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:

  • Caragh Poh

    Have you tried the Seche Vite quick dry top coat? It is AMAZING. You can pretty much do anything except open a can of soda 5 minutes after applying and it won’t smudge. I can go to bed 20 minutes after doing my nails and not have to worry about sheet marks or anything. Sheet marks were the bane of my female existence pre-Seche.

    • molls

      Hot tip, female. Where can you get it?

    • Ramou Sarr

      I concur with the Seche Vite. I get mine at Sally Beauty Supply. Get yoself a Sally card!

      Also, you need to open a can of soda/beer after doing your nails? Use a butter knife. You’re welcome.

    • Caragh Poh

      Either CVS (my mecca) or Walgreens. There’s a warning on the label about it causing birth defects and “other reproductive harm” which made me mad nervous because WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, but after I tried it once I decided I hated sheet marks way more than I love my reproduction system.

    • Anonymous

      IJWTS wow! Why can’t I think of tihngs like that?

    • Anonymous

      More posts of this quality. Not the usual c***, plseae

    • Robin Sharp

      Sheet marks are the worst! I gotta try that stuff.

  • Rebecca Lynn

    I’m always looking for new things to do to my nails, so I love your posts! I just did newspaper print last night, but when that starts chipping, I’m trying this one.

    • molls

      I’m gonna do a newsprint tutorial next week. Gonna be pretty funny stuff because, despite trying about 4 times to get it right, I cannot.

  • Marissa A. Ross

    This is one of my FAVE designs for simple– totally classic with fabulous & funky possibilities.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not easily imerpssed. . . but that’s impressing me! :)

  • Brianna Kim

    These nails are pretty fly. So is prince especially for 25.00. can’t beat prince in I-wood for 25.00!

  • Beth Anton

    Definitely going to try this after my blue & black shatter nails chip but really need to invest in a good top coat first. Excited for the newspaper print tutorial!

    • Anonymous

      Kudos to you! I hadn’t tohuhgt of that!

  • Justine A. Wayne

    so I find myself lying in bed these days thinking about doing my nails fun colors, maybe a diagonal? which I haven’t done in years! you’re inspiring me, but I need a professional mani first I fear… Very good lessons!

  • Maria Jose Rojas

    I’m seriously getting obsessed with this particular blog, I keep checking it every week…(ok, I read it last week and checked again this week,which is the whole amount of posts, but I’ll check it every single week!) I did some cool nail art this week,I’ll send an email and I’ll try this one right now! Pics will be sent! :)

  • Jen Harbourn


  • Georgia Kiley-Lamont

    Where can I find the silver liner? I love this look, it’s awesome.

  • Marta Brewer

    I tried this last night and almost got it perfect. Almost. I feel the need to invest in thin nail brushes now. I am inspired and challenged.

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  • Anonymous

    Reading all these tips is making me old. Thanks to the guys that posted the helpful comments.

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    Excelent info my friend!!, keep it comming!

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