Karen Fratti
June 12, 2017 1:33 pm
Anna Berdnik/Shutterstock

It’s sort of crazy how controversial the nipple can be, especially since most people have a pair. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have become notorious for their nipple censorship. Including, most recently, nipple nail art. Although there are tons of ways to #FreeTheNipple on Instagram, like using Kendall Jenner-style pizza emoji, this nipple manicure is actually pretty chic and subtle.

Depending on what shade of nipples you choose to rock, all of the designs are very French manicure-esque, meaning you could don one for the next summer wedding you have to attend and no one’s grandmother would be the wiser. Manicurist Mei Kawajiri posted a picture of the nipple nails she gave one of her clients, and we’re so impressed with the results.

Creating nipples on your nails is way easier than it looks.

Although we have crazy respect for mani skills like Kawajiri’s, sometimes a trip to the nail salon is just not in the budget. But if you want to DIY nipple nails, you need to have the right supplies. You can definitely achieve this layered effect for little to no cost with just a few contrasting nudes or browns and a detail brush.

To get this effect, you first need to up your beige, brown, or burnt red color game. Got ’em? Let’s carry on.

To make your own nail nipples, you’re going to want to have the right brush for the detail so it doesn’t end up looking like you spilled something. Don’t have a detail brush? Just take a nail polish brush you don’t really use anymore, clean it up, and then trim the sides into a point. Or take an old liquid eyeliner, clean, and get your nipple art on. If you don’t trust your craft skills, there are also cheap dotting tools you can buy online that the pros would swear by.

Start by creating a foundation for your nipple. To get the same effect as Kawajiri’s, you probably want to start with a light, thick coat on the bottom. Once dry, use your skinny detail brush or a stamp in a darker color to make a circle for the 3-D effect. Finally, choose your favorite, darker nude to make a teeny, tiny nipple in the middle. Bonus points for volume to really drive the “nipple” look home to anyone peering at your freshly done nails.

Unless you know what you’re doing, you’re probably going to botch a nail or two in the process. But at least it’s a fun little project to perfect while hiding out in the AC and binge watching Orange is the New Black this summer. Uh, and obviously, if you can nail the look (pun intended), please send pictures.

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