Olympic Fever

I was lucky enough to get tickets for the badminton last Saturday at Wembley Arena, and so decided to decorate my nails accordingly. Unfortunately, no amount of cheering or Union Jack nail art could help Great Britain as they eventually lost to Russia by 3 points in the mixed doubles. Nevertheless, here’s how to recreate my Team GB manicure…

1. The Base Coat: After filing, buffing and pushing down cuticles, always make sure you use a clear base coat. This will protect the nail a bit more as well as making it far easier for you when you take the polish off. One nail product I could not live without is the Rimmel Nail Rescue 14 day nail hardening treatment, available from shops like Boots or Superdrug for £4.59. I always use this as a base coat and a top coat; I swear by this product and have been asked numerous times whether I’m wearing acrylics because my nails have got so strong. The only time they do break is when they get ridiculously long, so if your nails are really prone to breaking I definitely recommend this product.

2. The Base Colours: After the base coat, take your three colours, red, white and blue. In this manicure I used Collection 2000 Lasting Colour in red, a Collection 2000 French Manicure polish in French White (shade 103) and, believe it or not, a Primark nail varnish in Electric Blue. Paint the nail on your thumbs red, the nail on your little finger blue and the rest white and wait until it’s completely dry, repeating if more coats are needed. I needed 2 coats for the blue and white but only one for the red.

3. The St George's Flag: I designed the manicure so that the St George’s flag and Union Jack were on my middle and ring finger, but it’s up to you which nails you choose as long as you make sure that the first coat you use for them is white. For the St George’s flag, all I did was take the sharper end of a wooden disposable cuticle stick and dip it into the red varnish. You need to make sure there’s a fair amount of varnish on it otherwise you won’t get a thick enough stripe. A cocktail stick or nail art brushes/ pens in these colours would work fine too. When you have the varnish on the cuticle stick, dab it straight down the middle of the nail, keeping the line as steady and straight as you can. When that’s done, do exactly the same but across the nail in a horizontal line to create the cross.

4. The Union Jack: I did exactly the same as for the start of the St George’s flag but made the lines a tiny bit thinner by making sure less varnish was on the stick. Once I had done the horizontal, vertical and both diagonal lines, I took another cuticle stick and dipped it into the blue varnish and just filled in the sections between each of the red lines by dabbing the polish on. This is probably the trickiest part as you must make sure that you don’t paint right up to the red lines- there needs to be a bit of white showing either side of them as an outline.

5. The Finishing Touches: Once these are done and dry, simply add a top coat (or 2 if you want it to last even longer or smooth out any bumps), use a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover to get rid of any excess varnish around your fingers. A gold medal worthy Olympic manicure.


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