Perfect Match – ikat Nailart Tutorial

This weekend I had two weddings to go to.  Yup, true story – one on Friday and one on Saturday.  Matching your nails to an outfit is hard enough but when you have two outfits, not enough time to re-paint your nails in between and haven’t even found a dress for either occasion, the challenge is really on!

I knew I wanted to try an ikat design as I’d seen it on Instagram and was inspired to give it a go.  The problem was choosing the right colours.  I had read that emerald was the colour of 2014 as revealed by the Pantone Color Institute so, with that as my basis, I sought to choose colours that would compliment some hypothetical emerald dress that I very much hoped I would be able to track down in time for the weekend.


Photo by Blaowphoto


For this manicure you’ll need a little acrylic brush to paint the intricate details.  You can find one in any good art shop.  If you don’t have an acrylic brush you can use a striper or a nailart pen or a cocktail stick or if you don’t have any of the above then you can use a normal nail varnish brush, and making your brush very wide and flat by dragging it along the rim of the bottle on both sides of the brush, you can then use the thin edge of the brush for the pattern detailed below.  Additionally, you will need four colours.

20130921-233752.jpgI went for Eclectic, White on White, Gold Coin  and Knockout all by Revlon.

20130921-233803.jpg1. After applying your base coat, lay down two coats of your first colour – in my case Eclectic.

2. Using your little acrylic brush draw white diamond shapes in an alternating pattern in such a way that some of them seem to go off the canvas of the nail.  The best way to do this is to paint a series of vertical lines of varying lengths, starting with one corner of the diamond and working into the centre with the lines getting increasingly longer and then getting shorter again as you work towards the other side.

3. Repeat point 2 using your gold polish but drawing a smaller diamond inside each of the white shapes so you are left with a white border around the gold.

4. Repeat step 3 using black and draw even smaller diamond shapes inside the gold so you are left with a gold border around the outside of the black.

5. Next add on rough black lines around the outside of the white diamonds being careful not to get too close to other diamond shapes so enough of the green shows through in between each diamond.

6. Lastly add on a layer of your top coat and wait while they dry.

So, armed with my freshly painted nails I went in search of dresses to wear to the two weddings I would be attending.  I was fortunate enough to find the perfect outfits from Beulah London.  

Feeling like a princess, I wore an emerald green Beulah dress to the wedding on Friday (excuse the poor lighting in the photo) which complimented my nails perfectly.  It was the wedding of a friend who I grew up with.  We used to live round the corner from one another and every weekend we would imitate all the arts and crafts projects from Blue Peter and play with our Polly Pockets together.  The wedding was breathtakingly beautiful and the canapés were possibly the most sumptuous I have ever tasted – each one seemed to explode in your mouth!


For Saturday’s wedding, I wore a beautiful sapphire blue Beulah dress.   I know the saying ‘blue and green should never be seen without another colour in between’, but somehow I think it worked well with my nails.  This wedding was completely magical with the reception in a fairytale-esque garden complete with about a million little candles everywhere.  It was absolutely stunning.  A very good friend of mine got married to his beautiful bride and all the speeches had me both in tears and in stitches.


I am by no means an expert on the topic of love or on what makes the perfect couple but I do know that when I coupled my nails with both of these outfits I felt it resonated with what Thomas à Kempis wrote about love (as quoted at the second wedding) – that it is ‘a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good.’  Not to trivialise love, of course, but nailart is pretty up there in my estimations in case you hadn’t gathered!


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