Embrace the Night - Hermit Werds - harlequin pattern made with rhombus sequins and a strange golden dancer wearing a mask
Embrace the Night

Embrace the Night – An Exploration in Glitter Placement

This mani was for #TheInspirationChallenge on Instagram. It gave me an excuse to play with some rhombus sequins that I had just purchased to make a harlequin pattern. I’d also like to pretend these are my Mardi Gras nails.

#TheInspirationChallenge - Feb/2018 inspiration photo
#TheInspirationChallenge – Feb/2018 inspiration photo

Sequins are so shiny and wonderful, but one thing I’ve learned is that craft supply glitter/sequins do not always mix well with nail polish. Mess with them even a tiny bit too long and the color comes off and gets everywhere. My stepdaughter and I worked on a mermaid craft set together and we put some of the leftover glitter into a little bottle of clear polish. As finely milled as the glitter was, it sank to the bottom immediately and in less than a week all the color had come off to stain the base.

Now, the sinking was caused by a formula not meant to support the weight of glitter. This is one reason why you’ll see polish reviewers talk about how much effort it takes to fish out glitter and even in formulas where the glitter suspension is good, it is recommended that you turn the (closed) bottle upside down ten minutes before you start painting. The staining however…well, it’s not only craft glitter that does this. Sinful Colors’ matte red glitter is notorious for staining the base pink (even though it takes much longer to happen).

The Glitter Placement

I’m happy to say that despite using red rhombus sequins, I experienced no color shift. I had more trouble with the base polish smearing around if I moved the sequin around too much getting it into place. So after working on the pinkie finger with just clear polish to stick the sequins down, I threw on a gel top coat to protect the base color and then experimented with using the gel base polish to stick them down. Since the gel doesn’t dry at all, the sequins ended up swimming around a little on my nail instead. I tried curing the base a leeeetle bit to help with that, but there are some sequins on my thumb that ended up in the wrong place because they swam during the final curing process. Boo.

Embrace the Night - Hermit Werds - harlequin pattern made with rhombus sequins and a strange golden dancer wearing a mask
Embrace the Night

I’m sure results will vary depending on the brand you’re using, but I think the best combo would have been to use a gel top coat to protect the base color and then ordinary nail polish to stick the sequins down. I’m also sure this would have been harder on natural nails. The false nails I used were deliberately selected because they have a flatter surface. Natural nails have a lot more curve. I dread the thought of doing this on my natural nails. Partially because that’s a lot of work for how long manicures last on my nails before I want to change it. ;D

Striping tape: apparently another thing that sits in my drawer utterly neglected. It amazes me to think I haven’t used it on a manicure since I started this blog. Maybe I just didn’t think to add it to the tags? Also, you can see in the way the light is shining off my pinkie nail that the polish isn’t as smooth as it should be. I call it my learning curve nail. heh

Embrace the Night - Hermit Werds - harlequin pattern made with rhombus sequins and a strange golden dancer wearing a mask
Embrace the Night

Advice for Sequin Purchasing

I wish I could send you to a rhombus listing where my experience was completely positive, but I haven’t had that yet. Instead, let’s just stick to things to look out for.

  • If a seller sends you rhombus sequins that are mostly full of parallelograms, get full a refund. The point of this shape in most cases is precision placement so they have no excuse for sending you faulty product.
  • If you are buying from China through eBay or Aliexpress, don’t be surprised if some of the colors are really off. For inexpensive products, it saves them time to steal photos from each other. I see it all the time (especially since they steal from nail artists sometimes). They will pass it off as a difference in lighting. It’s a lie.
  • Don’t think that just because you’re buying from your native country that the quality will be better. I’ve had bad experiences there too.
  • Buy sequins specifically for nail art and check for color fastness with a clear polish on a white surface. Really work that polish around because glitter placement is a messy business.
  • Sets that come in screw-top jars or single containers divided up into compartments are better than sets in bottles. You really don’t want to play 100 sequin pickup because the bottle’s plug came out when  you weren’t expecting it and…physics.

Good luck, friends! And if you find an awesome sequin listing, please share it with others. Let’s give quality sellers the bulk of our business!

And, finally, here’s the group collage for #TheInspiriation Challenge. I’m sadly not in it, though I turned my photo in on time. Sometimes Instagram messaging is a little too chaotic. Ah, well.

#TheInspirationChallenge - Feb/2018 collage
#TheInspirationChallenge – Feb/2018 collage
Share it if you love it!

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