Okay, sorry for that tease of a Featured Image, I really have no idea where to even begin creating a Van Gogh-inspired mani. But that’s the issue with the internet: nail geniuses abound, rubbing their 10 little masterpieces in our faces by the minute.




Yeah, right.


Okay, this one’s just funny.



Luckily, I’ve started to embrace nail art and have been trying a few things out myself. The bad news? I’m a total klutz with shaky hands. The good news? This means anyone – seriously, anyone – can do the nail art I’m about to show you. Don’t forget to use a base and top coat with each tutorial!

Ombre Nails

All you have to do is apply a coat of white, paint three polishes (from darkest to lightest, or vice versa) on a makeup sponge, and dap on each nail. Don’t forget to use polish remover on your skin! For a full tutorial, check here.



Glitter-Tipped Nails

A little like ombre, but the method is different. Apply a few coats of base color, then paint the whole nail once with a glitter polish of your choice. Let dry, then paint another coat of glitter on the top HALF of nails. Finally, let dry again, and paint the top THIRD with glitter.


Map Nails

Paint your nails white, dip them in alcohol, and press a piece of a map against them. Peel off, and apply a top coat. I’m reiterating here because the map design won’t stay without a top coat!


Half-and-Half Nails

Paint your nail one color. Let dry fully. Apply a piece of tape to half of the nail for a neat, clean line.Paint the untaped side a second color. Let dry. Remove tape, add a cool embellishment, and voila!


Messy Stripe Nails

I learned this one from Marie Claire’s July issue – I’m in love! Put on a base color, let dry. Pour another color onto tin foil, and use a fan brush (like the one here) dipped in the polish to gently create messy stripes across the nails. Repeat as desired with a few more colors!


Tie-Dye Nails

This one requires a household item we use every day: saran wrap! Just apply a base color, dip a wad of saran wrap into another color, and gently dab onto nails until you get the look you want. Again, you can definitely use more than one color!


Another option? Try out nail wraps. I never would’ve suggested these until recently – they tend to look cheesy and fake. But then I discovered Essie Sleek Sticks Nail Wraps. They’re GORGEOUS. And so, so easy.


Finally, I couldn’t possibly make a post about nail art without discussing my new nail obsession: Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat. A bit price-y, yes, but all you have to do is apply it like a regular top coat (or let it dry under a 60 watt bulb for extra staying power), and you’ll have a gel-like manicure WITHOUT having to use harmful acetone to remove it. MAGIC.


Published by

Kate Foster

NYC-based writer. Beauty Assistant at Seventeen Magazine.