Monday, 13 December 2010

Purple Poinsettia

Karen Thresher is a talented nail technician based in Chard, Somerset, running a busy salon Fresh Image Hair & Nail studio.  I first met Karen some 3 years ago when she attended one of my Fantasy workshops, (actually she is on the video on my website advertising the class). Since then we have done a lot of training together and Karen regularly attends my workshops.

 I was delighted to receive this step by step from her, and wanted to share it with you. To make life easier I now supply the material Karen has used within this design, please visit my website at to purchase your pack. There is more information at the end of this step by step.

This is a beautiful Christmas design nail, which actually looks fabulous all year round, and to celebrate Christmas I have a fantastic competition for you. To win a fantastic price worth £27.50 all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The two best comments, Judged by Karen and me will win this fantastic Christmas prize. You will get some arabella forms, Colour drops and 3 packs of the Tulle, citrus, berry and classic.
So what’s the competition….we want to know how this step by step inspired you. Why are you inspired and what will you be doing about it. Let me give you a little example;

“ Karen inspired me with this simple and very effective way to create a stunning nail using Tulle. So I wanted to share it all with you, and create for you three great little Tulle collections.” Sam Biddle

So take a look at this step by step, have a go and then leave us your comments. We will be judging thiese comments in January. Closing date for this competition is Decemeber 31st 2010. Entry to this completion can only be made via this blog, do not email me your comments, you MUST COMMENT ON THIS POST to enter. Please click on the comment link at the bottom of the post to leave your comment.

Purple Poinsettia by Karen Thresher

I have used these tools and materials to create this deign nail…
Arabella nail forms (available from Sam Biddle
Purple tulle (available from Sam Biddle
NSI 3D white gel (good thick gel)
Artistic red & blue colour drops (Grafton International 01827280080)
Nail art -  Nfu.oh
Nail art pen – star nails
Artistic gel brushes,(Grafton International 01827280080)
Clear Gel from IBD (Grafton International 01827280080)
Gel Top coat

Step1, Using an Arabella nail form, sculpt out a stiletto shape in clear acrylic or gel. I've used acrylic as I found the material sticks to it better. You can also add a couple of drops of the Colour drops, to create added depth to your design.

Step 2,  Cut a piece of tulle just a bit larger than the sculpted nail. Brush resin onto the nail being careful not to get it on the form. Place the material onto the nail and pull it gently round onto the sides so it sticks flat. Hold until dry.

Step 3, Using a small amount of thick white gel & artistic red & blue colour drops mix 1 drop of each of the colours with the white gel to make a nice purple, you can adjust the amounts of colour to get your desired shade.
Using another sculpting form place a very small line of purple gel on the form then with a small gel brush gently tease the gel into the petal shape .. You can make all 5 petals with this gel before curing if you wish.
When you are happy with the petals cure for  2-3 minutes.
Making the petals on the form will give them a lovely curve to fit on to the nail.
Step 4, Draw the veins on the petals with a silver / black nail art pen, do this very fine & thin so that it adds definition to the petals. Let this dry.

Step 5. Place a small amount of clear gel on the nail where the petals are going to be placed. Using tweezers pick up a petal from the form & place it on the material & nail.
You should be able to move this around easily on the clear gel to get the perfect placement. Do this with all 5 petals until you are happy with the flower shape then cure for 2 minutes.

Step 6.  With a tiny amount of clear gel on your gel brush pick up some tiny silver balls or glitter & place in the centre of the flower, flash cure for 10 seconds.
Place a small amount of gel down the centre of the nail & add more glitter and Mylar flakes to make it sparkle, don’t over do it!
 When happy cure for 2 minutes.
 Step 7. Trim the material round the design then cap the nail in clear builder gel to magnify the design. Cure for 2 minutes. Check the shape of the nail & add more gel if required , cure a further 2 minutes. Wipe off the tacky dispersion layer.
Peel the nail off the arabella form & file into shape.
Finish the nail with a shiny top coat sealant to see your design pop out, cure for a final 2 minutes &  there you have your finished nail!


This is the Berry Tulle collection, a rich and Vibrant Purple teamed with a Bright Pink, balanced with a royal blue. These three colours will bring be perfect as a back drop to any flower embellishments.

All tulle packs are just £2.50, to purchase these collections visit


These three colours are a must for the base of any nail design, black, white and this beautiful slightly glittery champagne, you can incorporate these easily within any background colour blend or use with glitter and shimmer powders. Try overlaying the black Tulle over a white free edge of your French tips for that Classic party look!

I love these colours, not normally the first ones to be chosen, they actually highlight your designs, bringing out the colour of the acrylic or gel. Ideal for summer designs, they can't help but add some zing to your art, with this Zesty yellow, the juicy orange is also perfect teamed over yellow colour drops and use this gorgeous green as a lattice for your blooms to grow up.

There will be a short video posted on the website along with some more great ideas, top tips and steps using Tulle, so watch this space, but in the mean time to Win these three collections along with a bottle of colour drops curtsey of Grafton's international and a sample pack of the Arabella forms.
So don't delay......leave your comments to this post today.  


Lara said...

I have never thought of a purple poinsettia before and seeing this step by step has inspired me to create some designs with different colour combinations. Also, the tulle in various colours gives the design a feel of originality and depth so I will consider using it more often. I think I would try to use the gold tulle from the classic collection and then create some holly leaves on the nails as my first attempt. Thank you for such an inspiring post!

Gaynor Stickels said...

Energy, enthusiasm and experience inspire me. As a beginner, to see the passion. experience and knowledge being passed on by these fantastic demonstrations inspire me to progress with my newly chosen career and be the best that I can be. By absorbing your enthusiasm & energy for your work, it sparks my imagination to create wonderful and beautiful things that are loved by others and encourages me to fly :)xx

Sam Biddle said...

how fantastic are both these comments........ brilliantly done ladies:@)

En bonheur said...

What a fab step by step!Simple, effective and a great example of how to use the Arabella Fantasy Forms. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see nail technician such as Karen and Sam sharing their passion and skill with others. People who think outside the box and constantly striving to push peoples imaginations is what fires me up! If your feeling stuck in a creative rut, then do what I do and come to this blogspot or facebook and see how simple creative ideas can reignite that spark. How else will the industry grow if we don't support each others creativity and development! Thanks guys!!

mrs claire kirk said...

ive been in the nail industry for nearly ten years now-and im more passionate now than ever-after meeting kirsty meakin at a mutual friends wedding she has introduced me into the depth of the nail industry-i love nothing more than searching the web for inspiration and scouring through my scratch mags-its pages like this that i will regulary now visit to become inspired by not only sam but other fantastic nail techs that want to learn and help other nail techs becoming the best we can be!!! thank you x
mrs claire kirk

Anonymous said...

Hi every one, as Sam said fantastic comments so far.
So glad you have been inspired.
Sam inspired me so much on all of the classes i have attended.
Its so good to keep feeding your passion for nails!
Keep the comments coming .
Thanks all
Karen Thresher x

Ruth Fordham said...

Wow this is fantastic, this inspires me to recreate this for my bridal clients, the ones that want just that little bit extra. It would be like a petticoat for nails, with pretty flowers. I can see it all coming together. What an inspiring idea, I love it. Thank you for sharing this with us xxx

Much love Ruth Fordham

sian marshall said...

hi...i have just ordered some tulle. I have wanted to use it in designs for some time but could never think of any in which to implement it. Its amazing how being shown a step by step and just one example of what can be done all the ideas start popping up in your head. Thank you
sian marshall

Victoria Hunter (aka vhunter on salongeek) said...

Now I'm inspired to run to the fabric store tomorrow and see how many kinds of tulle there are (oh dear, I'm broke already). I'm eager to try the design depicted in the tutorial BUT even more so in trying some of my own variations.
I'm also now inspired to do a tut using tulle for a different system (which I'll keep hush for now until I share it LOL and no, it's not what you think hehehe)
Looking forward to enticing my client with this, and doing it with different nail shapes :-)

Theresa Bloor said...

Wow - thank you for showing this step by step Sam. The fact that this has been done by one of your previous trainees give us all faith and confidence that any of us can achieve "grand designs"- and not just "wish" that we were as good as you Sam. This has given me that further push that I needed to get "my wish" - being able to do and achieve what was always considered - just for the special experts. Now - where is the tulle?!?!

Claire George said...

I am inspired by great designs such as these, to keep trying and progressing within my new nail career. Seeing the enthusiasm, love and passion being shared with us inspires me to continue and press on despite those with doubts around me. I'm also inspired to use mixed materials in my nail creations, to try out the tutorials and to become a great nail artist like so many others.

Ruth said...

I absolutely love the effect that using tule leaves, although I have always struggled away with trying to inlay it into wet acrylic, hard with larger area's and using it to leave an impression to fill with a colour, this was suing resin, simple but so effective has total inspired me to get creative with tule, a faster, easier, effective and very inspiring tutorial, thankyou, I am planning on convinsing one of my clients to have something similar fo their xmas nails, thanyou!! Ruth Morrison

Stephen said...

What inspires me is to see a Fantastic lady such as Sam, who has been through so much and yet creates unbelievable art. Your friendship and passion is admired by many and appreciated by thousands xx.

Anonymous said...

Hi, firstly id like to say thank you to Karen for sharing her amazing design with us. Although im a new tech this design has not only inspired me, it's shown me how to think outside the box and not to just stick to what i know and what im used to. It is the extra tips and techniques in these step by steps that give me confidence to have a go at recreating these amazing designs which in turn helps me to develop my skills and creativity. Following the step by step has inspired me to incorporate different materials with confidence to come up with my own unique designs.

Adrienne Parker

FingerNailFixer said...

I'm not very good at nail art, my attempts have always been very basic. Seeing the tulle used like this inspires me to have a go with it as a design medium to take my art to another level. I'm anxious to see if I can create a simple sassy design on my nails for new years using the tulle, the vision isn't full in my mind yet, but I'm seeing black tulle, red nails, sparkles, oh the posibilities! Thank you both so much for sharing xoxo

It's A Secret Nail Art said...

This step by step made me want to purchase the Tulle right away! I know I could probably get it here in the US but I wanted to support Sam and Karen by purchasing it here! The design is very pleasing to the eye and dazzles my imagination and I can't wait to receive my order so I play around with great idea!
Thanks for sharing!

Sherryll said...

A leap of the imagination, "yeah that's it. The designed by Karen has inspired me to walk on my created side. I am from Kentucky and have always been before my time, sooooooooooooo what will I do, bring the people along with me on this"Fantasy" Ride! Open up your mind Kentucky because I am getting ready to explore all THINGS possibilities through the "Art" of Nails!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Judy Archibald said...

Thanks once again for inspiring me with more great ideas....sometimes we get stuck in a rut as techs but with your blog and step by steps I'm never short of inspiration and new ideas to put to the test!! So many choices! so many colours! This will definately give me the wow factor over any other techs in my area xxxxx

JacquiO said...

Simple and effective design with Wow factor... Well created. Showing every Salon can create nail art for there clients. This design alson motivates salons to brush up on skills because you have made a design that is achievable...

iuliana ciorik said...

Sam thanks for all presentations and the advices that you give us all the time and to Karen for this step by step. I say wow when I realize how spectacular thinks can be done using simple things such as Arabella Fantasy Forms and Tulle. After that the only thing you need is to develop further these ideas and create fabulos nails. So, I will teach my students how to use Arabella Forms and Tulle and how to create spectacular nails . Thanks for sharing and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Sam Biddle said...

Ladies (& Gents) thank you very much for leaving your comments, I have really enjoyed reading how your all inspired, and i am thrilled that we can continue to provide you with inspiration. I am now chatting with Karen and we will come up with our winners, I will let you know....soon.

Sam Biddle said...

I have announced the winners on my blog this week.
check it out...and congrats to the lucky three!