Colors: Lira (Borghese), Brownstone (China Glaze), Little Brown Dress (Essie), Hey Sailor (China Glaze)
I’ve been catching up on Pretty Little Liars episodes, and I realized those chicas have some really fun nail art! Naturally, tutorial brain took over. Hanna’s leopard print manicure in “Let the Water Hold Me Down” (episode 16 in season 2 of Pretty Little Liars) is really easy to recreate!
Start by painting all your nails with a base coat. Then, use a creme like Hey Sailor (China Glaze) to paint some of your nails a solid red color. If you look at Hanna’s nails, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the way her nails are painted, so don’t stress about which nails are red, and which ones aren’t.
Use a gold foil like Lira (Borghese) to paint the nails that will have the leopard print pattern. Once that is dry, use my leopard print tutorial to finish the look. Use a coppery bright brown like Brownstone (China Glaze) to plop on leopard spots. Then, with a dotting tool or toothpick, use a dark brown like Little Brown Dress (Essie) to draw parenthesis-like shapes around the spots. Lastly, fill in the extra gaps between your leopard spots with small dots/blobs. Check out the full leopard print tutorial for more detailed directions.
Once all your nails are dry, seal everything in with your favorite top coat!
If you’ve noticed any nail art looks on Pretty Little Liars that you want to recreate on your own nails, let me know (in the comments or via the ask box) which episode the nail art is in, and I’ll see what I can do about a tutorial. Even better is if you can point me to a screencap of a particular nail art design!
Colors: Mandy (Julep), Glenn (Julep), Carrie (Julep), Blake (Julep), Brigitte (Julep)
I’ve received requests for a cupcake nail art tutorial since I first posted my cupcake mani in September (here), so I hope this tutorial is helpful. For such a cute end result, it’s actually very easy to recreate. Stay tuned!
Start by painting your nails with a base coat. Then, use a sweet pink like Mandy to paint about half your nail. Don’t stress about neatness! With a bright red like Glenn, use a thin paint brush to paint vertical lines over Mandy. Also add a horizontal line to the tip of your nail to create the bottom of your cupcake.
Using a dotting tool (you can also substitute a toothpick, ballpoint pen, or the back end of a make-up brush), create light pink frosting on your cupcake. Since I’m keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme, I’ve used Carrie for the frosting. Just like with real cupcakes, after the frosting comes the sprinkles! My sprinkles are in Brigitte, Mandy, and Blake, but you can use whatever colors you prefer. Place one drop of each sprinkle color on a napkin or a piece of scrap paper. Then, using a toothpick or needle, dot on your sprinkles. Take your time!
Next, I used Glenn and a tiny paint brush to add a tiny little heart on top of the cupcake. If you don’t have the patience for this, grab your dotting tool, and add a cherry on top instead. You can also add a rhinestone on top as well. The options are endless!
Once your cupcake is totally dry, seal in your design with a top coat. And that’s it! Now you can paint cupcakes on the rest of your fingers as well, or you can keep only one cupcake to accent an ordinary manicure, or you can be adventurous and add different designs to your other nails. Get creative and have fun! :)
Colors: A-Taupe The Space Needle (OPI), Get In The Expresso Lane (OPI), Superstar! (Pure Ice), Black Lingerie (Revlon), Chancer (Butter London)
Several of you have written in to ask for a basic reindeer nail art tutorial, so here it is! :)
Start by painting a half circle in light brown on your nail. Use a dotting tool or thin paintbrush to add ears in the same color to the top of this half circle. Your reindeer’s antlers will go in-between the ears, so make sure the ears are painted far apart.
While the light brown is drying, use a thin paintbrush to paint in some dark brown antlers in-between the reindeer’s ears. Start by painting two long lines sticking out of its head, and then add in shorter lines to complete the antlers. If your paintbrush is thin enough, feel free to add more details to the antlers.
By now, the light brown should be dry, so it’s time to paint on the reindeer’s eyes! Start by using a large dotting tool to place two white dots where the eyes should be. Once those are completely dry, use a smaller dotting tool to place two smaller black dots within the initial white dots. And when those are dry, use a toothpick to add in two white dots as highlights in the reindeer’s eyes. Make absolutely certain you wait for each layer of dots to dry. Your impatience might cause you to have to start all over again!
Lastly, use a glittery red nail polish to paint in Rudolph’s red nose. If you want to paint reindeer on all your nails, try painting only one reindeer’s nose red (Rudolph!), and the rest black. This reindeer design is also a great accent for a taupe or nude manicure for the holidays.
Once everything is dry, don’t forget to seal in your design with your favorite top coat. Enjoy! :)
Colors: Poinsettia (China Glaze), Icicle (China Glaze), Black Lingerie (Revlon)
This nail art design is pretty easy to recreate! All you need is three colors of nail polish (one for your “gift,” one for the bow, and one with which to outline the bow), a thin paintbrush or striper, and whatever you use as a dotting tool.
Start by painting half your nail with your gift color (in my case, that’s the red). Don’t stress about making straight lines! If you need more than one coat of your gift color, make sure you wait for each coat of nail polish to dry before applying more.
Next, using your bow color (silver) and a large dotting tool or the back end of a make-up brush, create a large dot in the middle of your nail. Once this has completely dried, use a smaller dotting tool or a toothpick to create the wings of your bow. It’s okay if this part doesn’t look super precise.
After everything from the previous step has dried, use a striper or thin paintbrush to outline the details in your bow. This is where neatness counts, so take your time. I start by outlining the wings of the bow, then the middle of the bow, and then I add the tiny details within the bow.
In case you’re curious, I used this paintbrush (I purchased it from Michaels) to paint on the outline/details of the bow. Perusing the paintbrushes at any craft store is a great way to find ideal paintbrushes for nail art. You definitely don’t need the exact same paintbrush I use.
Once everything has dried, don’t forget to seal in your design with your favorite top coat!
This design is so versatile. You can “tie up” all your nails, use the design to accent just one nail, or use different gift and bow colors to really make a statement! Best of all, you can bring it back for any gift-giving occasion. Enjoy! :)
Colors: Snow White (Ulta), Black Lingerie (Revlon), Hey Sailor (China Glaze), Sun-Sational (Ulta), Blagger (Butter London), Holly-Day (China Glaze)
Since most people put up their holiday lights this weekend, I thought I’d create a matching manicure for the occasion. :)
Start by using a make-up sponge to sponge on a white color on your nail. Begin at the tip of your nail and sponge up toward the cuticle. It’s your choice whether or not you go all the way up to the cuticle. I think it looks nice any way you go about it. The idea here is that the sponged on white looks a bit like snow gathered on a window or something.
Don’t worry if you make a mess all over your skin as you sponge on nail polish. Simply soak a q-tip in nail polish remover, and then clean up around your nail.
I didn’t do this next part, but I think it would look great if you added a layer of glitter over the white. I think China Glaze’s Fairy Dust or Snow Globe would add the perfect sparkle. Just make sure the white layer is totally dry before you layer on the glitter; otherwise, you’ll smear the white you just sponged on!
Next, use a black striper or a thin paint brush to create a wavy line. Then, use a thin paint brush, dotting tool, or toothpick to carefully add on your lights. I used red, yellow, blue, and green, but you should feel free to use whatever colors you like. :)
Make sure everything is totally dry, and then seal in the design with your favorite top coat!
Colors: Blagger (Butter London), Cheeky Chops (Butter London), Black Lingerie (Revlon)
My leopard print manicure from about a month ago received several notes/reblogs, so I thought I’d create a tutorial for it. Plus, I believe someone requested an animal print tutorial, so here you go! :)
Start by painting your nail with a base coat and then a base color. Once that has dried, use a contrasting color to paint on spots. You don’t need a dotting tool or anything to do this. Just use the nail polish brush to plop on messy spots as I have. Once that dries, use a dotting tool, toothpick, striper, or small paint brush to create parenthesis-like shapes around your spots. Add dots/blobs to fill in any empty spaces/gaps. Seal in your design with a top coat, and you’re all set!
Helpful tips: Pay attention to how far apart your leopard spots are. You don’t want your nail to look too busy, and you also don’t want your spots so close that all the details end up touching. Also, when choosing colors, make sure your leopard spot color contrasts with your base color and isn’t too similar to whatever color you’re using to create your parenthesis-like shapes and dots/blobs.
I’m hoping to create more tutorials for yall, similar in style to the penguin tutorial I posted yesterday. It has received several notes/reblogs!
Voice off in the comments or leave a reply: Are there any nail art designs/themes/trends/ideas for which you would like for me to create tutorials?
Colors: Blue Lace (Nicole), He’s My Boo (OPI), Mummy Knows Best (OPI), Black Lingerie (Revlon)
I had done a simpler penguin manicure earlier in the week, and upon seeing the penguin mani in my previous post, my sister told me she liked the simpler penguin better! So, I’ve whipped up this quick tutorial for yall. Hope it’s easy to follow!
Start out by painting your nail with a base coat and then a base color (I think anything that contrasts with white will do, but obviously, I’ve used a blue color). There are a few ways you can do the second step. You can use a white striper to paint an “m” shape, and then color that in. You can also use a dotting tool to create this shape. What I did was turn the OPI pro-wide brush on its skinny side; then, I painted two lines down my nail. The “humps” formed themselves! Once this white part is dry, paint on your penguin’s facial details. Feel free to jazz him/her up. Add a tie or bow, a hat, a mustache, have the eyes pointing in different directions, etc. Don’t forget to seal in your design with your favorite top coat!
I may try to do more simple tutorials like this in the future. Let me know if yall would want that! :)