Tips & Tricks - Masking Fluid For Easy Nail Art Clean Up!

Happy Star Wars Day loves! May the Fourth be with you! I confess I'm disappointed in myself in that I've not done a Star Wars theme mani in honour of the day...bad form Aysh. Oh well there'll always later on this year when the new film is released, excitement is hard to contain!

When it comes to nail art, there are some techniques that can be a tad, messy shall we say? Such as sponging, water marbling etc. resulting in polish ending up all over the skin not just the nail, which can make the task off putting for most. Therefore any short cuts available to make said tasks much easier to do & clean up after are most welcome.

One method that's taken the nail world by storm is liquid latex, yup you heard me right. When I first investigated on social media the result was, lets just say quite amusing. I believe its something that was started by the brand Kiesque who released Liquid Palisade, a liquid barrier that is applied on the cuticles & once dry, simply peeled off after nail art is done. However the $22 price tag that came with did make one wince! Recently a few online polish retailers have jumped on this & begun selling little bottles of liquid latex barrier at a friendlier price. Though I've purchased one myself which I look forward to trying when it comes, I first wanted to investigate an option that's more easily available & I'd heard works just as well as liquid latex, the product in question...masking fluid.

Masking fluid is a product used by artists who need to mask areas of their work needing protection when colour is applied in broad washes. Once dry the barrier is simply peeled away. I picked up this bottle of Windsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid from WH Smiths for just a fiver. So yup, definitely a much nicer price!

The fluid is composed of rubber latex & a yellowish pigment. The formulation of it is quite runny, though not so much so that its hard to work with. It also has a slight odour to it that reminded me of stationary glue. To apply the masking fluid I dug out an old art brush.

Now water marbling is a nail art form I have not ventured towards yet, however I am becoming very much addicted to gradient nails which of course require the sponging technique so that's what I have to show you today.

Before doing your gradient you need to have a white base, here I've applied two coats of No7 Snowflake, not the best of whites as it wasn't fully opaque but it was just the first one I saw & grabbed haha!

Using the old art brush, I dipped the brush into the fluid from the bottle & applied it around the skin of the cuticle area & sides as shown. Like I mentioned, the formula is a tad runny, but not problematic to work with thankfully. I made sure to apply the masking fluid quite thickly so it is noticeable where its applied.

The masking fluid dries clear, much like PVA glue, so you know when you can start with your sponging. For my gradient I've used Models Own Hyper Gels in Pink Veneer & Turquoise Gloss. The formulation of these are quite thick making them great for sponging.

Apply the two polishes next to each other on a piece of makeup sponge then dab onto the nail, applying in an up/down & side to to side motion. Depending on the type of polishes used, this needs to be done two or three times to get a nice opaque finish. As you can see with this technique, a lot of polish ends up on the skin around the nail.

Once I'd done all ten nails & was happy with the finish, I simply grabbed a pair of tweezers & very gently, being careful not to pull the skin, lifted up the dried masking fluid, which I'm happy to say peeled off easily! Of course there were some areas I missed but this was easily cleaned up with a spot of acetone & a brush.

The end result, mess free sponged gradient nails! I'm really happy with how well the masking fluid worked & will definitely be using it again as a barrier when doing sponge gradients. However when I receive the bottle of liquid latex I've purchased online I'm eager to do a comparison to see how well it works compared to masking fluid. I'll be sure to report back!

Thanks as always for reading dolls!

Lotsa love to ya! 

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