I have had fun with this technique for years but for some reason it never occurred to me to make a tutorial of it. And actually now that I am thinking of it, I am not sure I ever even got any NOTD posts made with any of the manicures I have done with this technique. hmm.
This is a ridiculously simple technique, though it can be a little messy especially if you use glitter. Now, being a glitter fiend I am not bothered in the least by getting glitter all over the place when I do this. If you have family/roomies to consider or you prefer to keep the sparkle on your nails and not all over the house, you may want to step outside for this or work over a sink.
What you need:
clear polish or top coat that is not quick-drying
a piece of scrap paper (optional, I will explain further down)
loose powder pigment, mica, or glitter
If you're planning in advance to use this technique, you can simply work with the colored polish while it is still wet. If you decide after your polish has already dried that you need to add a little something extra to the manicure, you'll want that clear polish or top coat to give the pigment/glitter something to stick to. Either way, work with just one nail at a time so that the polish or top coat is wet.
Using a piece of scrap paper is optional, based on what direction you want the pigment/glitter to go. If you want the majority of it to be at the tips of your nails, you will need the scrap paper. If you want the majority of the pigment/glitter around your cuticles, you don't need the paper. (You could still use it if you really wanted to, but it's not necessary.)
For this tutorial I am just using a nail wheel, and I will be using the scrap paper. Again if you want the most concentration of pigment/glitter on the tips of your nails, use the scrap paper as I show in this tutorial.
Hold the paper close to the tip of your nail...
And then blow on the pigment/glitter. Voila!
Let the polish/top coat dry before adding a protective layer of top coat to seal the pigment/glitter on.
To do this same technique but with the pigment/glitter concentrated at the cuticles instead of the tips, just carefully place some pigment/glitter around your nail at the cuticle (make sure it doesn't actually touch the nail) just before you add your final coat of color (or the clear/top coat if you're adding this to a previously completed manicure) then after applying the color/top coat, blow the pigment/glitter onto your nail.
You can also put the pigment/glitter just on the corners, layer a couple different colors etc. Play around with it, it's a fun technique. It might take a few tries to figure out how hard you have to blow on the pigments/glitter to get it just right, and yes the pigment/glitter will go flying all over the place when you do this. But it's a simple way to add a little extra something to an otherwise plain manicure.
If you're not crazy about the idea of blowing onto your nails or maybe you have a friend who wants you to do their nails like this for them and you feel weird blowing on their nails, use a quick shot of *canned air instead. This will also take some practice to learn how far away to hold the can to get the results you're looking for, but it will work. Practice on some nail wheels before doing your nails/your friend's nails so you can get a better feel for it before actually doing the manicure.
* - Canned air is sold in office supply stores and in the electronics departments of places like Target, K Mart, and Wal Mart.