Eeeek’s recent post about her feather mani reminded me how much I love this look ! The only thing is, I’m really squeamish about feathers, so I played around with a fanbrush to get the look. Naturally, I had to use Posh Bird by Butter London – it’s an almost 1-coater foil that is just perfect – and you get the pun, I hope 🙂
You will need :
- Base colour – a foil or highly pigmented creme, you don’t want this to be a sheer colour, and it needs to contrast nicely with…
- Detail colour – I used black acrylic paint. You can definitely do this with nail polish, too, but again, it needs to be opaque. Acrylic paint is handy, it dries fast and doesn’t streak when you top coat it
- Fan brush – yep, those funny shaped ones you get in nail art sets. It took me a while to work out what to do with mine, but now I can’t live without it !
- Dotting tool(s) – I used two sizes. If you don’t have dotting tools, you can use knitting needles, hair pins, tooth picks…
First up, a collage, in case you’d like to follow all the steps in one handy image !
My base colour, Posh Bird, is a taupe microglitter. It’s a great polish that covers in almost one coat, so perfect for this nail art. A sheer polish wouldn’t work so well, but of course, feather nails look great in almost any colour 🙂
When it gets down to the fan brush, loading it right is half the battle! I didn’ t load the full brush as mine is quite wide, so as not to waste paint. You need a good amount of paint for opaque feathers, but you don’t want it dripping. If you’re not used to using a fan brush, do practice a little before hand, it’s all about flicking and swishing, just tickle the surface you’re painting, otherwise you may as well use any old brush…
When you add your feathers, flick the brush from the tip of your nail towards the base in a slightly curved line – this will help the feather to trail off for a more realistic effect. If you are using acrylic paint, don’t forget that you can always wipe it off with damp cotton if you go wrong !
2-3 strokes are really enough for a realistic effect. It doesn’t hurt to look at ‘real’ feather nails to see how they usually sit. Don’t be afraid of overlapping a bit, but don’t overdo it.
You can go more or less horizontal or wavy for each nail, vary them a little 🙂
Then add your dots ! Real life feathers aren’t all dotted the same, so there are no hard and fast rules, just place them where you feel they look right.
Again, variety is the key here 🙂
Luckily, acrylic paint cleans up just as easy as creme polish – if not more easily ! Once your clean up’s done and everything’s 100% dry (to avoid smudging/dragging), smooth everything over with your favourite top coat.
Has anyone else tried feather nails? Am I the only one who gets crawly skin about using real feathers?