This post is a sponsored collaboration with Semilac UK
Straight, freehanded lines in your nail art can be tricky to master but when you have the right combination of tools at your disposable and a few of my tips, you’ll be on your way to nailing the technique.
Having been building on my gel nail art skills since the tail end of last year, I was very eager to try out some gel paints. When I paint fine lines or intricate details on regular polish, I normally use acrylic paint – but as it’s not made with nail art in mind it’s not the ideal material. I find it dries up too quickly and sometimes colours can run between the nail polish and acrylic paint. So I had understandably higher expectations for gel paints, which are developed purely to be perfect for painting details on nails.
The paints and polishes I’ve been experimenting with are from Semilac – a gel brand created in Poland that has recently launched in the UK with a price point that’s pocket friendly for girls like me doing their own gels at home. I got rolling with the Individual Starter Kit and a few additional bottles of the UV Hybrid Gels. The kit contains everything you need to start experimenting at home and a 24W LED lamp which is my favourite lamp I’ve tried to date. It’s very powerful yet compact enough to store away neatly – a must for me!
So let’s move on to why you’re really here – 3 steps to perfecting your freehand lines. As you may have guessed I’m using gels for this and the gel paint certainly helps (cuz, as mentioned, it’s literally made for this!) but you can apply the principles to whatever material you’re working with.
Step 1: Equipment
First thing’s first… get your hands on some Semilac Geltaq and a long, thin brush – also known and commonly sold as a striping brush. The consistency of the Geltaq combined with a longer brush makes for perfect lines because the brush literally follows the paint – more on that later.
The Geltaq paints are really pigmented (and I’m using the white to prove it!) so you don’t have to worry about colour payoff – you can focus your attention on getting poker straight lines! The consistency is quite tacky but it won’t dry out and that’s what you need to really hold your lines and lead your brush.
Step 2: The Dip N Slide
You need to make sure you have just the right amount of Geltaq paint on your brush. Too much paint on the brush and you’re going to end up with wobbly edges and but if you don’t have enough you’re going to find the brush catches and won’t glide smoothly across the nail. It might take a bit of time to find the right balance, but a bit of practice makes perfect.
Dip the end of your brush straight into the paint and slide it along the rim, while turning the brush, to evenly cover the tip with paint.
Step 3: Perfect Lines
It all comes down to this! Take your time and be prepared to hold your breath!
Using light pressure, press the tip of your brush flat to your nail and slowly drag it to create the line. The trick is to use the ‘straightness’ of the brush to guide your painting hand. This is why it’s so much harder to create lines using a brush with short bristles.
Don’t expect the line to be perfect on the first swipe. As you can see, mine are patchy and tend to taper off to start with. They just need going over a few times to get them perfect!
Nail Art Step by Step
(Curing times are based on 24W LED lamp)
1. Prep your nails with a swipe of Semilac Nail Cleaner.
2. Apply one coat of Semilac Base for UV Hybrid Gel. Cure for 30 seconds.
3. Apply first coat of Nude Beige Rose and cure for 30 seconds. Repeat for a second coat.
4. Paint on the Art Deco design using Geltaq 001 Strong White. Cure for 30 seconds.
5. Apply one layer of Top Coat for UV Hybrid. Cure for 60 seconds.
Where to Buy Semilac
Semilac UV Hybrid Gel polishes are available in the UK from semilac.co.uk and you can get 10% off everything using the discount code SEMILAC10. Shades and most of the base/top coat variations are all £8.75 each for 7ml.