DIY Nail Art Tutorial

DIY Nail Art Tutorial

Hi!! It’s Anna. If you ever have a lot of time on your hands (get it?) and want to accomplish something cool, then this nail tutorial is for you. The finished product looks really complicated, but it is a lot easier than it looks!! Ready to see how to achieve an optical illusion on your fingertips? Let’s start with the list of necessary supplies:

1) A dotting tool. This could be a bobby pin like this one, with a rounded tip:

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Or it could be an actual dotting tool (I recommend getting one if you are really into nail art) such as this one:
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2) A base coat polish. I’m using Nailtiques Formula 2, but you can use any polish that will act as a base and also as protection from the not-so-good effects that nail polish can have on the nail.
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3) White nail polish.
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4) Another color of nail polish; I am using this purple one from OPI (sorry, it doesn’t have a name on the bottom!), but you could use any color that you like. I think that the design would also look cool in aqua blue and red.

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5) A top coat. I’m using Seche Vite because it’s one of the best top coats that I’ve come across, but any top coat by Essie or another good polish company will do the trick.

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6) Finally, you need a nail polish remover. This will clean up any mess that happens during the decorating process. Try to use a non-acetone remover; acetone isn’t good for the nails and could cause breakage.

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Also, you should probably keep some cotton balls/cotton swabs nearby so that you can clean up at any time.

Now that you have all the supplies, let’s start the tutorial.

First, you want to start off with filed, clear nails.

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Apply one coat of your base coat. Let this dry completely before continuing; it could take from 5-10 minutes depending on how fast-drying your base coat is.

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Next, carefully apply two coats of white polish so that it is solid white, not patchy. Take extra care not to apply the second coat quickly after the first, because your polish will streak and things will get messy. Make sure to apply enough polish to cover the entire nail, but not so much that it seeps into your cuticles and drips off. A good technique for applying polish is to start at the bottom  center of the nail and drag a blob of nail polish  upwards and to the sides in a curved motion. If you get any polish on your cuticles, it’s completely fine. You can clean it up after you finish decorating with your nail polish remover.

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Make sure your white polish is completely dry before continuing!! If it isn’t completely dry, the white will blend with whatever color you layer over it, and fixing it can get tedious. Once you’re absolutely sure that it’s dry, it’s time to use your chosen colored polish. I’m going to go ahead and use my purple polish. What you will do is pick a side you want your horizontal line to face (the horizontal that cuts across the nail). I made my lines face the opposite hand, but it really is a matter of preference. Start by painting from the bottom of the line, which should be a little lower than the center of your nail bed, and slowly extend the brush to the other side of your nail bed, like so:

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Try to make sure that each nail’s horizontal is about equal in distance and width. As you can see, I already made a mistake on my thumb and the skin under my pinkie finger, but we’ll take care of that later. Don’t worry about mistakes!! With nail polish remover, everything comes together at the very end.

Next, once your color dries completely, pour a bit of your white polish onto a disposable surface, like paper or a post-it.Take your dotting tool, dip it into the pool of white polish, and make white dots on the PURPLE side of the nail like so:

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This already looks cool, right? If you want, you can stop here. However, if you plan on finishing the process completely, the next step is to pour a bit of your colored polish onto your paper or post-it. Take your dotting tool (if you’re using a bobby pin, simply use the other side. if you want to re-use your tool, soak it in nail polish remover and wipe it with a cotton ball) and dip it into the colored polish. What you’re going to do is dot in between the white dots that you made, but on the WHITE side. It should look like this:

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Now, take your nail polish remover and clean up any errors that you made around your cuticle/skin. This is the one step where having the nails completely dry is SUPER important!! If you apply top coat while the nails are still drying, your design could streak and all of your efforts will go to waste. I know this from experience, and it isn’t a nice feeling. However, if you’re confident that they’re dry (I suggest waiting 20-30 minutes for certainty) then apply your top coat.

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And you’re done!!! This took me about 2 hours to do. It seems it’s extremely time consuming, but again, it’s something to do if you’re bored. If you’re worried that you aren’t skilled enough or that your hand will slip, don’t worry!!! With practice and time you will get better at it! The key is to not get frustrated and give up, because I know I’ve had many of those instances. If you’re patient, then you will be able to have some really cool portable art on your very fingertips. I hope you liked this tutorial!