Introduction: How to Paint Fabulous Fingernails

Picture of How to Paint Fabulous Fingernails

Special occasions can happen every day, and when they do, you want to look and feel your best. Having painted nails is a great way to add a fun fashion statement to your look. These instructions will inform you on basic technique for painting beautiful fingernails. They also provide information on how to make easy designs using household items. Painting your own nail designs not only makes you look beautiful, but it will give you the confidence to know that you can do anything you put your mind to! With a few easy tips, anyone, from beginners to professionals, can master the skills required for making polka doted, striped, and french tipped nails.  In only 15-30 minutes, you will successfully create festive nail art perfect for any occasion!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Basic Supplies:
- Nail polish (at least 2 of contrasting colors)
- Clear top coat nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Q-tips

Design Tools:
- Paper plate
- Bobby pin
- Toothpick
- Price sticker

Cost:
Depending on the quality of nail polish you want, this project can cost between $10-$20. Some of my favorite nail polish brands include OPI, New York Color, Essie, and Sally Hansen. 

Required Skills:
None! Anyone with a desire to learn can master these skills with a little bit of practice. 

Step 2: Base Color

Picture of Base Color

1. Pick one polish to be your base color.
2. Twist the cap to open the bottle and pull out the brush, wiping excess polish off on the edge of the bottle.
3. Place a large drop of nail polish from the brush to the middle of your nail close to the cuticle.
4. Evenly spread the polish by pulling the brush in a straight line from the cuticle to the tip of the nail.
5. Place the brush back into the bottle to gather more polish as needed.
6. Continue adding streaks of paint to the left and right sides of the nail until the entire nail is painted.
7. For best results, make sure that the polish is spread in an even layer and that your brush strokes are all straight lines from cuticle to tip.

Step 3: Base Color

Picture of Base Color

8. Once the nail is completely painted, repeat for all other nails.
9. Let the nails dry for at least five minutes; make sure not to touch anything to avoid smudging the polish.
10. If you would like a darker color, add another coat of polish to your nails and let dry.

From here, there are thousands of designs you can add to make your nails extra special. I will demonstrate easy ways to make polka dots, stripes, and french tips.

Step 4: Polka Dots

Picture of Polka Dots

1. Take a glob of your accent color polish and place it on a paper plate.
2. Open up a bobby pin; drop one rounded end into the glob of polish to gather the paint onto the pin.
3. Gently press the bobby pin down onto the nail to release the polish in a circular shape.
4. Lift the pin straight off of the nail to reveal the dot while avoiding smears and drips. 
5. Dip the bobby pin in the polish again to coat the pin with more polish.
6. Continue to add dots in random locations until the nail has the design you desire.

*Advanced Tip: For different sizes and styles of dots, try also using toothpicks, dried up pen tips, or round tip tack heads as dotting tools.

Step 5: Stripes

Picture of Stripes

1. Take a glob of your accent color polish and place it on a paper plate.
2. Hold one end of the toothpick and dip the other half into the polish; you will want to collect as much paint on the toothpick as you can.
3. Carefully lay the toothpick onto your nail in a straight line; this will allow the polish to transfer from the toothpick to your nail.
4. Re-paint the toothpick and continue adding polish to the stripe if needed.
5. Repeat this process to make more stripes that are equally spaced apart on your nail.

*AdvancedTip: If you want straighter lines, cut thin strips of scotch tape. Place the strips on your fingers in a stripped pattern. Paint over the nail, let dry, and peel away the tape.

Step 6: French Tip

Picture of French Tip

1. Take a price sticker off the sheet of paper.
2. Place the sticker on your nail to cover the base paint, leaving  3-5 mm of nail exposed at the tip.
3. Apply the polish from the top of the sticker to the tip of the nail.
4. Make sure that the nail tip is completely filled in with the accent color and has an even coat of paint.
5. Finally, gently peel away the price sticker.

*Note: Make sure that your nail is 100% dry before beginning this design. Wet polish can come off with the sticker and ruin your design.

Step 7: Finishing

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1. Open the top coat and pull out the brush.
2. Generously paint the top coat over all nail designs to prevent chipping and damage.
3. Clean up any extra nail polish that may have gotten on your skin by dipping a Q-tip in nail polish remover and rubbing it on the painted skin area.
4. Go show off your awesome fingernails with pride!


Step 8: Conclusion

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Having bold nail designs is a growing trend in the fashion industry, but you don't need spend a fortune at a salon to look modern and stylish. With a little practice, these basic designs can easily be mastered and developed to make other patterns and shapes. Flowers, animal print, hearts, and plaid can all be created by combining the designs and advanced tips listed in this tutorial. Fancy fingers are in your future, so enjoy the special occasions in your life knowing that you are beautiful inside and out!

Comments

sjames32 (author)2014-05-02

wow! This is great.

rubiksnerd (author)2013-03-11

Thanks for the tutorial! My nails looks great because of this.

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