Nails by Asami: August 2009
A “cupcake manicure” was a suggestion from an anonymous reader, so thank you to her for this adorable theme. I wish I had designed this look last month so I could have worn it for my birthday.
This is a time-consuming design, so only two to three cupcakes is recommended.
The first step is to decide what you’ll use for the cupcake’s “sprinkles.” If you have colored bullion beads like I used, they are ideal but you have a few other options available. (I know bullion beads can be a bit tricky to find, especially colored ones. My mom sent me these while she was in Japan, but I’ve also seen them at Sally’s Beauty Supply and on the internet.)
Tiny colored gemstones would also be cute, and they’re much easier to find. Sally’s of course, drugstores like CVS or Rite Aid, or a craft store like Micheal’s would have them. I’m always surprised by how many great nail art decorations drugstores actually have.
Alternatively you could dip a toothpick into different colored nail polishes to achieve the same effect. It may not seem as fun, but you’ll have the benefit of completely flat nail art. Sometimes 3D items like beads and gemstones can bother some people; if that applies to you then I’d go with colored nail polish dots as your sprinkles.
I chose to start off with a basecoat because yellow nail polishes can sometimes stain your nails. While it’s not true for all yellows, it’s a good idea to take this extra step just in case. If you do not have a basecoat you can apply any clear topcoat instead to protect your nails from a yellow stain.
I’m using OPI’s “Banana Bandanna” as my cupcake color. This is a creamy “banana pudding” color that will serve well as our yellow cake base. Pictured above is three coats.
Rather than buy a light brown acrylic craft paint, I’m going to create the exact shade I need by adding a drop of classic brown to a few drops of white. (If you buy a white, black, brown, red, blue and yellow acrylic paint you’ll be able to make absolutely any color. Acrylic paint is very easy to mix so it’s never necessary to buy more than those.)
Acrylic paint is sold at craft stores like Micheal’s for 99 cents a bottle. I like to mix my shades on a piece of tinfoil because it’s easy to see exactly what color I’m getting, and I can just throw it away when I’m finished.
Start by making a horizontal line for the bottom of your cupcake, and a few vertical lines as well. Don’t worry about making them perfectly straight, as the slight crookedness of your vertical lines will add a bit of charm to the overall style of the cupcake.
Here’s a closeup of the bottom of our cupcake.
Paint on a mound of white acrylic paint to represent frosting and while it’s still wet, adhere your sprinkles. If you’re dotting on colored nail polish instead of using 3D decorations, then obviously wait a few moments for the white acrylic paint to dry.
Here’s what your cupcake should look like at this point. If you like, you can add a few darker stripes over the light stripes for a bit more depth. Finish off with a clear topcoat to keep your sprinkles on and to protect your acrylic paint work.
That’s it! Your cute cupcakes are finished.