Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tutorial: Spun Sugar



I have been meaning to get some Halloween tutorials done for a couple weeks now but it never seems to come together as it should. I get busy with other things and before I know it the day is over. The other day I did find some "tutorial time" and set everything out to do the tutorials I have been planning but everything kept going wrong - I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say my efforts ended with some not so lady-like vocabulary and a lot of frustration.

The one thing I did manage to get done, however, was the spun sugar tutorial I have been meaning to get to since... oh, Spring I guess. (So very very behind schedule here, I know!) Since I used black and orange for this because those were the colors I had out at the time... I suppose this can count as a Halloween tutorial of sorts?

Forgive me, I don't recall where I first saw a spun sugar manicure. It's been in so many places since that first time I saw it and I just cannot remember whose blog I first saw it on. I'll have to get a notebook to keep track of where I first spot new (to me) techniques and inspiration so I can make due note of it when I post.

But enough babbling and on to the tutorial!

In nail art, "spun sugar" is just a technique for striping. The final look can vary greatly - it just depends on what you're going for. You can make your lines of polish thicker, or you can make them SUPER thin. With practice you can use this technique for specific stripe placement in your nail art. Or, as I have done with this tutorial, you can just be totally random with it for a "classic" spun sugar look.

I would recommend that you apply some Vaseline or a thick lotion to your fingers around your nails, and go all the way around your finger and cover the pads of your fingers as well before beginning a spun sugar manicure. Because you will be "wrapping" your nails with polish, you WILL get quite a bit of polish on your skin with this technique. Applying the Vaseline or lotion first will make clean-up a lot faster and easier!

The first step is to select your colors. We're just going to use two today to keep it simple but feel free to use however many colors you like. You'll need a base color and a color for your "spun sugar". In my experience, cremes work best for the spun sugar technique but some shimmers or other finishes may work too. You'll have to experiment around a little with different finishes to see what does and does not work other than the cremes. Glitters will NOT work for a spun sugar manicure.

Once you have selected your color(s) for the spun sugar, you will want to pour a bit of that color out onto a palette or a piece of scrap paper. I use a plastic painter's palette from the craft store - it's cheap and having multiple wells it is ideal for nail art when you'll be using multiple colors. But if you don't have one of these, scrap paper will be fine.

Next, paint your nails with your base color and let your nails dry completely.


This is two coats of Salon Perfect "Pumpkin"


You will probably still have free time to read, watch tv, have lunch... whatever. Spun sugar manicures require a little patience. You need the color(s) you will be "spinning" to dry enough that they become thick and "stringy". Like this:

The black I used for this tutorial is Pure Ice "Black Rage"

Every so often just give the polish a little stir to check the consistency and see if it "strings". I just use a tooth pick but if you prefer you can use a dotting tool. Once the polish has the right consistency, you will want to pull up a string of the polish and drape it over your nails (one nail at a time of course) and use a wrapping motion, going in a full circle around your finger couple times till the string of polish is used up. Then repeat the process till you have the desired look. Let this dry before applying top coat so you don't smear your stripes.

This method does take some practice, but once you master it, it's a lot of fun and offers up a lot of possibilities with your nail art! You can make the stripes as thick or thin as you like, you can make all the stripes go in one direction or you can apply them in different directions, and as I mentioned above once you've got this down you can also use this method for perfect, precise stripes in your nail art even if you only want one or two stripes in your design. Just practice and have fun with it and see what you come up with!



comments powered by Disqus