09 July 2013

From the Readers: Your Easy Nail Art Tips and Techniques, Part Three

This is a short series of posts where I take a look at some easy nail art tips and techniques sent in by readers and followers of this blog on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to check out Part One and Part Two of this series for some background info as well as more great responses!


Hi everyone! I meant to have this earlier but I got lazy about blogging over the weekend. That and I got sucked into watching Arrested Development, like the whole thing!

The suggestions I've grouped for today's post lack a cohesive theme. So I guess what groups these suggestions is the fact that they tend to be more unique. So today's post will be a hodge-podge of ideas, but I think for that reason, this post contains some of my favourite ideas. Along with many ideas I hadn't previously considered. It's not the most clearly organized, but trust me, it's worth a read through.

KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid)

Out of all the possibilities for easy nail art, one thing we haven't looked at is stripes. If you have a steady, or sort-of steady hand, it can be very easy for a full mani, or an accent nail.

That's why I love Kelli's suggestion. She blogs at The Nail Polish Challenge (blog): "I think that freehand stripes and striping tape are simple and look GREAT! My readers especially love my striped manicures, and they usually take so little time."

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Monica, who didn't submit a picture, had the following suggestion: "The most easy nail art that comes to mind is dots and stripes. I also like galaxy, leopard and zebra print." I tend to think of galaxy manicures as more complicated, but if you limit the colours you use, they can be very simple. And it just requires some sponging and a few dots for stars.

I also tend to think of stained glass manis as more complicated, but as @pinkinpolish (Instagram) demonstrates, they can be very easy if you go with a simple design. As she says: "Stained glass manicures are really cool and easy to do. I used @blueemster 's pictorial on IG to make an accent nail. They look intricate but aren't especially complicated."

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One thing we haven't really looked at much is using a makeup sponge. I tend to think of it for gradients, that's why I love this "Carolina Blue Sky" manicure by Shanna at @polishedaway (Instagram): "I call it that because I live in NC & am a huge UNC Tarheels fan ;) I used Essie's "Bikini So Teeny" for the base (any light blue would work, of course), & use a small piece of a cosmetic sponge to dab white on to form the clouds. It's super easy, but really pretty :)"

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Easy For You Maybe! ... But What About the Rest of Us?

The thing I love about this series is the chance to show you stuff that I haven't had the chance to try. For example, Arvonka who blogs at Nails by Arvonka (blog) suggests glitter placement, which is something I haven't done yet: "When I don't have much time to do some nail art, I always go for some glitter. The placement is so easy and quick and it looks gorgeous in my opinion :)"

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One thing that hasn't been pointed out, is that what is easy for one person is not so easy for someone else. So some of these techniques might become your go-to easy nail art techniques, others might be more time consuming.

One tip that made this clear to me was from Pamela (Instagram): "Reversed glitter gradients are my go-to's. Then stamping would be a great choice since its really not time consuming. Gradients are very easy and quick when you know how to do them. Also stud placement is a great option for simple 'nail art'. But I think the winner of easy, fun and quick nail art is.. Splatter!"

You can find Pamela's splatter design here (link). It's worth the effort to take a quick look!

I've complained before about how hard splatter technique is for me, but this gorgeous design from Pamela makes me want to try again.

It's That One Technique Called...

The Nailshow (blog) submitted this fun idea for a freehand zig-zag pattern: "You only need a small paint brush and some fun colors to work with. For an even more bright manicure, use a white base colour to really make the neons pop. You basically make a chevron pattern, but work with small brush strokes horizontally next to each other. Alternate the colour every line, and immediately apply the topcoat because this will make the colours blend together and give a little bit of extra smudge! And tadaa, the neon party has appeared on your nails!"
What I like about this design is that you don't need a steady hand, and you don't have to worry if the topcoat smudges your design.

Michelle at The Lazy Laquerista (blog) had a lot of suggestions, some which have already been covered, but one great one was to add a sheer shimmery top coat. You can see that in these "nebula nails."

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Yulia of Vicerimus (blog) offered a few suggestions, which I've decided to quote in full, just because I find them very helpful:
  • Stamping. It really is easy provided that you use a quality stamper and plates. They don't have to be fancy or expensive - Bundle Moster has a few for a bargain price, as well as Cheeky, Mash etc. to name a couple of. And i swear by my silicon-made stamper. Trick for easy clean-up: cover the skin around your nail in PVA glue (or school glue), and when you finished your mani and it's dry, just wash your hands - the glue will come off along with the unwanted polish.
  • Don't limit yourself to using nail polish and acrylic paint in your nail art. Anything that paints will do, like markers, highlighters, pens etc. I used a gel pen I had back from my secondary school days in my Bayern Munchen mani (see submitted photo)
  • Opposing colors look AWESOME. Think violet/orange, blue/yellow etc.
  • Having trouble coming up with a color combination? http://colorschemedesigner.com is your friend
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I really love this design she did using gel pen, it's one technique I've been meaning to try!

Sarah Loves Glitter also offered a lot of suggestions, and surprisingly many of them were unique and hadn't be suggested by anyone else. I don't know why I didn't think of some of these: 
  • half moons are really easy to do with hole reinforcers, and you can change up an old mani by just picking complimentary colour and painting over. (also, you can wrap your tips again to prolong wear)
  • saran wrap mani over an old colour can be pretty speedy.
  • adding some leapord print or zebra stripes.
  • I love to add a coat of Spectraflair top coat to turn an existing swatch into a new holo colour!
  • I also seem to do a lot of ombres when I'm pushed for time. Not sure if they're technically nail art but you use 5 colours, so I guess that kinda counts.
  • I also have a habit of wearing my mani glossy for a day or two, then mattifying it when I get bored.
Before I wrap up this post I wanted to also thank Meg, who suggested stamping (something I've never tried), and Stephanie330 (Instagram), who suggested lava nails and plumeria flowers. Also two designs I've never tried.

If you're still reading, thank you!! You are obviously very dedicated. I just wanted to thank everyone who submitted to this small project of mine. And I'd love to hear your feedback. Would you like to see something like this again? Yeah or Nay!?


  1. Thank you so much for choosing me, it really means a lot to me that my photo is posted with so amazing nail designs done by very talented ladies :)

    1. You're very welcome! Thanks so much for submitting something, your nails are beautiful.

  2. Replies
    1. I know, aren't they great?! I've gotten so many good ideas from these posts, especially this one. :)

  3. Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more! They all did a really great job.

  4. I love this series and would like to see something like it again in the future! It introduces a lot of new ideas and some other great bloggers to follow :-)

    1. Thanks for the feedback Shelby! I agree with you, I've learned a lot and have been exposed to some great blogs. I will try to think up a good idea for the next series.

  5. Replies
    1. Aren't they?! I totally agree. :)


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