You can’t wear one colour across the body. So why stick to it when it comes to the nails? Paint intricate patterns, go 3-D, get crystals encrusted — nail art has never been this big. City salons are spicing up the style with both sexy and soft designs, and there’s now a nail bar in just about every neighbourhood. But, before you begin, there’s a lot you need to know.
All in the details
“Earlier, it was just about clothes and the jewellery you wear. Now, adorning nails with Swarovski crystals and vibrant nail paints is part of decking up. The prices of this service differ on the basis of quality, products used and the technique,” says make-up artist Samantha Kochhar.
For those who think they’re creative enough to give it a shot at home, beauty expert Vishwashanti Shreshta, who also runs a salon called Hair N Shanti, has a word of caution. “While nail art can be done at home, it is always advisable to get it done from professionals because of simple reasons, like it requires great amount of talent and patience,” she says. So, unless you believe that abstracts look as good on claws as they do on canvas, visit the salon.
Quality and quirk
Just as clothes and accessories, it’s detailing that defines good nail art. “Nail art is not simple drawing. It is done with special paints — acrylic colours that have a high gloss level — to achieve the best results. Also, it is done using special brushes. They are fine brushes made of pure sable hair.
You can’t expect to do nail art with nail polishes and the brushes they come with, or with imitation brushes made of pig hair. Using a toothpick will also not get you the desired results,” says Sunil Bajaj of Kiana Nail Academy says. So stay away from the wrong stuff lest your experiment goes all awry.
Spoilt for choice
Needle Nail Art, Marble Nail Art, Tattoo stickers, Permanent Nail Art, 3-D nail art and water nail art are just some types they’re selling. “You can get 10 colours on a single nail. In water nail art, the colour on every nail is same, but the designs are different. In 3-D, it looks as if something is kept on the nail,” adds Bajaj. “Keep the nails long for best results,” suggests Simmi Ghai of Xpressions salon.
In Delhi, learn the craft here
R 6000 for a one week course
At: Pivot Point, Goverdhan Building, Nehru Place
Says trainer Samantha Kochhar, “I teach nail art of various kinds at Pivot Point, from daily wear to bridal wear.”
R 25,000 for a 12-day and R 38,000 for a 21-day course
At: Kiana Nail Academy
At this academy, the art of gel nail extension, French nails, acrylic nail art, 2-D, 3-D and water nail art. “After the course, students get kits and products worth the course fee free, so that they can start their own nail art parlours and do not forget the importance of using the right tools,” says Sunil Bajaj of the academy.
How to nail the art
Get going: Consider taking a class at your local nail art salon as a beginner, if you wish to try it yourself. The most important thing is that one should make a proper selection of the products to be used.
Know your tools: There are different types of acrylic paints available. You can also use ordinary nail paints for basic designs. There are special kits that professionals order from China and Italy, and these have different types of brushes and paints and a variety of tools that are required for good-quality artistic nail art.
Money matters: Tools for nail art range from R 350 to R 12,000. The special colours cost approximately R 500 for a 100 ml bottle, while powder and liquid products cost approximately R 1,500 for 100 ml.
All about time: Most art stays in place for about 15 days. It takes two to four hours for an amateur to create a design across all fingers.
Take care: Food particles can cause fungal growth in your nails. Wash your hands well. They need to be clean, healthy and hygienic to look and feel good. But, water is also the biggest enemy of nails — so wear gloves while washing clothes or dishes.
In store: Good nail art at salons costs R 1000 and above, depending upon the design. If this does not suit your pocket, you can try psychedelic nail paints rolled out by brands such as Colorbar, Modicare, Maybelline — they come a close second to the real thing.