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Technique

Mad About Plaid

by Sigourney Nuñez | September 2, 2014

 Integrating mixed media with technique learned abroad, Masako Sasaki, an international nail artist with more than nine years of experience now working at Marie Nails in Los Angeles and New York, introduces a nail art design that fuses Japanese style with an embellished finish just for the twill of it. 

To fabricate a look inspired by fabric, Sasaki used a diverse palette of paints including acrylics and an airbrush gun in order to add a delicate and elegant touch to the material-inspired pattern. “For me, airbrush designs always stimulate my creativity,” she says.

Here’s how to execute the ultra “kawaii” look. 
1. Prep and file a Dashing Diva Virtual Nail tip in an almond shape to fit the client’s nail. Apply it using Dashing Diva Virtual Bond adhesive tabs. Paint the nail with a mix of navy blue and dark green Dashing Diva Gelife gels. Cure for 45 seconds using Dashing Diva LED Light Pod. 
2. Using an airbrush gun and water-based paint (or acrylic paint), spray horizontal pastel blue and pastel pink spaced lines to create the base of the plaid pattern. Tip: To make a delicate airbrush line, spray very close to the nail tip and use low air pressure. 
3. Create a twill-weave effect on the plaid design using red and gold acrylic paint.  Add red vertical dashes on the left side of the nail and paint a couple of horizontal lines on the bottom half of the nail over the airbrush stripes. If you’ve got an unsteady hand, use striping tape to help paint fine lines. 
4. Apply base gel over the design and cure for 45 seconds. Sasaki recommends sealing the nail art design with a layer of base gel to ensure longer wear of the design. Wipe the nail with alcohol and paste a Sha-Nail Pro Nail Grafx sticker on the center of the nail. 
5. Using the five-dot flower method, paint different size cherry blossoms with white acrylic paint on the top right corner of the nail. To make a more defined flower, paint a V at the tip of the petal. 
6. Add color to the flower by painting the outline of the cherry blossom using different tints of pink. For more dimension, paint the center of the petals yellow with acrylic paint. 
7. Apply gel base coat over the design and cure for 45 seconds. Place holographic sequins on the center of the cherry blossom and around the flower. Apply gel top coat and cure for 45 seconds. Wipe with alcohol for a final clean up. For a more abstract look, create different patterns on each nail. 
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