Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Joburg CosmoPolished event at The Rooftop Venue in Kramerville. Accompanied by my friend Elaine, we were met with glasses of bubbly, sushi and more photographers than I’m comfortable with. It was a bit of a last minute thing (I only got the invite the day before) but was so worth it that I really recommend you jump at the chance to attend the next one! There are also ones held in Cape Town for my Western Cape friends.
After a bit of mingling and catching up with fellow bloggers and nail aficionados, we sat down at our fully kitted out workstations, excited to see what was in store. After a quick introduction, nail artist Chi Chi took the mic and began teaching us a series of nail techniques to get the latest looks in nail trends. First up was dotting, which I’ve actually already tried my hand (pun intended) at during one of my at-home mani sessions.
I’ve followed a few tutorials on Pinterest and this is actually one of the easier techniques I’ve tried. Basically, you use a dotting tool (we got to try out proper ones at the event but I’ve tried with toothpicks, pencils and even the back of a pin to get different sized dots) and create fun and interesting patterns on one, two or even all of your nails.
Next up was the classic ombré. I’ve seen a few tutorials and blogposts on this but never had the guts to try it myself. Elaine was my go-to girl for this one since she’d already tried it out before and managed to give me a few tips in addition to Chi Chi‘s words of wisdom. It’s actually much easier than it looks. Apply a base coat (top tip: use the lightest colour first). Then apply two colours (one can be the same as the base, or you can mix it up with two different, but darker colours) to a make-up sponge. Simply dab onto the nail a few times making sure to blend the colours well. Follow quickly with a top coat while the polish is still wet to help blend the colours even more. Voila! Ombré!
TIP: Elaine cleverly pointed out that you need to think BEFOREHAND which colour you want where. Remember to apply to the sponge how you want them to come out (darker nearest the tip or nearest the cuticle?), or you may end up twisting your hand into funny positions to get it the right way round.
The third technique was something called marbling. Remember when you were a kid and used to do this to paper to create wrapping paper or cards? It’s pretty much the same thing just with nail polish. This one really looks harder than it is! I was so intimidated, I left it for last, but it actually came out really well.
Get a bowl of water (use the widest container you can find). Get your nail polish and add a drop of it to the water. Tap the container a little so the polish spreads (Note: if the blob drops to the bottom of the water, you’ve used too much – it should float on the top). Then add in another drop of a different colour, also tapping to help it spread. Alternate a few drops inside drops so you get at least four different circles within circles. Take a toothpick and swirl the colours around creating any pattern you want. REMEMBER: you need to move quite quickly so that the polish doesn’t set before you’re ready.
When the polish is mixed, quickly dip your fingernail into the water. Try get your nail as flat as possible (this is why you need a wide container) so that it doesn’t blob at one end. While the nail is in the water, use the toothpick to “pick up” the leftover polish. It hardens quite quickly so this is easier than I’m making it sound. Then, simply take your fingernail out of the water and cover with a topcoat to help it set.
You’ll probably end up with polish all over your finger and cuticle so this is when the cleanup happens – just swipe around the nail with an earbud dipped in nail polish remover. Alternatively, use Chi Chi‘s trick and put masking tape around the nail BEFORE you start. Then you just take the masking tape off when you’re done.
Once Chi Chi had explained all the techniques to us, we were left to our own devices to try them out ourselves. Of course, I went straight for the purple nail polish. Chi Chi came around to check out our handiwork (yup, another pun!) and when she saw my nails, tapped me on the shoulder and said: “Ok, I’m tapping you for later.” Huh? Not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
– It’s like a game of Twister! Left hand purple. Right hand pink.
Turned out, it was a very good thing! A few of us were singled out for our stunning creations (moi included) and pulled up on stage at the end for a competition. The other workshop attendees had to vote on their favourite designs and the top two won Revlon hampers. And guess who won! Yip, for the first time in probably forever, I came away from an event a winner with a stash of Revlon goodies to try out. We also went home with goodie bags and were even allowed to take home all the products from our workstations. All in all, we had loads of fun, learned a lot and got to take home stuff to try. Thanks, Cosmo and Revlon for an awesome event!
Keep an eye out on www.cosmpolitan.co.za for more events and details, like Cosmopolitan and Revlon facebook pages, follow them on twitter (@CosmopolitanSA and @RevlonSA) or check out the hashtag #CosmoPolished for more info.
Click on any of the images to enlarge.