Friday, January 11, 2013

A Wintry Mix - Saran Wrap Nails

We've had so much snow the past few weeks; it's finally melting away, but for the time between the day after Christmas to this past Monday, you couldn't even catch a glimpse of the grass around here! I kind of hate it, but it did kind of make me want to do something wintry with my nails, anyway.

This manicure isn't going to be for everyone.  I myself go back and forth between liking it and being "meh".  It's really out there!

I've got on two coats of OPI Axxium gel in "Gone Gonzo!" This color is almost exactly the same as the regular nail polish (RNP) version from OPI's Muppets collection; a clear base filled small light blue glitter and larger hexagonal glitter in silver.  My glitter is a little sparser than other swatches I've seen online of the RNP (here's a link to a post for comparison), but I think this is just due to my laziness mixing up the color.  My nail beds show through--I'm sure you can tell that even with the white on top of it--but it kind of adds to the layering of the manicure, I think.  It's pretty awesome, though! The glitter moves with your fingers, rather than looking like a sheet on your nails, if that makes sense.  The best way I can describe it is that it looks like the blinking lights on a house or a tree at Christmas time.  Axxium IS thicker than other gels, and people comment on the thickness when they look closely at my fingers--they've described it as looking kind of like I have fake nails on.  But I don't mind it, in fact I kind of like how the thickness makes my nails feel sturdier.

Anyway, on top of that I have Red Carpet Manicure (RCM) in "White Hot".  I had a little problem doing detail work with this polish in my last manicure, and this time I noticed something... my problem ISN'T this gel polish, it's the layer of Axxium gel I'm putting it on! For some reason Axxium leaves a more slippery surface than other gel polishes, so when I tried to layer the thinner bottled polish on top of it, it kind of wanted to bead up instead of leveling out. 

I tried to videotape how I did this manicure, but it came out really badly, so I'll post a short step-by-step instead (really short, this saran wrap/cling wrap thing is ridiculously easy to do!)

  1. Start out with your first color, and paint and cure as normal.  You can decide if you want to build the polish up to full opacity or not, considering the final product will give your nails a very mottled look anyway.
  2. For the second mottled layer, you first paint a coat of a second color onto your nail.  You can lay this one on a little thicker than you usually would, and you don't have to worry about making sure you get as close to your side walls or your cuticles as you would with your foundation layers.
  3. Before you cure the second color, ball up a little piece of saran wrap, and dab it over the polish.  Since the polish won't dry on its own, you can use this saran wrap to play around with the look of your nails a bit--if you dab too much off, use that spot on the saran wrap to put a little gel back onto your nails.  
  4. If you really don't like the "design" on your nail, wipe off with a little alcohol and try again! 
  5. Once you're satisfied with your design, wipe off anything that may have flooded into your cuticles or sides, or even onto your fingers themselves, with a brush soaked with alcohol.  This method shouldn't place much excess gel on your fingers, though, so this step isn't quite necessary!
  6. Cure the color as you normally would, and I would suggest curing every nail as you do it.  Since gel polish is "self-leveling", the design you sponged off your nail will move and change a bit as gravity works on it. 
  7. Top it off with your top coat--you might need two layers to even out the mottling, but you can decide for yourself what looks best.
My color choices make this saran wrap manicure look really over the top, but I imagine it could look totally different with, say, two dark colors like a burgundy and a black or brown.


  1. A saran wrap gel mani?! Who would have thought?? The texture is really kind of cool.. it's very organic looking like a geode or an ice formation. Color me impressed :)

    1. Thank you! :)

      You can thank the properties of the gel polish for that "organic" looking texture, though. I had to cure it fast or it really would have taken on a mind of its own and moved around on my nails!

    2. Just wanted to know I gave you a shout out on my blog on my latest gelcolor post...