Nail Trends

Nail Art Faux Textures

One of the hot nail trends of 2013 — on and off the runway — is a textured nail look. From caviar and confetti to matte and sand, the tactile feel is in. But what if grainy nails aren’t your cup of tea? We say, fake it. These faux textured looks are sure to spark some interest and can be done with little more than nail polish, acrylic paints, and brushes.

After installing light wood flooring throughout her house, Orange, Calif.-based nail artist Elsbeth Schuetz realized how the wood grain texture is both a classic and current style trend. “It gave me the idea of trying a wood grain look on nails,” says Schuetz. After e-mailing NAILS a photo of the design on nail tips, we decided to have her expand on the idea. We tasked her with creating three more faux textures to help us demonstrate that faux can be just as good — or better — than the real thing.


Asked what advice she would give other nail artists to create such intricate detail, she added, “I paint what I see. Not everyone sees the same. Every painter interprets the object differently. Don’t try to paint like Picasso if you were given Monet eyes.”


Wood gets its grains of alternating lighter and darker colors from a tree’s growth over the course of its lifetime.



1. Use a white base such as Orly GelFX Point Blanche. Mix warm yellow, brown, and white paints and apply over the entire nail. (The wooden background can already be produced with the pressure and direction of the brushwork you use.)

2. Apply a line of brown paint.

3. Immediately separate the line with a clean brush so your light background shows through.

4. Add more lines and repeat step 3.

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