I was recently contacted by a fantastic company called Epic Nails, and asked if I would like to trial their nail transfer foil. I do love me some nail art, but I am not especially skilled. I jumped at the opportunity to try what I knew to be a high-impact, impressive looking manicure, that by all accounts was fairly straightforward to apply. I had mixed results, but if you read on, you’ll find out all about that.
I was sent the “Nail Foil Kit – Essentials”, an all-you-need starter kit that contains 6 different foil designs, cuticle sticks and of course, the all important foil glue. The recommended retail price of this kit is $73.98 AUD, however it is marked on their website as $36.99. I’m not sure if this is a permanent price, or a current special.
The designs that were included in my kit are: All Laced Up; I Heart You; Nautical; Pipe Dream; In The Jungle and Winter Is Coming. There are many more designs to choose from, some of which you can see in the brochure below (Cherrylicious is the one I’m lusting after!)
The instructions for these nail foils suggest that you start with already manicured nails (in fact a gel polish manicure is recommended).
Lesson One: Make sure your manicure has cured properly before applying the nail transfer glue. If there’s ANY give in your manicure, it affects the finish.
The instructions say to apply a coat of nail transfer glue.
Lesson Two: The amount of glue to apply takes a bit of practice to get right. I was initially applying it too thin, and it was drying out too quickly. I was then applying it too thick, and it took forever to dry. I felt like I was learning to use lash glue all over again!
When the glue has started to go tacky, press the foil, design side UP onto the nail.
Lesson Three: Once you get the amount of glue right, you need to wait until it is COMPLETELY clear. As soon as it goes clear, you’re good to apply the foil. I found it easiest to apply this one nail at a time.
Finish with a top coat, preferably gel, but regular polish should be ok.
Lesson Four: Seche Vite did not work very well for me as a top coat. It may have been my amateur application method, but Seche Vite seemed to make the foil overlay peel off. I had a lot more success using my Lumos Top Coat, which has a thinner consistency and a more delicate finish than Seche Vite.
Excuse the poor instagram photo, but this is an example of the first foil manicure I attempted. The polish was completely cured before I applied the foil, and I finished it with Lumos top coat. It lasted for around a week with some tip wear. I used a colour coat of OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, and the foil I used was “All Laced Up”. I found this particular design of foil to be quite robust – it didn’t flake at all, and transferred cleanly to my nails.
This was a beautiful manicure that looked great from a distance, and also looked great close up.
This is my second attempt at doing foil nails, and it was something of a comedy of errors. I didn’t let the polish cure fully, so when I used a cuticle stick to push the foil into my nail, it slid around and fell off (see my pinky and ring finger in the bottom photo). I found the foil to be quite flaky, which meant there were a few gaps in the design (see my middle finger in the bottom picture). Unfortunately, also used Seche Vite as the top coat, which meant that most of the foil had peeled off by the end of the day.
This was a “HFFA” (hot from far away) manicure. From a distance it looked AMAZING, but from up close, it was a bit of a hot mess.
Am I an expert on applying foil nail transfers? Definitely not, but I can see where I went wrong, and I’m planning to persevere – with the right techniques, it can look absolutely amazing! I can see “I Heart You” being a lovely Valentines Day manicure!
I also want to mention my experience with the staff at Epic Nails. I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience, and would highly recommend them based on the customer service alone. They’re a great Australian company who sell gel polishes, nail art supplies and LED & UV lamps, so if you’re a fan of nails, or working in the industry, please do check them out. You can like them on Facebook here, and check out their website here.
Special Offer for Makeup Utopia readers – until the 28th of February 2014, you can get free shipping on any Epic Nail orders over $30. Simply use the code BLOGUTOPIA when you check out to activate this offer.
Have you tried foil nail transfers before? Please tell me I’m not the only one that didn’t get it quite right straight away? I love the way they look, and I can’t wait to perfect my technique!
This kit was provided for editorial consideration.