Step by step on creating a butterfly shaped acrylic nail

  1. Prep nail and fit a stiletto form. If the form doesn’t fit snuggly under the free edge, cut this to fit using KB Form Tailoring Kit.  The form should be fitted straight from the side.  Make sure this is snuggly closed tight, ensuring you pinch tightly for a slim nail enhancement.  If you are having issues with getting your form fit spot on, check out our KB Ultimate Form Fitting Masterclass and Guide.
  2. Using a large, firm acrylic brush, apply cover pink acrylic to create the extended nail bed. Ensure enough product is used due to the length of the enhancement and that your smile line mirrors the free edge and is pointed.  The apex needs to be 1/3 of the nail bed and the product needs to come out straight to the free edge. File the smile line if desired.
  3. For the stained-glass effect free edge, mix Crystal Nails crystal drops in a variety of colours (I used ruby, violet, green, yellow and blue) with monomer in different dappen dishes. The more crystal drops the darker and less transparent the colour and the less drops the more transparent the colour.  Use this with clear acrylic.
  4. Working on one side at a time, apply thin beads of the different colour drops on the form in the shape of a butterfly wing, ensuring that both sides are symmetrical throughout. To help with this, you can use a white gel pen to draw the wings on both sides.  Whilst the product is quite wet, overlap the beads slightly and blend together to get an ombre effect.
  5. Press chrome flakes or cracked ice into the wet product (if this has dried then apply a very thin layer of clear) and cap in clear acrylic. Work with the clear slightly wetter to avoid air bubbles.
  6. Once the product has fully cured, remove the form – you may need to use something thin and pointed such as a needle tool to help. If you are unsure on drying stages of acrylic and want to learn more, check out this guide.
  7. Begin filing the product underneath with an e-file to get the shape of the wings. Use a rounded bit and then a small tool such as an under-nail cleaner to get the smaller wing shapes.  Hold the nail flat and straight so that you file both sides symmetrically and support underneath with your finger.   File the sides, cuticle zone and then from sides to centre ensuring the product doesn’t have any excess bulk and comes straight out from apex to the free edge.  Once filed, buff to refine.
  8. Using black acrylic paint and a fine line brush, draw around the edges and then in-between the colours to create the veins of the wings. Using a fine line brush or small dotting tool, apply small white dots along the black lines.  Once the paint has dried, top coat to seal.
  9. Apply Swarovski crystals using a gem glue and cure for the recommended manufacturer time in an LED or UV lamp. Seal around this with a no wipe top coat.  You could also apply these with glue. 
  10. For the additional butterfly, take some form paper and fold in half to create a pleat in the paper. Open back up and on the matte side, in pencil, draw the butterfly body and one side of the wings. Fold this in half and trace the wings on the other side to ensure these are symmetrical.  As the form is quite transparent, you can open up the paper and trace through again. 
  11. Using the coloured monomer as before, pick up small beads with a 3D acrylic brush and apply to the form inside the butterfly you have drawn, making sure you keep this thin. Make sure all parts are attached slightly so they do not break when removed.
  12. Using black acrylic create the body and the head.
  13. Once this has cured, peel the butterfly off the form. Because the product is thin, you are able to carefully bend the product into shape to close the wings into a shape of your choice. Buff to refine if necessary and use a non-tacky top coat on both sides.  I have attached mine to a nail tip stand with blue-tac for ease.  Using the same technique as before, draw the veins on the wings with black and white acrylic paint and apply Swarovski crystals for the eye of the wing. Attach to the nail with bling on or nail glue and finishwith cuticle image

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