Elena Maltseva is a nail artist from St. Petersburg, Russia, who educates all over the world. She is an expert in gels, acrylics, and hand-painting, and is especially good at combining all three together to make spectacular nail designs. Maltseva has chosen an acrylic design here that is simple, yet very expensive-looking and rather easy-to-complete.
“I love to do miniature things, so nail art is perfect for me, and I love it because you are designing art on a living, breathing canvas. The nail is attached to a person, and I use little cues such as what the client is wearing, how her hair is designed, the color of her skin, and even the colors of the surrounding environment, to make a shape and nail art design just for her.”
STEP 1 Shape the nails with a 180-grit file, and remove shine. Apply forms and prep with dehydrator (bonding solution) and primer.
Tip: Always create a thin layer of clear acrylic before you start applying colored powders. It helps prevent discoloring.
Mix several colors of the acrylic on the full body of the nail. Make your acrylic brush very wet with monomer, and take a really wet ball of colored acrylic (slightly smaller than your regular middle-size ball for pink-and-whites) and place it in one of the spots at the free edge. Then immediately clean your brush to remove any color residue and dip it back in to pick up the same size acrylic ball of another color. Do this for four to five colors. Use bright and semi-transparent colors without glitter. Try not to use any pastel colors or opaque powders so no single color overpowers. Wait for the acrylic balls to set and pull your sidewalls back, then start patting with the belly of the brush.
STEP 2 Using black gel and a small brush, create diamond-shaped petals of flowers. Cure the gel in a UV light for four minutes (better to use a 36-watt light). Do not remove sticky residue after you cure.
STEP 3 Continue to use black gel to draw the “panes” chaotically, or the same way as shown here, and cure for four minutes.
STEP 4 Using small balls of white acrylic, create the fading effect in the panes. Place a small ball of white acrylic inside one of the panes close to the edge, then pull the acrylic to the opposite side and pat down.
STEP 5 Take bronze or copper acrylic paint and use a striping brush to draw several small lines on top of the black gel. This will give your stained glass a very unique look. Cap the entire nail with clear acrylic and remove forms. Pinch a C-curve into the nail. File and buff the nails.