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Tutorial: Minimalist Psycho

I haven't done a tutorial in quite a while, and a good friend of mine has been harassing me for a how-to on my Minimalist Psycho nails since I posted them. I suppose that I should do at least one tutorial each season, and this one is really quick and easy. 

First thing you need to do is gather supplies. Don't freak out if you don't have proper dotting tools. A pencil and a couple of straight pins will work in a pinch. Though I do recommend picking up a set. They come in very handy.

check out my awesome placemat 
base & top coats
two colors of polish
clean up tools
two dotting tools
aluminum foil

gelous makes my nails so glossy. I love it.
step one
You want to start with clean, dry nails. I generally swipe a remover-soaked cotton ball across my nails prior to painting. Wait a few minutes to let any residual evaporate, then slap on a layer of your favorite base. I'm using Gelous, which is available at Sally's, because it makes a decent in-between topper...which we will need later on. Let that set up for a few minutes, then move on to the next step.

step two
Take your base color (I used white) and apply however many layers you need to get a functionally opaque finish. White polish can be a dick, so I generally give up at three. Don't worry too much if you smudge it like I did on my middle finger. We will be applying a significant amount of topper at the end, and minor bumps and smudges like that will get smoothed out.

step three
It is time for clean up and topper! Yay. Ok, not really. Being careful is nice, because then you don't have a huge mess to deal with later. I tend to be careful right up to that last coat, when my fuckit gene activates and I focus on just getting the polish on there. 

Anyway, tidy up quickly and apply a thin coat of top coat to your nails. You actually don't have to, but I can't wait for polish to dry and I usually have a smudge or ding to smooth over. After your topper, wait about 5-10 minutes for it to cure. If you start too soon, you will dent it when you move on to the dots.

step four
Once your base is clean, take whichever color you want and start applying dots. I started with the big dotter and just plopped a few down. (FYI, the less polish you have picked up on the end of your tool (giggity) the smaller your dots will be. Which is why, you really only need two tools for this.) Then I took a different size and made more. Make sure that you stop and take a step back frequently. It helps you mentally map out what you want the design to do, and keeps you from going to far. You can always add more dots, but you can't take them away.

thank you, new camera

step five
The picture above illustrates why we want oodles of top coat. Because you are going to be layering dots of polish onto other dots of polish, there is going to be a bit of texture in the finished product. We don't want that. But applying top coat to dots is tricky, at least for me. What I do is apply a thick layer over my dots first, then apply a thinner layer over the whole thing. It mostly keeps me from smearing/dragging my dots. 

In this instance, I started with Gelous. I know, I isn't specifically a top coat. But it works, especially with a layer of SV over the top. It is thick and will give your manicure a smoothness and depth that you would have a hard time achieving otherwise. Plus, and this is pretty important, if you don't use some clear polish down before applying the SV you are gonna see shrinkage/cracking/peeling. SV only likes to touch wet or tacky polish. Only the black dots would be wet without the Gelous, which means you would be really sad in a few hours as you peel off your manicure.

all cleaned up and ready to go!
step six
And of course, there is more cleanup. If you are like me, you are now 35% covered in top coat. The easiest laziest way to fix this is to wait until you shower next, and it will pretty much peel right off afterwards. Otherwise, use a brush and a stick to tidy up any top coat on your fingers. If you want. I wont judge you.

not too shabby
And there it is! A super basic manicure with the potential to have a major impact. I actually really like how simple and clean this looks. I remember being pretty sad when it was time to take this one off the first time. What do you think? I would love to see this with neons instead of white...or maybe in reverse!


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