Salon quality nails without the salon quality small talk!
The banana leaf print is, like, THE print of summer 2013. It's on jeans, dresses, suits, scarves, shoes, hats, shirts, skirts, carpets, pillows, now NAILS. But the most glamorous use of the print has to be on the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is perfectly fitting as it was designed especially for the hotel back in 1942.
You can find the original "Martinique" print for purchase online, in wallpaper and fabrics alike. But, like, why not nails? Well, you probably can find some sort of nail appliqué with the print somewhere online, it's THE INTERNET where anything is possible. But more impressive than correctly applying nail wraps (which is quite an achievement in and of itself), is free-handing the design on your own nails.
Shhh, shhhh, my babies. It's easy, I promise. Let's do this.
You'll need a white polish, along with three striper shades: one in white, along with two contrasting greens.
Start by painting your nails white. I used two coats of Butter London's "Cotton Buds"--a stark, true white.
Now to start creating the leaves.
They're basically two curved strokes filled in. Above are a variety of shapes to use as you paint a small collage of 5-7 leaves of varying sizes on each nail. It's okay to see brushstrokes and if some of the white peaks through- it'll add detail to the look of the leaves. I'm using Art Club's "Emerald" for the darker green, and Color Madnic's "Green" as the lighter shade.
Add detail to the leaves by painting a stem down the center of each with the opposite green. Use your white striper (Art Club's White Duo Pen) to create little tears in the leaves by painting a teeny notch at their sides. I'm just now realizing that this isn't only a striper brush, but that it also has a itty needle-point pen on top, which works way better for creating the tears. The white notches might protrude a bit, but once the topcoat is applied they'll melt down as part of the design.
Apply a super shiny topcoat. I don't know WHY I've waited so long to try Seche Vite, but Claire encouraged me to pick up a bottle during our last shopping trip and I'm glad she did. It's AMAZING. Thick, super shiny, and quick drying. This is one of those products that I straight-up command that you go out and purchase.
Be sure to load the brush with a healthy amount of polish and spread it on the nail quickly so that it doesn't thicken up during application. I'm making it sound much harder to use than it is, even if you apply it unevenly, it'll spread and dry beautifully.
Here's a video of me finishing off my last nail--the smallest one--WITH MY LEFT HAND.
As always, send me photos if you try this look yourself!