Sunday, December 2, 2012

Aurora Nails Tutorial

Alright, Nail Friends!

I got a few requests on facebook last night to do a tutorial on how I did my aurora nails and seeing as I hadn't painted my right hand yet...I took pictures as I went! So let me show you how this....

Left hand madness!
...came to be!

PIC HEAVY and looooong

these nails aren't as difficult as they seem. The biggest thing to remember about this it looks TERRIBLE until it is done. So don't stress and you'll be amazing!

Tools you'll need:
makeup sponge
cup of water
orange stick or equivalent
teeny pointy paint brush

Step 1: Base Coat
Cult Nails Time Traveler
I decided to go with a navy for the night sky. It all but gets covered up, so you don't really need perfect coverage. Any navy will do.

Step 2: Sponging

So over the blue on the tips I sponged on Glitter Gal Bruised Ego.

really hard to get a picture of!
Possible other colors could be Color Club Wild At Heart or Jade Fascinio Violeta. Basically a holo dark purple. The holo sparkles help the illusion of a starry night sky. I suppose darker blue holo could work as well.

And then, after staring at some picture of auroras (seriously, google "aurora" for this. I put away my snow colors when I realized the snow looks black most of the time too!) Then from the base to the middleI sponged on Zoya Caitlin (oops forgot to take a picture!) and then Zoya Robyn over that!

So messy! :D

Step 3: DOTS

If you have been reading AOTNF at know how much I LOVE DOTS. But we're doing subtle dots this time. They represent stars in the sky. But they do not need to be perfect...AT ALL. Sinful Colors Snow Me White. The key here is to not over-dot. I see that a lot on galaxy nails where people are saying they don't like it and it could have been better. They over-dot or dot too large. Stars are teeny pinpoints of light. I actually took a long striper brush and used that to dot instead of a dotter.
All of the stringyness!
After I did the dots I slapped on a layer of topcoat. (hk girl, to be exact!) I like this next step to be on a smooth surface.

Step 4: That's right! We're WATERMARBLING!

This is not a tutorial on watermarbling. I'm not good enough at it to make one of those yet. there are tons online you can check out, but there's one difference here. We're only using one color. One drop of polish in the water per fingernail. I swirled it around... a lot longer than traditional water marbling probably wants you do, but I wanted it to be aurora-y...not just a blob of color on my finger. I used Zoya Wednesday on this hand (because I forgot I used China Glaze For Audrey on the other hand. I think For Audrey marbled a little better.)

This is when you look at it and go, "what the hell have I done..."
So yeah. That looks TERRIBLE! But it's ok! it's what you want! (granted my left hand worked out a lot better...but again, I think that's because I switched polishes on myself like I said. Anyhoo, The tealy color balances out the blue and purple we have going on. 

So now that that mess is all over our fingers, grab your teeny brush. This is where we get arty!

Step 5: Touch Up The Lights

I think the main key here is keep it to 2 colors and white and DON'T paint everywhere. A little goes a loooong way on this step. So I took China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard (any neon green will do though. Unless you're doing a purple aurora. then likely a green will not work. haha) and followed the watermarble swirlies to make them pop! Now, auroras fade out near the edges, so I picked a spot to be the bright part and only painted in the middle of it, letting the edges fade out into the teal. Looking at pictures of the Northern Lights really helps in this step. 

It STILL looks like a 4 year old ran across my nails. This is OKAY.
as you can see I over-painted on the ring-finger. I have an easy-fix for that in a bit. (Painting with my left hand is haaard. excusesexcuses)

So since my auroras are green, my brighter color is going to be yellow. So I take my yellow (China Glaze Happy Go Lucky) and paint an even smaller area inside the green.

This whole time my fingers have been upside down. Snapdoodles.
Then just for the super-bright parts I used my Sinful Snow Me White to just barely dot the yellow in the brightest point.

At this point I stared at my hands, showed them both to my boyfriend (the left was done already) and cried, "this looks nothing like the first one! D: and he said, "but it's not done" and I calmed down. So if you're freaking out at it right're fine. Trust me.

Step 6: Trees and nature and stuff!

So what ties this all together is the nature silhouette. A lot of pictures of auroras are taken from an angle that the brightness of the Lights makes all the surrounding nature, well. Black. Cult Nails Nevermore is my black of choice. (for everything. seriously. best black ever.)
I outlined a hill. doesn't matter where on the nail, just try not to make it too high. Then trees? Literally just squiggly lines. Anywhere you think there needs to be a tree. squiggle it on there. Cover up anything you think looks bad. I covered MOST of my ring finger with black. Nature does its own thing! So once the trees/bushes/moose are squiggled in you look at it. It looks ok. You think...that Adventures Of The Nail Friends. She duped me! This isn't fancy! But you sigh and think, 'i've been doing this for awhile. I may as well finish. So you cover it with your favorite top coat and HOMG MAGIC HAPPENS AND IT LOOKS AMAZING! (those were my exact emotions upon doing this mani.)

I love it when it all comes together.

So there you have it! My incredibly long, wordy and pic-filled explanation on how I made these nails! I hope that you will give them a shot! I think they're worth it. ^_^

lefty (secret christmas treeeee)

The left hand

Aurora Nails~!

Until next time, Nail Friends!
Same nail polish time, same nail polish channel!


  1. This is so amazing!! Definitely one of my top 5 favorite manis!

    1. Oh wow. Thank you so much! I'm honored! I hope this helps you do this on your nails! ^_^

  2. Thank you for the tutorial! I may attempt them, the watermarble has me a bit freaked out though. I really dislike watermarbling! :) But since it is only one color.......hmmm.... :)

    1. I'm pretty terrible at watermarbling to be honest. With just the one color it's a lot easier haha. You aren't going for opaque color, just a guideline for the aurora itself. ^_^

  3. Very clearly written--thanks so much for the tutorial! This is going straight to my 'to do' file. =)

    1. Post a picture for me when you do it! I'd love to see! I'm glad to know it makes sense. I have a tendency to ramble sometimes. ^_^

  4. 1/3rd of your pageviews on this post are going to be just me, k. I'm just going to leave this open and stare in wonder once in a while. It's almost as amazing as the real aurora ;)

    1. ^_^ well thank you. I'll be sure to check my pageviews and then i'll do some math. Figure out how long you stared at it haha.

  5. haha when you were talking about the trees i got the voice of Bob Ross in my head. "Just put the happy little trees where they need to go..."

    1. I listen to ALL the time. You can download it for free from melodysheep haha.

  6. These are pure amazing and so beautiful!! I'd been thinking of doing aurora nails as well, but wasn't sure yet how I wanted to go about it yet. This is definitely inspiring!

    1. I'm glad they inspired you! When you do aurora nails I'd love to see them!

  7. Not only is this super gorgeous and amazingly impressive, it was so fun to read !! ;)

    1. Thank you so much! I always feel like I'm rambling on, so it's good to hear that what I type makes sense and is fun! ^_^

  8. You did an excellent job on your nails and the tutorial!!! Absolutely Beautiful!

  9. You did an excellent job on your nails and the tutorial!!! Absolutely Beautiful!

  10. You did an excellent job on your nails and the tutorial!!! Absolutely Beautiful!

  11. You did an excellent job on your nails and the tutorial!!! Absolutely Beautiful!

  12. I just found your blog from FB your nails are amazing. I love space nails and must try some soon :)

  13. These are so freaking amazing!!!!