Saturday, December 28, 2013

How to acrylic nails - 3D bow and red sparkles

3D bows never seem to bore me. They are pretty, sexy, classy and cute at the same time. It can go with almost any design. And the fun part is: They are easy to make when knowing how to work with acrylic. Sure it takes some practice but once you understand how it works, you will be able to create one perfect bow after the other. Handcrafted designs are much desired amongst nail lovers.

After removing the old design and doing prep and prime, I applied the red glitter mix the the free edge and spread it all the way across. To create a fade, I drag my brush upward trough the glitter towards the cuticle. Depending on how far you want your fade to be, you need more or less glitter.

Right before applying the clear acrylic to encapsulate the glitter and forming the nail, I applied a last coat of primer. While the primer is still wet, I applied a big ball of clear acrylic near the cuticle and held her hand in an angle so that it will run downward rather than up. This way prevents lifting problems.
Pat the acrylic all the way across from one side to the other and brush down. Because the ball is large, it should cover the whole area. If you feel like you need more acrylic in some places, you can always add more. The less you use, the less you have to file away. Don't forget to smooth out the acrylic to make filing much easier and faster.

When everything is dry, I filed and shaped the nail to the desire thickness and shape. (You know when the acrylic has hardened when you tap on it with the end of your brush and you hear a "tick tick tick" sound. If you hear a more of a muffled sound like "tok tok", you should wait a little longer)

At this point, I let her wash her hands with warm water and soap to get rid of any dust and residue chemicals.

Now for the fun part! For me personally, it is easier to create the opposite side of the bow first. For example: I am right handed, so I create the left part first. The reason being is: it's much more easy to get an almost exact copy of the left side.
So to create the left hand, I let her flip her hand so that her fingernails are pointing up. Doing this, the left side of the nail will temporary be on the right, making it easier to sculpt with my right hand. (It makes perfect sense in my head, so I hope you understand)

I picked up a small ball of white acrylic with a size 4 oval acrylic brush. On a paper towel, I drained the back of the brush to get rid of any excess monomer. I placed the ball on the right side of the flipped nail and wiped my brush to get rid of the left over monomer. I started pushing the ball in the middle towards the right, creating a flower petal. Depending on how big you want your bow to flair out, you press more and more upwards and downwards. To create the bow shape, I pushed in the right side to the left side. While the acrylic is setting, I keep on pressing lightly to ensure the shape of the bow will stay that way. When that bit is done, I flipped her hand back to normal so the bow on the right will now be on the left. And now you do the same on the right side to create the other part.

To get the center of the bow, also pick up a small ball of acrylic and drain the excess monomer. Place the ball in the middle and let it sit for a couple seconds. With tweezers, I put a Swarovksi crystal right in the middle and pushed it in. Not too hard, but deep enough so it will stay put. If the middle for some reason is not round anymore you can go around it with your brush.

When it has fully hardened, I applied a coat of glaze 'n go on the entire nail. Do NOT put any gel sealer on top of the crystal, or else it will not be sparkly anymore. I let this cure for 3 minutes.



  1. I love your nails! Great work!

  2. Thanks for always being the source that explains things instead of just putting an unjustified answer out there. I loved this post.
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