Get Yo' Nails Did

Free-painting on your nails can be kind of intimidating, especially if you don’t have time to play around. This week I’m going to show you a design that’s easy to accomplish for just about anyone and only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. For me, this was the perfect design for last Friday’s trip to the Prince show because I only had a few spare moments after work, but I’m still the kind of self-respecting female who wouldn’t dare show up to see The Purple One with gross fingers.

I started by selecting my colors. I knew I wanted something pale, something bold and something sparkly, so I went with a light silver (Birthday Babe by OPI), a dark teal (Cuckoo For This Color by OPI) and a sparkly silver detail paint (Silver Liner by Princess.)

I painted each of my fingers with two coats of the pale silver. I wouldn’t be mad if you stopped here, but I encourage you to keep going.

After the paint dried, I applied thick lines of color to the top of the nail in the dark teal. You know the classic French manicure tip? Go for twice that size.

Don’t worry about making everything perfectly even. No one’s going to stare at your hands long enough to inspect the size of your stripes and if they do, good news: They’re in love with you.

If you get a bit sloppy here, whatever. You can always go in later and wipe away any stray paint with a cotton swab or orange stick soaked in nail polish remover.

This is where you get to tie the whole look together.

Take the sparkly color (or whatever detail color you choose, it can absolutely be matte) and draw a thin line between your base color and your tip color. Go as thick or thin as you like. Thin lines always look neater and more impressive to me, but maybe that’s not your style.

At this point you can clean up any stray paint on your skin or cuticles with the aforementioned remover-soaked cotton swab or orange stick. Just make it look neater, but remember that when your nails are fully dry, you can give your hands a wash with warm soapy water and most of the excess will decay and wash off.

Slap on your topcoat. This week I went with Nubar’s Diamont Seal & Shine, which I picked up for free at SXSW.

Commit to sitting back for a few minutes while you wait for your nails to dry. It’s not worth taking the time out to do your nails if you can’t take the time out for them to dry. Nothing’s more lame than spending 15 minutes painting your nails and then rushing the drying process only to have them get smudged, especially if you’re so tight on time that you can’t redo them. Make sure you factor drying time into the process before you sit down to do this, okay? Do it for me.

Limited effort and great results are rare, right? Am I the Rachael Ray of nail art or what?

Be sure to send me photos of your quickie nail art or designs you’d like to see me try out in the future:

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