Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Metal Decals: What they are, and tips for using them in your nail art!



Metal decals are a pretty cool way to accessorize and customize your nails because they share the intricate designs of nail stickers but are WAY more bling and cool to look at, besides being relatively simple to work with. 
They are made of a very soft, thin metal, can be used on acrylic nails or natural nails, and are usually pretty small in size (below 5mm or 2/8"). At this point, I've never seen colors other than silver and gold. 

Purchasing:
They're very affordable (120 pieces in a mixed set usually cost no more than about US$2.50 - 2.99) and come in tons of different shapes.
  • If you're just trying them out and don't NEED to get the hello kitty inspired ones I used, I'd recommend skipping the shipping cost and buying a mixed pack from lightinthebox or bornprettystore.
  • If you can't IMAGINE not using hello kitty metal decals and don't mind paying shipping, then I'd point you to reputable sellers on good ol' ebay who ship internationally.

How To Use:
First you want to apply your base polish of course. Because I'm doing a Hellow Kitty theme, I had to use a hot jelly pink. Try something like China Glaze Heat Index. (I actually toned it down slightly by applying this over a slightly less neon jelly pink I got from Hong Kong beauty supply store Sasa, but you don't need to.)

Now get your decals out. The bigger the decal, the trickier they are to work with, because you need to bend them slightly so they will fit snugly over the curves of your nail. Flat ones would just stick out. 
Tip: It's easier to pre-bend them by pressing them around the curved side of a pen.

Now you can place each piece over the designated nail to see if the curve fits properly. Make sure you leave minimal gaps underneath or it will pop off.

When you're ready to apply it, you can use a bit of clear polish, OR my preferred nail-art adhesive, repositionable craft glue. Just smooth it on where you want the decal to go, and before it's dry, place the decal on.
This is because you might need a bit of time to move it around until you get it into the perfect position or angle, and if you wait for the glue to dry, it would be too tacky to shift the decal.

I seldom ever do uniform fingers, so on my middle finger, I decided to do 2 diagonal stripes using gold holographic striping tape (#28 here). 
Tip: Striping tape has a tendency to lift and start peeling off at the edges after a day or so. To minimize this, always cut off the tape BEFORE the edge of your nail and make sure you apply a thick layer of top coat.

On the thumb I combined both, by using a bow on the top right corner (a la Hello Kitty herself), and 2 additional gold stripes along the bottom.
Tip: Finish by applying 2-3 coats of topcoat just to make sure everything is secure, and the surface is smoothed out so there are no sharp edges. Especially important if you're doing this on a child as they could scratch themselves or rub their eyes.


One Other Idea: 
Use these to bling up your cell phones!

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