Step by Steps


1st place Professional Beauty Dublin – Nail Art Photographic Competition.

Theme: Neverland

When I heard about the theme Neverland, Peter Pan immediately came to mind. I Googled on Peter Pan and came up with the following image. I knew that the idea of Peter Pan would be quite an obvious choice so I needed to think about how this particular image could be different.

A colleague of mine joked with me and said cant you make the flute. I laughed at her, but her words stuck with me. I knew that that would be the “out of the box” idea that would make this image a little different to the others. So I researched the colors, shape and design of the flute and started working it out with nail products. I had my challenge cut out for me.

Start off by measuring your models nailbeds and selecting a pinch stick that is suitable for each nailbed. Seal the pinch stick with scotch tape or kitchen cling wrap.

Apply a camouflage builder gel to the entire surface of the pinch stick. Cure for 3 – 4 minutes. Slide the cured gel tube off the pinch stick. Remove the tacky layer from the inside and outside of the cured gel tube.

Place all gel tubes in a row. I would recommend creating one or two extra in case of any unexpected breakage. You will need 8 gel tubes for your design.

Using a 180 grit file straighten up the top of the gel tubes.

With a 180 grit file even out the surfaces of all gel tubes. Using a buffer, repeat the step to remove any uneven spots or deep scratches.

Place all gel tubes in a row. Check the position of the fingers of your model once more to ensure that you shorten the gel tubes to the right length.

Shorten the gel tubes using a 180 grit file. File the bottom part of the gel tube at an angle to ensure that these mirror the shape of the cuticle and slide onto the fingers easily.

Using a brown glitter acrylic powder create two thin strips on a baking sheet. This will be used to hold all the gel tubes together.

Place the acrylic strips over the gel tubes before they are completely cured so that they are flexible enough for you to wrap them around the edges of the gel tubes and establish the shape for the final placement later.

 Using thin gold metal wire, wrap it around the acrylic strips to create a criss-cross design.

 Paint the gel tubes using light mustard acrylic paint. 

Using a fan brush dipped in brown and beige acrylic paint, lightly brush over the gel tubes to create a wooden grain effect. Seal the gel tubes with matte top gel. Cure and cleanse. This gives the gel tubes a real matte, wooden effect.

Attach the acrylic strips to the gel tubes using clear acrylic powder. Prep the natural nails and attach the flute to the nails using a bead of acrylic clear powder.

Extend the natural nails of the second hand with camouflage acrylic powder.
File into shape.

Apply two layers of white soak off gel polish to the nails and cure.

Using a thin application brush and white gel paint, paint on the veins of the leaf. The gel paint has a thicker consistency than the soak off gel polishand creates a slight embossed effect in the design. Cure the gel paint.

Select two green soak off gel polishes or color gels, one dark green and one bright green. Using a gel sponge, start off with the darker green at the cuticle area and create an ombre effect. Using a new gel sponge dipped in bright green, sponge from the free edge towards the middle of the nail allowing the two colors to meet and blend in the middle. Cure. Repeat these steps for a more intense color if necessary.

Through the embossed effect of the gel paint and the sponging technique the veins of the leaves are created.
Seal the nails with top gel. Cure and cleanse.

Nail Tech: Tracey Lee

Photographer: Henny Sep

MUA: Dunia Erich

Model: Emilie van Helleputte