Use Only as Directed

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Happy Monday readers, I hope your day is nothing like the cold gloomy weather outside. May you find a ray of sunshine to warm your soul! The topic at hand today is a little bit of a crossover, artistically speaking. I want to talk about using things in your art, craft, or hobby that are not intended for certain applications, but are amazing when applied outside of their purpose. Now I’m sure we have all done it a few times, using something that’s not really meant to be used in that way, but really does work great. So today I am going to share with you some ‘not what its intended for’ products I regularly use in my art; nail products.

That’s right, nail products, I said it, and you read it right. I regularly use nail supplies in my art. Nail art is something very close to my heart as my late sister was a master. She could pretty much do anything you desired on your nails! In the wake of her passing, in her honor, I took what I knew from her doing my nails all those years and relentlessly watched YouTube videos to teach myself how to do professional nails. I must admit, I have gotten pretty good, just don’t expect me to be quick about it, as it takes me most of the day to do a full set on myself lol. Before I go any further wanted to shout out to an organization called Young Nails. All those YouTube videos I watched were Young Nails Nail school videos. You can literally tune in and learn everything you need to know from the masters themselves. Not only did my late sister believe in their products, but so do I. More than the wonderful products they provide, they single handedly help those looking to learn or imporve their skill; a priceless service. I have so much love and respect for the Salo brothers, and the entire YN crew. Alway much love and respect for everything they do.

Ok getting on with it, let’s talk about what nail products transcend their intended purpose. First and foremost, if you know me in any capacity you know I love glitter, as glitter is my favorite color ha-ha. Nail glitter is pretty much the best glitter I have used in my art. For one it is intended to be mixed with an acrylic and monomer. Now I’m no professional, but basically the way I would describe it, is that the monomer melts the acrylic powder so you can form the nail or spread it over your nail. Thus, nail glitter is pretty sturdy stuff, and is meant to be able to withstand harsh chemicals and filing. I have used some craft glitters that have broken down when I used them with certain chemicals. One time I was experimenting with protective finishes. I put a brush-on finish over some dried paint and glitter, the paint was fine, however the glitter seemed to melt a bit…in a bad way, and was no longer glittery, but more so looked like a lump on my canvas. Not only does nail glitter stand up to pretty much anything, but also it seems the variety of nail glitters are vaster than craft glitters. I visited my local Michaels craft store last week and they only had the basic colors, and standard course grain glitters. I also visited my local beauty store (Ulta) and I was able find any color nail glitter I could imagine, as well as different grains, like fine, ultra-fine, course, super chunky, or confetti, you can even find nail glitters with shapes in them like stars. Now I am not saying these things cannot be found in a craft glitter, but the availability and selection of nail glitter versus craft glitter in –stores are very different and there is no guessing when it comes to nail glitter, you know it’s tough, has an unbeatable sparkle quality and, in my experience is simply superior than craft glitters. Furthermore, since nail glitter is meant to be sealed, you do not have to worry about it losing its luster when top coating your piece, it stays sparkly and not all craft glitters do. In fact, some become dull and no longer sparkly when you apply certain top coats over them like spray sealers or varnish. Something I use frequently when making greeting cards is nail glitter, or a glittery acrylic powder. I mix the glitter or acrylic with some Mod Podge and I can then embellish anything. It dries hard, sticks very well to pretty much any surface, and does not bleed into paper. Now not to say you cannot get similar effects with other products, like heat embossing, which is mesmerizing by the way, but sometimes your project needs something else, or you do not have other materials to get such an effect. In any capacity, nail glitter is a great product for using in art, and can also serve as a substitute if needed.

Now let’s talk about hydro dipping. We have all seen it, where you take paint, float it on top of water and then dip an object in it. The design of the paint is left on the surface of the object, and it’s very cool to watch. This same thing can be done with nail polish. Nail polish is typically a lacquer, so the consistency is different from say an acrylic craft paint. It’s more fluid, lighter in weight, and dries much harder. You can take your nail polishes, sprinkle them on top of some water, and dip objects into it for super cool designs. You can even use this method for your actual nails too, as it creates an awesome marbled effect. 

Nail art tools are more items that transcend their intended usage. I have a set of nailbrushes that are supposed to be used for gel applications. One end is a brush and the other is a fine point with a little ball on the end of it, which I call dotters. The set comes with different size brushes and dotters and I have two sets, one for nail applications, and one for art applications. I use them all the time for many different things. I like them because they never lose their brush bristles, easy to clean, and withstand chemicals. They also are really cute looking as they have different colored handles, I know I know, but they look good sitting on my work top, I’m just saying lol.

Today I shared just a few of the things that crossover into different art forms. So next time you find yourself needing something, extra, or you do not have what you think you need, don’t go out and buy more stuff; try using something NOT as directed. Until next week, Christeen.