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Nail Design

9 Easiest Nail Art Designs to Master [Bonus: 4 Difficult Designs That Are Worth the Effort]

by Sree Roy | January 9, 2012

Easy Design #1: Metallic Garden

Olga Palylyk
Ornate Nailz by Olga and GelArtNails.com
Surrey, British Columbia,
Canada

Palylyk specializes in gel nails and hopes her tutorials will inspire other nail artists to create their own gel nail art designs. She uses Amore Ultima Gel Nail System products. Most of Palylyk’s video tutorials are available by purchase only, but she’s made two videos available for free for this article. Get more of her gel video tutorials at www.gelartnails.com.

1. Prep the nail and apply Ultima Bonder. Flash cure for 20 seconds. Apply Cache Pink Sculpture Gel in Warm onto the entire nail. Cure for two minutes. (Repeat this step if more coverage is needed.)

2. Brush Ultima Builder onto the entire nail. Apply silver and white mylar in spots. Cure for two minutes.

3. Brush Ultima Builder onto the entire nail again. Use Primary Black gel to add lines to accent the design. Cure for two minutes.

4. Apply Pixie color gel in Silver Lining to add sparkle. Cure for two minutes.

5. Apply Sculpt and Shine to seal. Cure for two minutes. Cleanse.   

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/metallicgarden.


Easy Design #2: Dotted French

Robin Moses
www.robinmoses.com
Florence, Ore
.

Moses provides NAILS readers with this easy way to disguise a less-than-perfect French manicure. It’s a way to get a wearable fun result while you practice your smile lines. Moses churns out gorgeous nail art videos several times a week on her YouTube channel. Nail art, she says, “occupies 20 hours of my day right now.” Get more of her tutorials at www.robinmoses.com.

1. Create a French manicure, and don’t worry if the smile line isn’t perfect.

2. Sand down a toothpick, so that one side is a large dot and the other end a fine dot. (Or use a nail art dotting tool, if you have one.) Pick a palette of colors that go together, in this case light blue, dark blue, and green. Use the larger side of the toothpick to create light blue dots above and below the smile line.

3. Use the smaller side of the toothpick to create dark blue dots above and below the smile line. Use the smaller side of the toothpick to create green dots above and below the smile line. You can even add small dots inside the large dots if you want.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/dottedfrench.


Easy Design #3: Simple Flowers

Alexandra Mansoor (AKA Algae Veronica)
lotsafingerpaints.tumblr.com
Madison Heights, Mich.

Mansoor shows an easy way to create a flower by first creating five dots, then pulling from the center of each dot to the center of the circle to transform the dots into petals. If you don’t have a nail art dotting tool, just use a toothpick.

1. Polish the nail pink. Using a dotting tool or a toothpick, create five white dots in a circle. Create a second set of five white dots in a circle.

2. After about 45 seconds, place a toothpick in the center of each dot and carefully drag to the center of the flower.

3. Use a striper brush and hot pink polish to create two wisps.

4. Dip the tip of a toothpick into white polish, then add small dots on both sides of each flower and along one of the wisps.

5. Add a stripe of silver glitter underneath the top pink stripe. Dab your toothpick into silver glitter and dot the center of each flower.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/simpleflowers.

 


Easy Design #4: Cosmic Showers

Hillary Fry
DNA (inside Scenario Hair Design)
Shorewood, Wis.

“All glitter nails are not the same,” Fry says. “Did you know the type and grade of glitter greatly affects the outcome?” This tutorial uses four different glitters, from near-dust particles to hexagonal hologram discs to show how you can vamp up a look with little time added to a service. View more of Fry’s tutorials at www.youtube.com/solessence.

1. Apply Shellac UV Base Coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for 10 seconds. Apply a thin coat of Shellac in Asphalt. Cure for two minutes. Apply a second thin coat of Asphalt. Cure for two minutes. Apply microfine glitter to the nail, concentrating it on the center of the nail and toward the free edge. Glitter travels fast, so start where you want the art to end if you find it hard to control.

2. Apply a layer of ultrafine glitter to the nail.

3. Apply fine glitter to the free edge. It shouldn’t be perfect, but it can have a vague resemblance to a French.

4. Apply hexagonal hologram discs along the dividing line between the ultrafine glitter. Apply Shellac UV top coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for two minutes. Use a plastic-backed lint-free pad soaked with 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove the inhibition layer.

Watch the video at nailsmag.com/video/cosmicshowers.


Easy Design #5: Cute Cupcake

Lacy Hood
En Wrapture Salon
Post Falls, Idaho

Three shades of colored acrylic create this sweet design, in which imperfection actually makes the “frosting” look better! The accompanying video is Hood’s first-ever nail art tutorial video, inspired by this article assignment.

1. Polish the nail white. Use EZ Flow colored acrylic in Decisions, Decisions to make a sort of cone shape.

2. While it’s still wet, but not runny, use something sharp (like a cuticle pusher) to make vertical slats.

3. Use EZ Flow colored acrylic in Sweet Pea to create the frosting. Drag the color down on the sides and maybe somewhere in the middle. Imperfection is key.

4. While the Sweet Pea is still wet, place a red rhinestone off-center so it’s flush with the acrylic.

5. Use INM colored acrylic in Rain Forest for the stem.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/cutecupcake.


Easy Design #6: Shellac Swirls

Schippers was honored with CND’s prestigious 2010 Education Ambassador of the Year Award. Schippers, who joined CND in 2004 as an education ambassador, represents CND’s techniques and nail knowledge to peers in the nail industry via education events and social media. Here, she shares an easy Shellac design for nail art beginners. Get more help from Schippers at blogs.nailsmag.com/fingernailfixer.

1. Apply Shellac UV Base Coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for 10 seconds. Apply a thin coat of Shellac in Tutti Frutti. Cure for two minutes. Apply a second thin coat of Tutti Frutti. Cure for two minutes.

2. Apply a thin coat of Shellac in Rock Royalty. Before curing, use a stylus or art brush to quickly draw swirls. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for two minutes.

3. Sprinkle on the desired amount of fine loose glitter, which will stick to the inhibition layer. Use a brush to remove excess glitter. Apply Shellac UV Top Coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for two minutes. Use a plastic-backed lint-free pad soaked with 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove the inhibition layer.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/shellacswirls.

Next page: Step-by-steps for Paper Hands, Swirled Elegance, and Black Flower nail art designs.

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Easy Design #7: Paper Hands

Lina Nyberg
laLUNE Design
Stockholm, Sweden

Try making different variations of this design by Lina Nyberg by using different colors of papers and cutting out different shapes. If you’re familiar with wraps, then this design will be super simple for you.

1. Cut hand shapes out of blue, pink, and yellow tissue paper. Apply nail glue to the nail. Place the blue hand on top of the glue, then use a manicure stick to smooth it into place.

2. Apply nail glue on top of the blue hand where you want the next hand to go, then place the pink hand on top of the nail, partially overlapping the blue (to create a purple shade) and smooth into place with a manicure stick.

3. Apply nail glue on top of the blue hand where you want the last hand to go, then place the yellow hand on top of the nail, partially overlapping the blue (to create a green shade) and smooth into place with a manicure stick. Cut off the excess tissue paper with manicure scissors. Apply a nail wrap on top of the entire nail, trimming to fit as needed. Seal with resin. File and buff.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/paperhands.


Easy Design #8: Swirled Elegance

Gina Silvestro
Essentialz of Beauty
Cranston R.I.

Silvestro is an Akzéntz educator. Like other great designs for beginners, this design relies on creating simple swirls. They don’t have to be perfect, so just pull out a dotting tool and go for it. View more of Silvestro’s tutorials at www.gelessentialz.com.

1. Apply a layer of Akzéntz Luxio Gel in Noir. Cure.

2. Apply a thin layer of Odyssey Nail Systems One Gel Paint in Sterling. Don’t cure.

3. Use a dotting tool to create a swirl pattern. Cure.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/swirledelegance.


Easy Design #9: Black Flower

Christie Gibson
Christie’s Nails
Ocean View,
Hawaii

If you’re new to handpainting, then this design by Christie Gibson is a good one to start with. Make sure your black acrylic paint isn’t too thick. If your paint is hard to maneuver, add some water to it to help it flow. Watch more of Gibson’s videos at www.christiesnails.com.

1. Apply UV gel-polish base coat to the nail. Cure. Apply green gel-polish to the nail. Cure. Apply a second coat of green gel-polish to the nail. Cure. Leave the sticky layer on the nail. Use a natural bristle brush to press green glitter into the corner of the nail. Press the glitter flat with your finger to create a smoother surface. Apply UV gel-polish top coat. Cure. Remove the sticky layer. Buff lightly.

2. Use a 20/0 liner brush and black acrylic craft paint to paint three black petals in one corner. Add a dot in the center.

3. Paint a wavy line coming from the petals.

4. Add another line crossing over the first. From here you can add more dots or keep it simple like this one. Apply gel-polish top coat. Cure. Remove the sticky layer.  

Watch the video at nailsmag.com/video/blackflower.


Next page: 4 Difficult (But Worth It) Designs

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4 Difficult (But Worth It) Designs


Difficult Design #1: Purple Reef

Step-by-step by Olga Palylyk

1. Prep the nail and apply Ultima Bonder. Flash cure for 20 seconds. Apply Cache Pink Sculpture Gel in Warm onto the entire nail. Cure for two minutes. (Repeat this step if more coverage is needed.) Apply Ultima Builder onto the nail and remove the excess from one side in a half-French shape. Do not cure.

2. Apply Primary Purple gel onto the bare area. Do not cure.

3. Draw swirls with the Primary Purple on the wet Builder area. Cure for two minutes.

4. Apply Ultima Builder in the same manner onto the nail, leaving out the solid purple area. Use the Primary Purple to add more swirls and dots. Apply Pixie color gel in Magic Mauve onto the solid purple area. Cure for two minutes.

5. Apply Sculpt and Shine to build and balance the entire nail. Cure for two minutes. Shape, file, and cleanse. Apply Sculpt and Shine to seal. Cure for two minutes. Cleanse.

Watch the video at nailsmag.com/video/purplereef.


Difficult Design #2: Floral French

Step-by-step by Robin Moses

1. Start with a diagonal French manicure using any two colors, in this case dark blue and pink. Add leaves (shown here in white) along the smile line.

2. Create a medium and a dark color that go together. (For example, if your leaves are a light color, then try a medium blue and a dark blue.) Use a small brush to paint 3/4 of the way up the petal with the medium blue, then in the center go about 1/3 up with the dark blue.

3. After the petals have dried, use a toothpick or a dotting tool to dot the center of the flowers and create a dotted curved line around the flowers. Feel free to experiment with the color choices here. You can mix any colors together and your clients will never guess that you’re doing the same design. (Try white, medium, and dark pink for Valentine’s Day.)

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/floralfrench.


Difficult Design #3: Shellac Curves

Step-by-step by Holly Schippers

1. Apply Shellac UV Base Coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for 10 seconds. Apply a thin coat of Shellac in Cream Puff. Cure for two minutes.

2. Apply a thin coat of Shellac in Black Pool. Before curing, use an art brush to draw three curving lines, as shown. Cure for two minutes.

3. Apply Shellac in Iced Coral to the outer edges of the nail, staying within the outer white curve on each side. (This will make the white turn peach and the black turn teal.) Use a brush to clean the Iced Coral out of the center part of the nail only, which will return those portions to their original colors. Cure for two minutes.

4. Create one or two colors of glitter paste and fill in one or more sections of the design. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for two minutes. Apply Shellac UV Top Coat. Cure in a Shellac UV Lamp for two minutes. Use a plastic-backed lint-free pad soaked with 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove the inhibition layer.

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/shellaccurves.


Difficult Design #4: Gold Cheetah

Step-by-step by Gina Silvestro

1. Apply a layer of Akzéntz Options in Golden Twilight. Cure.

2. Mix loose glitters with Akzéntz Luxio Gloss. Brush onto the nail as a glitter fade. Cure.

3. Apply Akzéntz Options in Sparkle Aurora Gold. Brush onto the nail as a glitter fade. Cure.

4. Apply a thin layer of Akzéntz Natural Clear to the entire nail. Do not cure. Use Akzéntz Options Gel Art in Black and a dotting tool to create cheetah pattern. Apply Akzéntz Luxio Gloss. Cure.  

Watch the video at www.nailsmag.com/video/goldcheetah.

 

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