maybe a matte topcoat would do that.

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  8. So creative I love this and I'm so going to copy thanks for the coolest lava nails!

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  9. Thanks! I find that the China Glaze crackles actually stay fairly well without top coat.

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  10. Aww this looks great :) I had something like this before (http://marjoontheblog.com/2011/04/catlattim-notd-cracked/) But I loved your lava nails :) I'll definitely try to recreate it myself :)

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  11. Ooooh, pretty lava... can't stop staring :)

    Great job :)

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  12. So creative I love this and I'm so going to copy thanks for the coolest lava nails!

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  13. JacQueline KellerJuly 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Hi!  I recently did my nails like lava and then thought I might find some other neat ones if I did a Google search!  Sure enough! I'm glad to have found you blog! 
    This is a great step by step!  I like the yellow underneath.

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  14. JacQueline KellerJuly 20, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    PS: I posted a link to this tutorial in my blog post.  I hope this is okay!

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  15. Thanks! I don't mind that you posted a link at all - it just gives me more traffic. :)

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  16. this looks awesome.  Interested that you use top coat BEFORE crackle - mine never shatters properly if i use a top coat first ?  xx

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  17. I've found that crackles won't work properly if you use them over a fast-drying top coat, but that they work fine over a simple clear coat, which is why I used Wet 'n' Wild Clear in that step instead of SH Insta-Dri or Seche Vite.

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