Beauty: 18k Gold Nail Varnish – DIY or OPI?

After seeing my nails in my last post I got so many questions about them, were they a DIY or one of the expensive real gold nail varnishes?

Rarely for me they were a DIY! Ah now don’t get too excited it doesn’t end well – it never does. I first came across the gold leaf nail varnish when I saw the limited edition OPI ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ in honour of the new James Bond film. I tested it and was really taken with the shimmering, gold flakes – real 18k gold, but at £30 I was a bit hesitant about paying so much for a nail varnish, real gold or not. I went home and deliberated over it, agonised on Twitter where we debated trying it as a DIY.

Hmm I thought, lets see how much gold leaf costs – £2 for ten sheets of real 24k gold leaf, bargain. So I ordered it, it came, I scrunched it up, cut it into tiny pieces with sharp scissors, used a folded sheet of card as a funnel to pour it into a bottle of spare clear top coat, poked it in with the brush, gave it a good shake and that was it, simples! I painted it on and the results you can see on my nails above.

As you know I suck big time at DIY, so I was amazed I’d managed to pull this off. About an hour later I went to get my newly made nail polish to show off and erm it was starting to turn green. Yep that’s right real gold leaf dissolves in nail polish, in fact it totally dissolved over night and left me with a green lagoon coloured varnish yuck! I scoped around online to see if anyone else had managed to pull this off and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this so long as you use fake gold nail art foil and not real gold leaf foil, the fake gold foil doesn’t dissolve woop! But if you are a bit like me and find the beauty in this being the sheer luxury of having real gold on your nails there still is another DIY option. Cut up the gold leaf and just sprinkle it onto the nail, you can use a clear base coat or a colour, the leaf will stick to dry polish so let it dry or it gets messy, sprinkle it on and press down – I just used my fingers but you could use tweezers, then use a clear top coat to seal the gold onto the nail. This is what I did on my toes below, over Chanel ‘Rouge Carat’.

The DIY’s were very easy to do and they achieved a nice larger piece effect – you could cut smaller if you wanted to, I also think it would be great if you wanted to cover the whole nail. Whilst I was on ebay I managed to snag an OPI polish for half price, because by then I really wanted to try it for comparison. You can see the OPI varnish in the first photo over Chanel ‘Blue Satin’. The OPI is a richer, warmer toned gold and is in smaller pieces than my own DIY, the flakes sit flat on the nail bed but I put a clear top coat over to seal it. As the bottle is opaque it is hard to see how much you are getting onto the brush, so be sure to give it a good mix up. You can also use the brush to move the pieces around if you end up with a bald patch and of course layer it up for a more dramatic effect. I have to say I really do love the OPI and I think it is worth the money, however this is such an easy DIY if you only want to spend £2 then go for it. I will be trying out some different looks with the OPI and the DIY. Yes, I did wear my OPI to go see Skyfall, I confess!

Which do you prefer OPI or DIY?

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