I was delighted with the effect of my first sugar skulls nails but it can’t be said that they weren’t labour-intensive. I was keen to re-create the look minus the time commitment, so when I stumbled across these adorable floral skull water decals on the Born Pretty website it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring back one of my favourite manicures.
Using water decals couldn’t be simpler and is achieved in 5 easy steps:
1. Paint your nails with a suitable base colour. I went for white to offer a fair comparison to my original skull manicure and because I thought that the decals would show up best against a white background. Wait until the base colour is completely dry.
2. Select the decals you want to use and cut them out. I also laid them out in the order I was going to use them to prevent any mid-mani confusion.
3. One by one, dip the decal in a small bowl of water for a few seconds until it slides off the backing paper and dip the relevant nail into the water.
4. Using tweezers, position the decal onto the nail and blot off excess water.
5. When all the decals are in place and the nails are dry, add a top coat. This is vital to prevent them from rubbing away.
I love how the finish decal mani has turned out, the skulls have dried really flat and, two days in, are looking good on the durability front. The decals are not as bright as they appear on the website but I’m still pleased with the overall effect.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of both techniques:
And finally the pros and cons of each technique:
Pros: freedom of colour choice, a rustic/ hand-painted look, many different skull designs.
Cons: a lot of materials required, fiddly and time consuming, higher start up cost when buying plates, stampers and scrapers.
Pros: a sheet of decals is very cost-effective (less than £1), lower risk of a design going awry, fast and easy.
Cons: limited to the existing colours on the decals, higher cost in the long run as decals can only be used once.
Which look do you prefer?