Nail Art 101: Spring Colors. Using Pigments As Gel Polish!

Gel polishes are fun, but they can be pricey, and you never can just buy one, not with the way hot pink complements lime green. Can I get a witness? Racking up $100 in nail supplies can be just as disheartening as not buying any at all. Thankfully, I have a less expensive alternative! Pigment powder for nail art. Yes, that’s right! Pigment powders are not only good for doing art on top of the nail, but they can also be used as gel polish. I am going to tell you how. To watch me use pigments as gel polish check out the video below

Pigment powders in their containers

One of the most exciting parts of being a nail artist is doing pretty artwork that catches the eye. We want our artwork so extraordinary that everyone who sees, inquires about our services. With so many different styles and techniques, there is no way you could go wrong. Find solace in knowing, someone will like your work! Even if you are not proficient in one area, there is an area that you do well and with continued practice, that skill will only get better.

Nail Art

Beginning a career as a nail tech is thrilling, but it is also frustrating to decide which products are best, especially if you are on a budget. One of the first things we want to do when beginning our journey is to buy EVERYTHING. I can’t blame you either. When shopping for nail supplies, in no time my cart is full of pink glitter, neon butterflies, teal, and raspberry-colored acrylic. So much so, I often must delete a few items before checking out. Imagine the heartbreak. If you are unsure where to start, check out my post: Nail Equipment List. I go over the necessary tools to get started as a nail tech. I have also included a few websites I use for my nail supplies.

There are endless nail art possibilities when using gel polish. Sadly, a lot of beginner nail techs limit those possibilities by opting out of performing gel polish services. Fear of shaky hands and uneven coats seem to get the best of us. Watch my video if you are having trouble perfecting your technique. I show how I apply gel polish. Hopefully, it will give you a little spring inspiration as well.

Now that it is finally spring, bright neon colors set this season off and put you in the mood for summer. Pigment powders are a great option if you are still building a gel polish inventory. So, what do you need to use pigment powders as gel polish? Of course, pigment powder, check my previous post for suppliers. You will also need a gel topcoat, preferably one with a non-wipe formula, a spatula, curing light, a flat (size two or four) nail art brush, and a palette or something to mix your pigments on. You will also need acetone to clean any polish left on the skin. That step needs to be done before curing.

Using the tip of your spatula, scoop out a small amount of pigment powder, place it on your palette. Take the topcoat and gently shake three to four drops onto the pigment you just scooped out and placed on the palette. Now, use the spatula and mix the topcoat into the pigment. Keep mixing until all powder is wet. Your mixture should have a smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add more topcoat and if the mixture is too thin, add more powder. That is all it takes. You have just made gel polish! Use your flat brush and apply.

Palettes for mixing polish
Base and topcoat
Nail art brushes. Size 4: Blue brush and size 2: White brush
A cuticle pusher and spatulas

It is quite easy to use pigment powders as gel polish. They do not replace well-formulated polishes, but they do get the job done if you are in the process of building your supplies. Not to mention, using pigments is budget-friendly. If you are polishing the natural nail, use a base for better nail plate adhesion. Do not let having a small inventory discourage your nail process. Use what you got and get to doing some eye-catching nails!

Nail art using pigments as gel polish

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