20 July 2010

Designer Nails Tutorial - Marc Jacobs Bow Print

Last week I wrote a post asking you all if you could vote for which designer print you wanted to see as a nail tutorial and I am glad to say quite afew readers did vote. Which I was really pleased about. 
The above Marc by Marc Jacob Bow print was the most popular (however for some reason I thought the print was by Mui Mui, sorry for the confusion) and also the iconic Alexander McQueen print was quite popular..so that will be the next tutorial and hopefully abit more in-depth than this one. 
Especially as far as photos are concerned. 

Anyways onto the print. I am sure quite afew of you recognize the print, especially as Mrs Beckham had been seen sporting the dress recently. I must say it is a lovely print - very summery and cute looking. 

Also in the last post I mentioned that you wouldn't need any specialist nail pens or tools and that I used one trick to create my own nails...

Well as you can see below my secret weapon is in fact a gel pen! I don't seem as talented anymore do I! The pen below came in a pack of 3 or 4 and cost £1.50 from a normal stationary shop. 
However there is a type of pen to get..the longer more accurate looking nibs are the ones to avoid! You just cannot apply them over nail polish. You need a gel pen that is more of an ink roller ball..(thinking about it now I really should of included a close up of the pen, so I shall include an image tomorrow). 

Now there are two big things to avoid when using a gel pen to create detail on the nails and that is never to try and use the pen over the top of wet nails or even tacky nails..as the nail polish will end up on the tip of the pen and will stop it from working. You must wait till your nails are fully dry.

Also this NEEDS a topcoat however the pen doesn't dry very well on the nail so if you use the top coat too soon or drag the top coat polish over the nail you will smudge what you have just done. So I'd say wait for a good 10 minutes (you can do things just don't wash your hands or it will wash off) then apply a really thin top coat (the kind that seems abit like water!) in one quite thick coat to not drag over the nail. If that makes sense. Just ask me if you don't get/understand it!

(Click to enlarge) 

Now I must apologise for the tiny image but if you click on it you will find it's alot bigger. 

So onto how to create the print, as you can see with only four steps it's pretty simple.

Step 1 - Apply 2 quite thin coats of any Coral coloured nail polish. Making sure it is totally dry before step two. I chose to use Fruit Salad from the Hot Looks Collection 2000 range as it was the closest colour I had to the Marc Jacobs Bow dress.

Step 2 - Next using a black gel pen create 2 or 3 rows on each nail of an almost wave like line. If you make a mistake just use a damp cotton pad with water on it to remove the pen as it's only water based. Also it that is too hard for you, a wavy line is fine. 

Step 3 - The third step is the most fiddly part as you can easily smudge the nails with your other hand so it best to work from little finger to thumb so that you are working away from what you have just done. 
The good thing about the print is it's fairly messy so don't worry if the bows don't really look like bows! 
It's basically two little loops then two odd looking triangles. I would say two bows on each line is the best and one bow on the bottom line. However on the thumb you will probably be able to fit 3 bows in a row. But however many bows you can fit onto each nail it will look fine. Just make sure the bows are sitting on the wavy line.

Next you must wait for the nails to dry for about 5 to 10 minutes - however even after 10 minutes they WILL smudge if you touch them. Only the top coat will seal in the ink on the nails.

Step 4 - The last step is really the most important - as this is the part that you can fluff up all your hard work. The main thing is to apply a big drop of the top coat at the bottom of the nail then brush it on quite lightly. If you are too heavy handed the brush will pull on the ink and it will smudge. So being over generous with the top coat is a good thing! As you can see it is do-able. 

I really, really hope you haven't found this too boring and I hope I have explained it well enough for everyone to try themselves. Like I say they are just them two things in Steps 1 & 4 that you need to be careful of and then you really can't go wrong.

Make sure to keep a look out for a Alexander McQueen nail tutorial some time next week!



  1. This is amazing! I love it!!

    Lisa xx

  2. This is brilliant, definitely pulling out the gel pen.
    Looking forward to the next pattern!

  3. very very impressed with this! such a great tip. i never would of though of drawing on my nails with gel pen and simply setting it with top coat.

    i'm going to try it out really soon. if it's successful i'll show you :P xx

  4. Ahhh brilliant! Fee you are a genius :) can't wait to see the next ones! x

  5. Really clever idea, and lovely tutorial. Not boring in the slightest!

    X x

  6. These are so cute! Think i'll have to go buy a gel pen now :)


  7. I love it, looks fabulous :) xxx

  8. You are so cleaver. Even if I had all the right tools or even a transfer mine would look like a car crash.

    Well done.

    Emma x.x.x

  9. brilliant. definitely giving that one a go. thank you :)

  10. brilliant. definitely giving that one a go. thank you :)

  11. Pretty!! your nail art tutorials are always fun to read.. :D looking forward to your future nail art tutorials! :)

  12. i love it!

    if i try this, i anticipate the bows will only on one hand and the other will just have scribbles! :p


  13. Wow your nails look exactly the same as the dress, very pretty x

  14. You are very talented. I can just keep my hands straight enough barely to polish them more less do cute designs on them :) I love your posts! x thanks

  15. woah, I never would have thought of using a gel pen! I might even try that some day!

  16. GORGEOUS nails! Love the design and colors :) I dont think i could keep my hand straight and draw those bows but you are amazing! cant wait for the next post :D

  17. Loved this one, but cant wait to see how you do A.Mcqueen. Love these posts! Keep them comming x


  18. Wow, great tutorial! It looks amazing, I can't wait to try it out :D

  19. THIS IS AMAZING! such a fabulous idea! how on earth would you come up with the idea of a gel pen?! it would have taken me hours and hours fiddling with nail pens and failing if you hadn't given this tip!
    can't wait for the next one!

  20. THIS IS AMAZING! such a fabulous idea! how on earth would you come up with the idea of a gel pen?! it would have taken me hours and hours fiddling with nail pens and failing if you hadn't given this tip!
    can't wait for the next one!

  21. Great tutorial, your nails came out great. The design is so pretty and subtle so you can wear it every day.


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