Nailing it and Failing it

So, all of you know that I am more than apprehensive about my freehand skills. Which is weird, because, all of my first nail arts in 2009 were freehand. There were the smiley faces, SpongeBob, The Simpsons… everything I had done was freehand. And they were pretty good, if I may say so myself.

Then, something happened, and I lost my freehand mojo. I just couldn’t. Gradients, french tips, abstract manis and very recently, stamping became my new best friends. I discovered nail tape and guides and vinyls, splatter manis and all these new techniques that could make my nails look good.

One fine day, I saw this manicure by Sonia of @BadGirlNails. And I was smitten. Those roses were gorgeous. I had to have them on my nails. I. Just. Had. To.

So I tried. I watched her tutorial about a million times (The Instagram one, cuz I’m that lazy), and I practiced on paper. After a dozen or so not-so-great tries, I decided I should be like that kid in The Dark Knight Rises and just take the leap of faith. What’s the worst that could happen? I’d have to take off the mani. Not like I’d plummet to my death or anything…

Anyway, I was rewarded, because the end result looked something like this.

floral manicure
Rose mani inspired by @BadGirlNails

It was gorgeous. I couldn’t stop staring at my own hands. The compliments were flowing, my confidence was soaring! And I decided it was time to invest in Acrylic paints. Because I was that good.

Next, I wanted to try out an Aztec design, and I was like, hey… how hard could it be? So I got this gorgeous base on – a three-colour gradient, that I proceeded to mattify, and I took out my nail art striper brush (because that’s what everyone uses to freehand lines) and I PAINTED DIRECTLY ON MY NAIL.


Acrylic Colors

This is what my supposed Aztec nail looked like.

Gorgeous matte gradient and Aztec nail fail

I felt like crying.

Lessons learned:
1. Practice is key. Practicing your art on paper before you do it on your nails, is just good sense. Plus, even though it seems like it’s more work, it actually is better than having to take off a great base because you screwed up.
2. Confidence is key. Over confidence, isn’t. Seriously. Just because you nailed it once, doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a pro. Stay grounded. PRACTICE again and again.
3. Go with your gut, not the compliments. You know you’re good/not so great with something. Listen to your instinct. Praises can be blinding.
4. It’s great to experiment with new things, but doesn’t hurt to stick with what you know. I knew that I could have drawn the Aztec print with a gel pen like I usually do. I knew that managing a paint brush is one of my weakest capabilities as a nail artist. But I wanted to be cool like all the fancy nail artists and I slipped.

Bottom line, I will try out an Aztec print again some time in the future. And I probably will find some use for the Acrylic paints I bought. But for now, I want to stick with what I know.

Have you guys ever Nailed it and Failed it? Let me know in the comments.

You can also find me on:
Facebook: Lumos.Nails
Twitter: @lumos_nails
Instagram: @lumos.nails
Snapchat: @lumos.nails

Head on and say hi! 🙂


Nail Brush


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