I’m loving doing nail art at the moment and trying the different brands and tools to see which work best to do what with. I recently used the Zircon gel varnish from Red Carpet Manicure as it’s such a pretty, sparkly turquoise it just screamed summer to me so I wanted to use it while the sun is still out here in the UK, we’re having a surprisingly sunny summer where I live. After a few days of just this I decided to have a go at some mermaid themed nail art using two of the summer Models Own Soft Pop collection; Lilac Flush and Sugar Rush as I really like the purple and turquoise combination plus blue just goes with anything beach or water themed for me.
I love the sparkle in the Zircon, it’s turquoise and slightly gold and the fact that the gel itself is a more jelly look and slightly clear means you get to see all the layers underneath. I think next time I use it I’ll try with a white base as it took four coats and even then you could still see where the nail tip started which is something that annoys me on my own nails as I like to paint and anything that shows paint under my nails through it always looks a bit odd to me. That was part of the reason for doing some nail art on it as well. It’s been on for over a week and so far no pealing so happy with this so far. I sealed this with the gel top coat as you’re meant to because I wasn’t sure if I’d do nail art on top or not so the nail art is sat on top of the sealed gel.
This is the first time I’ve used both Models Own on top of a gel for nail art and the nail art tools themselves and I love the combination. For me the Models Own formula is pretty much the best for nail art as, with the tools, you only need one coat and it dries within a minute or two. The parts with the larger areas of colour, mainly the thumbs, did need a second coat as I used the brush in the bottle but the first coat was set by the time I’d finished the other nails so it was very quick using them. For ore information on the actual colours I did a full review here with the complete Soft Pop collection. I do love the neon pastel look and the purple in this is so bright, though it does look more pink than purple and in some lights almost seems slightly orange so it’s a bit of an odd colour, but very pretty.
I always find that, with these kinds of design, adding the outline just finishes them for me. I really like the way the scales on the thumbs turned out and the outline and colours on the bubbles with the white and silver plus the darker version of the purple and blue. I used the silver, black and white from the Rio Professional Nail Art Pen set in original and the light blue and purple from the neon one, though the black and white are in both and I don’t see any difference I’m just using up my older ones first. I did seal this all with a gel top coat to see how well it lasts compared to using a regular one as I often find that using a regular top coat on top of the gel one to seal any nail art means it tends to peal after a few days and has to be reapplied a few times while the gel base still sticks. So far it’s been three days and no hint of pealing and it’s stuck well on top of the normal nail varnish so I think I’ll be using this method in the future.
I am so happy with how these turned out, my hands were a little shaky and the detail on my right hand, when using my left, isn’t as precise as I’d like or it’s a bit wavy on the lines but I like the overall effect and that these shapes are all ones that can look ok when you don’t have the steadiest hands. I think my favourites are the thumbs, the ones with waves and the bubbles but I do really like the seaweed effect one, it just looks a lot like oddly coloured flames to me so I’ll probably be using that design around bonfire night maybe to do some bonfire nails.