Bow Tutorial

Hello again! As I mentioned in my Hello Kitty Nail Art Tutorial, -which you can find here.- I wanted to make a more in depth nail art tutorial on how to make bows. So here it is! I hope it will better explain the technique I used during my Hello Kitty tutorial.

I love making bows, they're super easy to do, yet look really professional and cute. I like to throw a bow on my accent nails when I'm stuck on a design to do, but still want something on my nails. It's a great, simple, go to design for my nails, and family & friend's nails.
I learned how to create bows from Youtube a LONG time ago. I don't remember the name of the video, but if you prefer video tutorials, I'm sure if you type "Bow tutorial" you'll find a bunch to choose from. I actually prefer photo tutorials, that's why I decided to make them myself. I just find the constant pausing and replaying of video tutorials tedious.
- Though some are worth it, I love Robin moses' nail art tutorial videos! I don't even watch them to learn how to do the design, I just love to see her technique. It's amazing the designs she can create, and she makes them look effortlessly easy.-

For this design you will need:
1. Your choice of polish.
2. Nail art striping tape. Or if not available, scotch tape will work fine. Just cut it into thin strips.
3.Different sized dotting tools, or a toothpick.
4. A surface or palette to pour your polish onto. I use tinfoil.
5. Nail gems. (Optional)

For my design, I decided to keep it a bit simple, to keep focus on the bows. So I chose Essie Merino Cool as my base color, with Sally Hansen Diamonds shimmer polish as an overlay to give it some sparkle -Gotta have sparkle!-. For my ribbon and bows I used NYC French White Tip. And of course my go to top coat Sally Hansen Double Duty base & top coat in one.

First I applied two coats of NYC French White Tip as a base, and also because this is my ribbon shade.
I then applied a coat of my top coat and let it dry completely.

Next, I applied my striping tape across the free edge, like if I was marking off my lines for a french manicure. I then Applied two coats of Essie Merino Cool, and two coats of Sally Hansen Diamonds, which I focused more on the cuticles to create a slight glitter gradient. Sadly I waited a bit too long before removing my striping tape, so I got some pulling and smudging of my second & third polishes. But I just used a striping brush and my white polish and touched it up a bit. Always remember to remove the striping tape fast before your second polish has time to dry. Or else you will face the same fate as me... -So dramatic!-.

Here's an angled shot of Sally Hansen Diamond in sunlight. It looks a bit dark under my lamp, so I wanted to show just how pretty and sparkly this polish really is.

After I let my coats dry fully, I used my largest dotting tool and applied dots on the side, centered on my white ribbon. You can obviously center them anywhere on your design, I just like when they're uniform. I find it makes the final design look neater, and more professional.

After I let my dots sit for a second so I wouldn't smudge them, I used my fine dotting tool - You can also use a fine tipped nail art brush if you like, I just find the dotting tool gives me more precision.- and created little V shapes on either side of my dots using my white polish.

Then I just filled the V's in with the same dotting tool, slightly curving the outer lines.

And lastly my optional step. I was bored, so I dipped some nail art gems in clear polish and applied them to the center of my bows. I actually like the bows by themselves, I like the simplicity. But again, I was bored, so I thought I would experiment a bit.
Afterwards, I finished the design off by applying a coat of Sally Hansen Double Duty base & top coat in one.

Below are some more photos of the finished look.

I was originally going to apply the Sally Hansen Diamonds over the entire design, but I like the juxtaposition of the almost matte creme polish over the bold shimmery polish.

I hope you liked my latest tutorial! If you try it out send me a picture on Twitter, I'd love to see it. My links in the "Places to find me" section on the right.

Thanks for reading! To check out my previous tutorials click here.

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  1. This is so good! Will be attempting this, such a great post x

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear it, this design is really fun to do. :)


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