Sometimes two is better than one—especially when it comes to Nail It! magazine covers! Our super-talented November/December 2015 cover nail artist Kelly Ornstein created such beautiful ice-inspired nails that we had a hard time choosing just one—and we just had to share our other pick with you!
In this cover alternate, Ornstein captures the majestic beauty of glaciers by mimicking the ice rivers that flow between the icy behemoths. “Traditionally when we think of ice we think of pale colors and translucency; however, that isn’t always the case in nature,” she says. “Water and ice have a prismatic effect. I wanted to combine a fluidity from the liquid and solid states depending on light and shadow, as well as explore the soft shapes created when water moves through a solid.” Ornstein achieves the desired effect through what she calls a “wet ombré” technique, which she shares with you here! (Pick up this month’s issue or subscribe digitally to see her three other designs!)
Step 1: Apply two coats of white polish and allow them to dry. Then, using a striping brush and aquamarine polish, paint a wavy line horizontally across the nail. Fill in above the line to the tip with the polish.
Step 2: Dab dark teal polish using a “wet ombré” brush technique, starting on the left side and working toward the center. Using a dark lavender polish, paint the right half of the white section, leaving the strokes unfinished in the center.
Step 3: Using a lighter purple polish, blend between the darker purple and the white creating a purple-to-white ombré. Stipple a light mint polish on the opposite side of the dark teal and blend toward the center creating a light-to-dark teal.
Step 4: Draw a thin line of navy polish with a detail brush along the wave separating the two sections. Blend a small amount of the navy into the darkest teal section to add more depth to the water.
Step 5: Using a striping brush dipped in silver, trace along the bottom edge of the navy line. Allow the design to dry and apply top coat. Using nail glue, adhere a crystal to the design. —Karie L. Frost