Thanks to OPI Man With the Golden Gun gold flake top coats are suddenly all the rage. Granted, OPI isn’t the only brand with a gold flake top coat. Sephora by OPI and Zoya have both released their own versions. And while each company’s top coat is slightly different they are all fairly expensive. OPI’s version is $30 and has become quite difficult to find for alot of people.
I, for one, was not willing to drop $30 on a top coat I was sure I’d rarely use. Due to this I begin to think about doing a DIY version. My grandmother was a gold leaf nut. She would gold leaf anything! As I kid I would play with the gold leaf sheets. They were so flimsy and would literally stick to anything. I figured, hey, that might work for my DIY top coat.
If you caught my tweet then you know I hit up my local Michaels. Between the DIY caviar and velvet manicures I’m becoming quite familiar with the place. I spent $6.99 on the supplies for my DIY gold flake top coat and absolutely love the result!
Now, I will say there is a learning curve to this technique (if you will….) and the first time I did it I was frustrated and it was time consuming. But now that I’ve had a little practice I can do it easily and quickly.
Below the jump there is an entire DIY including what supplies are needed and tips on what to avoid doing so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I did!
- A sheet of gold leaf. I actually used copper leaf because yellow gold looks terrible with my particular skintone but if you’re trying to replicate the OPI top coat get the gold leaf sheets.
- A base coat
- A nail polish of your choice for a base color. Try to avoid fast dry nail polishes.
- A top coat
- Tear your gold leaf sheet in about half. You will not use near that much gold leaf but better to have more available than needed.
- Apply a base coat and one coat of the nail polish of your choice.
- Apply a second coat of polish to one nail.
- Tear a small piece of gold leaf off the sheet using tweezers. Be careful not to touch the gold leaf with any of your nails as it will stick!
- I found the best way to give the gold leaf that flakey look was to rub the small piece between my fingers.
- Then once the nail polish on the nail your working is no longer wet but slight tacky, press the gold leaf into the nail.
- Continue with that process until you are happy and apply a thick layer of top coat.
- Repeat on your other nails.
I promise once you get the hand of this it is so easy!
- Don’t use pieces that are too large. The first time I did this I thought I was using small enough pieces but as it turns out they were significantly too big.
- Gold leaf will stick to almost dry nail polish. So don’t think you have to work particularly fast.
- Do not try to tear the gold leaf with your hands once you’ve started painting your nails. It will end badly! Gold leaf it quite attracted to nail polish. Using tweezers will prevent this problem.
- Apply a top coat after you finish working on every nail. If the nail polish dries without a top coat the gold leaf might flake off.
If you have any questions I’ll try my best to answer. But just giving it a shot yourself and practicing will do alot of good!