NAIL ART: Swirly Drybrush Grunge Multichrome Nails

by - January 26, 2022

I feel like inspiration can be just about anywhere - and I do tend to find it in fairly random places. That being said, I wasn't really expecting to find it where I found it for this mani. Picture this - I was just scrolling through TikTok, as you do, and this video came up of a Russian woman doing a really cool painting technique on a wall using metallic paint and plaster, along with some really big mandala stencils. It was such a cool technique and looked gorgeous on the wall, but immediately my mind started percolating with how that technique could translate onto the nails. I ended up straying somewhat from what I originally intended and it was definitely a trust the process type of a situation, but I really, really love the finished product. 

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I actually spent quite a lot of time debating which colors I wanted to choose for this mani. The inspiration paint colors were metallic gold, copper, gunmetal grey and light blue, but I didn't want to directly recreate that vibe. Instead, I ultimately decided on using some shifty shimmers from Color Club for that sort of metallic look but with some added dimension. I started with Matte-erial Girl, which is a matte metallic that's a sort of a pale rose gold with an olive-y sort of shift. For the drybrushing, I decided to go with My Soul Matte, which is a rich purple with a more subtle copper shift, and That's The Spirit, which is a rich royal blue that's super packed full of golden copper shimmer. 

For the actual drybrushing, I still wanted to maintain some opacity that sort of trailed away rather than having a really light application, so I didn't clean the brush off as much as I normally would when doing a drybrushing technique. Ultimately what I wanted was to give the look of there being sort of chunks of each color, so I did 2 or 3 patches of each of the drybrushing colors. At this point in the mani, I hated it. Seriously, trust the process. 

The next part of the technique was the sponged on white, which was intended to mimic the look of sponged on plaster. In order to do this, I used chunks of a fairly look makeup sponge. Personally, I like a more dense makeup sponge for gradients, but a much looser, softer makeup sponge for this kind of technique so that you get that texture. I just ripped a couple of small chunks off the sponge, pinched it between some tweezers and brushed a little bit of white polish onto it (lightly, very lightly) and then dabbed it over the nails carefully until I had the look I wanted.

At this point, I veered off my original course and decided to add some delicate black stamping rather than the white mandala I was planning on based on the inspiration. I didn't want to lose the detail of the base, but I felt like this sort of swirling design would ground the look and add dimension without being too much. As I tend to, I alternated the direction of the stamping placement to get a little bit more interest.

Once I was happy with my stamping, I cleaned up and sealed it in with a layer of nail art top coat before finishing with a generous layer of quick dry glossy top coat. And voila!

All Products Used
Color Club - Matte-erial Girl
Color Club - My Soul Matte
Color Club - That's The Spirit
OPI - Alpine Snow
Maniology - Straight Up Black
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
Sweet & Sour Lacquer Gloss Sauce Top Coat
Pueen Latex Tape Liquid Peel Off Cuticle Guard
Pict You PY-J036 Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper

Honestly, I feel like this technique for the base is such a great one to add to the arsenal. The combination of the chunky drybrushing with the scattered sponging gives a really cool dimension that I feel like really calls to a more fine art sort of a look. It's also super versatile and could be applied in a lot of different ways for a lot of different looks - which is something I'm definitely looking forward to trying out.

If you want to see a video tutorial for how I did this look you can head over to @pblnails on Instagram and be sure to follow me there for all of my nail art tutorials!

Thanks for reading!

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