NAIL ART: Flowy Graphic Neon Mermaid Inspired Nails

by - August 01, 2022

As I sat down to do this week's #CBBxManiMonday, I found myself inspired by two things. The first was this mani from @themermaidpolish that I completely fell in love with when I saw it - though I will fully admit that the mani I did is really nothing at all like that one at the end of the day. And the second was mermaids, though again I would say that the inspiration ended up leading to a sort of loose interpretation. Honestly, it didn't even occur to me that all of my inspiration was leading back to Mermaids until just now... but it is what it is. I'm pretty much madly in love with what came out of the inspiration here and I think the combination of the flowy water-like stamping and the bold neon base fits the Summer theme pretty well. 

Keep reading for more!

As I said, I was very much inspired by the mani that I linked above, but I wanted to go with a much cooler color story, so I left out the warm neons and went with much cooler toned shades instead. I decided to grav a cool pink, a very cool purple, a bold blue and a really classic turquoise to meet the mermaid-y vibe that I was going for. For my stamping, I knew that I would be using this sort of flowy, watery image to build on that mermaid vibe and I knew I wanted to apply it in a lighter shade, but rather than grabbing for a white as I usually would, I decided instead to use a very, very light blue stamping polish to soften that contrast a little bit.

Whenever you're going to be doing a sponged gradient on the nails, you're going to want to apply a base polish so that your sponging has something to stick to and build on. I used to just use a coat of the lightest shade in my gradient, but recently I've pretty much exclusively been applying Color Club's Astro-Naughty as a base for these mani's. It's a blue so pale it's nearly white and I find that it makes for a pretty perfect base to build on and applies much more easily than a white créme, which I tend to think of as a bit of a nemesis.

For my sponging, I applied sort of random dots of each polish to a makeup sponge, shooting for balancing but also trying to keep the pink towards the edges of the design as more of an accent. When you're doing this style of sponging, placement of the sponge is super important so that you build rather than blend away the colors - if that makes any sense whatsoever. It really only took me two passes to get the opacity that I was looking for, but I decided that I didn't want the blend to be quite so smooth so I did a third pass with only a very little bit of polish on the sponge to add a little bit of texture to the base. Though it might not be all that obvious because of the placement of the pink polish, I did actually alternate the direction of my sponging to try to break up the design a little as well.

Next, I went in with my stamping and, yet again, alternated the direction of the placement of my design just to add a little bit of dimension to the mani. Again, not sure how much of a difference that made with this particular design.

Once I was happy with my stamping and had cleaned up my edges, I sealed in my design with a nail art top coat and then followed with a generous layer of glossy top coat for shine and volume. And voila!

All Products Used
Color Club - Astro-Naughty
Color Club - Chelsea Girl
Color Club - Peace Out Purple
Color Club - Montego Bae
Color Club - Pucci-Licious
KADS - 003 Light Blue
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
Sweet & Sour Lacquer Gloss Sauce Top Coat
Whats Up Nails B038 Lost At Sea Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper & Scraper
Pueen Latex Tape Liquid Peel Off Cuticle Guard

Even though this really didn't turn out at all like the inspiration or even what I had in my head as I was going along, I'm still kind of obsessed with how it turned out. It can be easy to get into a bit of a rut and forget about techniques like the one that I used to make the base for this mani, so I love taking inspiration from other nail artist's work. It's unlikely that you follow me and don't follow her, but if you aren't already I definitely recommend checking out @themermaidpolish on Instagram!

As always, be sure to head over to Cosmetic Proof and See The World In PINK for more Summer themed #CBBxManiMonday nails and follow me over at @pblnails for video tutorials for all of my nail art designs!

Thanks for reading!

You May Also Like