How To Create Your Own Fluid Nail Art Design

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A few week ago over on Insta Stories I asked for suggestions on what else you would like to see me cover here on the Masterclass Series. One of the replies included trying out Fluid Nail Art, something I’ve not tried out before. It seems to be very similar to water marbling only not, if you know what I mean haha!

Anyway, after taking to YouTube and watching a couple of tutorials, I sat down and begun creating this post. I hope that you find it helpful…

What you will need:

  • Flexible, smooth surfaces that you will be able to peel dried nail polish off from. I’ve cut my silicone nail mat into quarters (not that I’m suggesting you do this - but they are cheap enough to get a hold of from Beauty Big Bang) but you could always use a plastic lid from an empty butter tub or something similar.

  • A choice of 1 or 2 colours. I’ve used 2 colours and a white to use inbetween

  • Base and topcoat

  • Nail polish remover and cleanup brush

  • Cotton rounds

  • Cuticle oil/cream

  • Plenty of time!

Step 1 - The Base

As always, let’s start with the base coat. I’m using my trusty Leighton Denny One for All, just pop on one coat and allow to dry.

Step 2 - Create the Fluid Decals

Have your tub lid or silicone mat ready in front of you along with the colours you have chosen to create your design with. I was recently sent the beautiful new Cienna Rose Floral Fairytale collection, so of course I wanted to have a play with it for this post. I’ve used My Little Peony and Crush on Blue along with Barry M’s Cotton to separate the colours.

As you would when water marbling, begin to drop the polish onto your surface. One drop of one colour, then the next and so on…

If you have long nails you will probably need to do quite a few more layers of drops than I have, if you have shorter nails, you probably won’t need as many. Use your judgement, and add as many drops as you feel is right for your length of nail.

Once you are happy with the amount of drops, it’s time to start manipulating them and creating that fluid design. Pick up your surface and begin to let the polish move around one way, then another and so on, until you like the design created.

You will need to repeat this process depending on how many nails you wish to have this design on. For example, you may want to just start with doing an accent nail until you have collected enough tub lids to create multiple fluid decals. As my photos only share four nails - I’m only creating four decals (Secrets of a Swatcher!) so my chopped up nail mat is all I need.

Now its time to let these decals dry, it can take quite some time as obviously we have used a lot of polish for this…

TOP TIP: Optional - After allowing the decals dry down a little, apply a coat of clear polish over the top of them, here is where I reach for the Leighton Denny One for All. This will just make things a little easier when it comes to peeling them off the surface, and placing them onto the nail.

Step 3 - Peel up the Decals and Place onto Nails

Now that the fluid decals have dried nicely, you can very carefully begin to lift and peel them up from your surface. I used a metal tool to gently tease the edges up, then carefully peeled using my fingers.

With the decal lifted, you can now begin to place it over your nail, take your time deciding which part of the design you want to capture. As your base coat should now be well and truly dried, you shouldn’t have any problems lifting the decal up if you change your mind on its placement.

Once you’re happy with how it looks, gently press down over the nail and push away any creases or air pockets, then carefully trim away the excess. For this I use nail scissors, but please be so, so careful if you choose to use scissors too - we don’t want any casualties!

With the excess trimmed off, grab your cleanup brush and nail polish remover and really neaten up those edges. This step should help to ‘melt’ the decal onto the nails too.

Step 4 - Add a Top Coat, Apply Cuticle Oil/Cream, and you’re Good to Go

I used my all time fave Seche Vite top coat to seal everything in, remember to wrap the nail tips too. Pop on a cuticle oil or cream and your Fluid Nail Art Design is complete!

You don’t have to stop here though, you could choose to add a glitter topcoat, maybe a bit of stamping over the top, the possibilities are endless.

I really love how these turned out, especially seeing as how it was my first try. I do think that the whole process is very time consuming, and actually find the water marbling technique from before to be quicker and easier. Make sure that if you want to give this method a go, that you allow yourself plenty of time.

How do you think these turned out? Have you tried Fluid Nail Art yet? Drop a comment below and let me know…

Thank you so much for reading,

Love, Leanne Xx