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Easy Nail Art Ideas

Updated on June 19, 2013
Nail Art created using a 'polka dot' top coat and nail stamping kit
Nail Art created using a 'polka dot' top coat and nail stamping kit

Nail Art is huge right now, with salons offering many gorgeous designs. However you can create stunning designs yourself and you don't need to be an expert! I've been doing my own nails for years and have picked up a few tips along the way!

Glitter Gradient Nail Art

Gradient Nails are a big fashion trend, however they can be tricky to get right, glitter gradients on the other hand are much easier and just as impressive!

Paint your nails in whatever base colour you want and when it's dry dab on your glitter polish, you can either star the gradient from the top or the bottom for different effects. Star with a thin coat and build up, you can create 'gradients' of glitter this way by having more glitter towards the top or bottom of your nails. Many glitter polishes have a mixture of small and large glitter particles, as well as a huge range of colours!

Finish off with your regular top coat or for a different look try a matte effect top coat which can look stunning over glitter and creates an unusual look, see the silver and navy example below which was created using this technique.

Glitter Gradient Nail Art
Glitter Gradient Nail Art

Gel Pen and Sticky Tape Nail Art Designs

Instead of buying specialist and expensive nail art pens you can in fact use ordinary gel pens! This technique is very easy to use and effective, especially for fine details. You can get a wide range of colours and finishes, metallic gel pens look especially nice used on nails.

The type of pens I have used have been marked 'pigment' but most gel pens will work, just experiment.

One Nail to Rule Them All has an excellent tutorial for a Paisley Design on her blog, just one example of the designs you can create using gel pens! I have created a similar (but messier!) paisley design as well as a freehand chevron effect, both shown below. Both were done using regular gel pens purchased from a stationery shop over a base of regular nail polish and sealed with a top coat. The top coat is the VITAL step, you must use a top coat to seal the design otherwise it will wear off very quickly! The plus side to this is it is very easy to rub off mistakes, as long as your nail polish is dry you can remove the gel pen by smudging it off and it wont spoil your polish.

Overall I find Gel Pens much easier to use than 'nail art' pens, especially for smaller designs, and the finish is just as good if not better.

Sticky Tape, which is just as effective and cheaper than specialist 'nail tape' can be used to create striped and geometric designs, use over a fully dried base colour and create triangles, stripes, chevrons etc by masking off designs, BuzzFeed has some amazing examples here.

Gel Pen Nail Art Designs
Gel Pen Nail Art Designs

Nail Art Cheats

Nail Polish manufacturers are catching up on the fashion for nail art and you can now buy a wide range of easy to use products to 'chat' your way to impressive looking nail art with minimal skill, time and effort!

Nail Wraps are one of the most widely available products, they consist of plastic or foil stickers you 'wrap' around your nails to cover them in a variety of designs. They are very easy to use and long lasting and can be bought quite cheaply.

'Special Effect' polishes and top coats are an easy way to create impressive designs, from crackle effects to Jackson Pollock style splatters and dots to magnetic patterns they are available from most nail polish brands across a wide range of price ranges. Some of my favourites include the Maybelline 'Polka Dots' and the various 'crackle' effect polishes on the market. You can also buy matte effect and super shiny topcoats which will transform the look of any nail polish and designs underneath.

Gems, beads and studs - These are very easy to use, just stick onto wet nails or glue on using nail glue, and add a luxurious finish to a manicure.They come in a mind boggling variety of styles from cute little pearls, diamant├ęs, bows, tiny moustaches, punk style studs and spikes! The possibilities are almost endless.

Nail Stamping Kits - Consisting of a special stamping polish, designs and a stamping tool these allow you to stamp a variety of designs onto your nail polish, the star design on the intro picture was done using a stamping kit. You can buy starter kits as well as extra polishes and stamp designs.

All are available in beauty shops, specialist online stores and on ebay.

Crackle Effect Polish
Crackle Effect Polish | Source
Magnetic Effect Polish
Magnetic Effect Polish | Source
Studded Nails Manicure
Studded Nails Manicure | Source
Nail Wraps
Nail Wraps | Source


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    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago from India

      Interesting!!! Voted up!!!