Guest post: DIY spring floral manicure

If you follow this blog regularly you already know that Katherine and I are obsessed with all things nail polish. Our favourite nail polish topic? Nail art. This spring has seen everything from demure to outlandish – the major trends in nails are two-toned, ombre and metallic manis.

I only know a handful of people who are more engrossed in nail trends than I am – and one of those gals is Muqu Ahsan. She’s the brain behind holdingthings.com, a DIY nail blog that’s dedicated to her weekly nail art paired with cool objects. She describes it as: “NAILS with crushes on THINGS worth crushing on.” When she’s not painting, you’ll find her scouring the city for delicious desserts, which she will inevitably order and eat even before her main course arrives.

By Muqu Ahsan

Looking for a spring style update without breaking the bank? Nail art! Cheap, easy and impactful. Best of all? You can do it from home while couch dancing to your fave tunes and sipping on a nice glass of red. Confession: Before I was a nail person, I was heavily fascinated by espionage (OK, so I still am). Not the kind of espionage you see on CSI – more like Penny and Brain from Inspector Gadget. For instance, immediately after I met someone, I would practise scanning them from top to bottom, trying to create a mental picture, just in case one day I was asked to become a witness. Why is this relevant? Because it became clear to me that people need to take bigger risks with their nails. With all of the amazing tools out there, it’s easier than ever. The not-so-secret rule? ANYTHING GOES!

INSPIRATION:
This spring is all about colour and pattern play. And no one does it better than the incredibly talented designer Mary Katrantzou.  She has a keen eye for mixing bold graphics with equally bold colours. Plus, with the launch of her capsule collection for Topshop this week, one of her creations could be hanging in your closet at a fraction of the usual cost.

OK, in theme with my blog, holdingthings.com, I’ll tell you about what I’m holding and then I’ll show you how to do your nails in seven easy steps. Let’s get bright together!

THING:
You may not realize it, but your makeup bag deserves a spring refresh too. This bright tangerine cosmetic bag, found at Sephora, has compartments to separate your brushes from your products. It’s the perfect way to add some vitamin C to your mornings. LOVE!

NAILS:
Mary Katrantzou inspired my floral-print colour-blocked nails. It’s much easier than it looks.

TOOLS:
To recreate this look you will need the following:

  • Black nail polish (or any dark colour will do)
  • Four contrasting bright colours
  • Toothpick
  • Bobby pin
  • Foil
  • Cotton swabs

STEP 1:
Paint your nails with one coat of black polish. I used Sally Hansen Night Flight.

STEP 2:
Select your four contrasting colours and dab a small puddle of each on a piece of foil (or any other non-porous surface that you don’t mind staining with polish). I used Color Madnic Bright Blue, OPI Red My Fortune Cookie, Color Madnic Sonic Yellow and Color Madnic Bright Pink.

STEP 3:
Straighten/bend your bobby pin so that it becomes a dotting tool for your nails. Dip one end of it into your first polish colour and then begin dotting the colour onto your nails, starting from the top. Alternate the size of your dots by switching between the bobby pin and a toothpick. I started out with Color Madnic Bright Blue.

STEPS 4, 5 and 6:
Continue the same technique as above, switching nail polish colours (you should have three colours left). Stick to a horizontal dotting effect to create a strong colour block. From a distance, the varied dot sizes on top of your black polish base will look like flowers.

STEP 7:
Clean off any excess nail polish from your cuticles with cotton swabs. To maintain a unique bumpy texture on your nails, go over a few of the dots with a top coat instead of using a brush. And voilà – you’re done!

For more nail inspiration follow @MUQUahsan on Twitter and check out her blog, holdingthings.com.