One of the things I was most excited about when I got the Essence Vintage District nail art kits (you can see what I did with the microbeads here) was the little square of gold leaf in one of the kits. It looks tiny, but when you unfold it (carefully), it looks like this:
After my disappointment over the not-very-leafy Catrice gold leaf topcoat, I wanted to see if I could make my own from a clear polish and the gold leaf in this kit. I used an Essence studio nails clear topcoat for this.
Firstly, I chopped the sheet up into tiny little pieces on a piece of card using a nail scissors. This is really fiddly, even breathing on it made them fly off the table! I chopped them up as small as I could.
Then, I rolled another smaller piece of card into a funnel shape and put it into the bottle of polish.
I tipped the gold into the polish and used a cocktail stick to push it down into the base. I gave it a good shake, and voila - gold leaf topcoat! I wanted to try it over a few different polishes, so I used green (Sinful Colors Last Chance), grey (Catrice ASHley), pink (Essence Naughty and Pink), black (Pumpkin Polish) and dark red/wine (China Glaze Short and Sassy).
36 hours later, after a lot of cooking, cleaning and washing up, it's still firmly stuck on with only minor tip wear. My topcoat could have done with a bit more gold leaf - I had to fish the pieces out of the bottle, mainly due to this happening:
It's fiddly, but it's completely killed my OPI topcoat lemming!