Here's how Omaha, Neb.-based nail tech Buddy Sims created the fiery eye of Godzilla for his monster-themed nail art design.
1. Cure a gel top coat as the base for your eye. To create the iris, use layered colors (from dark to light), making it easy to streak or dry brush the natural lines in the iris. Buddy chose to use polish so I wouldn’t have to cure each color in the iris.
2. A vertical pupil was painted in black to give the reptile look that was desired. Black freckles and detail around the dark outer edge of the iris were added at this point as well. Finish the eyeball with a thick dollop of gel to create a shiny round coating.
3. Next, use black acrylic to create the upper and lower lids. This step can be done on the nail, or you can pre-make this design on the form. Buddy used a medium consistency acrylic, bleeding the bead further before application so it held the shape as he sculpted. Lifting the top lid was the most difficult part. A soft plastic-like consistency works best, but you have to move fast before it hardens.
4. Buddy wanted some of the nail to be exposed, but he also didn’t want the eye to be floating alone in the center of the nail. Add black acrylic in linear strips above and below the eye to correct the issue. Moments before the acrylic is completely dry, press a fine tulle mesh into the acrylic to create scales. Highlights can be added to the scales for more color, definition, and visual interest. This step can also be done before or during the procedure with the client.
5. Rawr! The final look is complete! Says Buddy, “I LOVE the intensity of this dark creature’s gazing eye, but also love the versatility this piece offers. A change in colors and design could easily be used to create other eye options. Now you can create your own. Good luck, and here’s looking at you!”