NAIL ART YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO

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.

UGH!

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Yeah, right.

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Okay, this one’s just funny.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Published by

Kate Foster

NYC-based writer. Beauty Assistant at Seventeen Magazine.