In about the same amount of time it takes to sculpt a set of French nails, you can create an entire blanket of dried flowers on fingertips!
A few tips to start:
Start off by arranging your flowers upside down on a paper towel. Pick up nails with a pair of tweezers; if you need to cut them, mesh scissors work best. The higher up on the nail you place the flowers, the longer your client may be able to wear them as a French, even after a fill. You can apply dried flowers to acrylic nails, gel nails, or even natural tips if you use nail glue. As the dried flowers can stain nails, it is essential to lay down a base coat first.
Step 1: Prep the nail by filing down the free edge and removing shine from the surface of the natural nail. Apply dehydrator and primer if necessary. Then apply forms or clear tips.
Step 2: If you are using forms, apply a very thin layer of acrylic to the nails, extending the free edge to your desired length. Use either transparent glitter or clear powder, as this is the best surface for dried flowers to adhere.
If you’re using clear acrylics, it might be best to use a file to thin them out. Remove the dust and apply dehydrator to the surface of the tips, which restores their transparent appearance. Apply a thin layer of clear acrylic.
Step 3: Start the design with the biggest flower you will be using. Use a small ball of clear acrylic with a soupy consistency to pick up the flower. Lightly touch the acrylic to the flower and pull it off the paper towel. Turn the brush around so that the flower is facing up.
Step 4: Place the flower onto the nail by using a rolling motion. Then pat it down with the belly of the brush.
Step 5: Apply more dried flowers with the same technique until you have the design your client desires. If any petals are sticking up, use more acrylic – with the same soupy consistency – near the edge of the flower to stick it down. Continue pressing the flower until it’s set in place.
Step 6: Cap the entire nail with clear acrylic. Forget the soupy consistency here; use the same consistency as you would to create acrylic enhancements. Place another large ball of clear acrylic in the center of the free edge to reinforce the design as well as to give the nail strength and structure.
Step 7: When the nail is about 80% dry, gently pinch the sidewalls with tongs or use your thumbs to apply even pressure to the sidewalls. This enhances the shape of the nail by adding a C-curve to the free edge.
Step 8: File and shape the nails as usual. Finish with a coat of gel sealer or UV top coat to give the nail a transparent appearance. Also apply UV top coat to the underside of the nail.