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14 Simple Nail Art Designs Even a Beginner Can Do!

14 Simple Nail Art Designs Even a Beginner Can Do!

Pinterest and video tutorials may have led you to believe otherwise, but it’s actually quite challenging to discover simple nail art that you can replicate at home. The ordinary individual has probably struggled with applying a single coat of polish without putting it on their cuticles, let alone trying to free-hand a nail art design. It’s a huge letdown if fancy nail art is something you enjoy. We enjoy going to the nail salon as much as the next person, but the expense of even one monthly manicure when nail art is included can really add up.

It may seem impossible to paint your own nails at home, but there are actually quite a few designs out there that can be “nailed” (haha) by anyone without extensive training or practice. Because of this, we searched the web high and low and compiled 14 of the simplest nail art ideas ever created. If the thought of doing your own nail art at home fills you with dread, keep reading to see a profusion of simple designs.

1. Delightful Dots

Every time you take a bobby pin out of your hair, you probably leave it on the bathroom counter, where it will likely be knocked off and lost forever. Instead, pull its two prongs as far apart as possible to use as a makeshift dotting tool for nail polish.

One end of the dotting tool can be dipped into the polish bottle for a light coating, then used to dot polish onto the nail carefully.

Keep your cool as you wait for the dots to dry. All your hard work will be undone if you apply the topcoat when they are even slightly damp. All nail art tactics suffer from this problem, thus fake nails can be your best bet. Press-on allows you to paint your designs and move on with your day while they dry. They can be glued in place once they are complete.

2. Wonderful Watercolors

14 Simple Nail Art Designs Even a Beginner Can Do!

According to this stunning manicure, you can easily transform each of your nails into a watercolor masterpiece. Tan tells Allure that to get the watercolor impression, she “mixed her color polishes with a few blobs of clear polish and paint[ed] them on loosely.” However, before swiping the varnish across your nails, she recommends checking the opacity on a piece of paper.

While using gel manicures for this design, notes that conventional polishes would work just as well to produce “a similar effect.” To achieve the gilded highlights on the nails, simply reach for a gold polish to simulate the appearance of expensive gold foil “and paint on a few swooshes to accent your mani.”

3. Nifty Neon Tips

Remember the little donut-shaped stickers you used to put on torn or missing pieces of paper in your binder at school? Those adhesive dots prove to be an indispensable tool for creating neon French manicure tips. If you are a student or live with one, you might find that you have some lying around. If not, you may get them at any office supply store for a small fee.

The first step in making these neon nails is to apply a set of press-on in a basic color. You can use your own bare, natural nails or paint them a different color. Apply a sticker to the very tip of each nail and adjust its placement so that it is uniform before painting the nail tips with two coats of MiniLuxe’s lime green nail lacquer. Get get your tweezers and carefully remove the stickers before the second coat dries.

Using blue painter’s tape from a home improvement store if additional personalization is desired. “It doesn’t leave a sticky residue and you can cut it into shapes,” she explains. Put it on the nail first, then paint over it with your base and top coats. To remove the tape, wait until the polish is neither totally dried nor damp to the touch.

4. Random Doodles

How your daydreaming doodles in the margins of your notebook might inspire your next at-home manicure. We suggest using a “high-pigmented color for the design to make sure it pops” and a fine-tipped brush, like Nails Luxe’s Brush H, to transfer your doodles to your nails. Last but not least, she stresses making sure the pattern is completely dry “before sealing [it] in with topcoat to ensure no smudges.”

5. Bright Stripes

A splash of color can make any situation better, right? Nail designer Nataszija Moore came up with this style to inject some life into your manicure. Moore claims an 11-millimeter brush (or around 0.4 inches) was used to create the double-stripe effect. To sum up, a fine brush is needed for this pattern. Moore recommends waiting for the first coat of polish to dry before moving on to the next after filling in one line. If you want to improve your at-home manicure skills, you don’t need an intricate pattern like this one.

6. Sweet Swirls

14 Simple Nail Art Designs Even a Beginner Can Do!

You’ve certainly seen abstract swirl nails all over Instagram, but don’t get twisted (get it?) about it; nail artist Reshma Balkaran of New York City demonstrates that you can easily replicate the look at home.

Before you start smudging your polish, she suggests “[practicing] the design on paper first” and purchasing some detailer brushes or short detailer brushes. In order to perfect your nail art, the Sally Hansen Salon Pro Nail Tool Kit offers everything you could possibly need. The set comes with a striping brush, a marbling tool, and a dotting tool in addition to the detailer brush.

7. Gothic Goodness

The murkiness that ensues is part of the fun. Marbled nail art is easy to create with just a toothpick and a few different colors of nail polish, who used OPI’s Big Apple Red and Black Onyx. It only took three simple actions to achieve this insanely gothic style: You may achieve this look by painting a thick coat of red polish on one side of the nail and a thick coat of black polish on the other, then dragging the toothpick tip back and forth through the lacquer until the colors blend.

Again, there is no hard and fast guideline for when to use this instrument. You can create a hypnotic swirl by dragging the polish vertically instead of horizontally, or by placing the pick in the center of the nail polish and circling it outward. Using two colors speeds things up a bit, but you can mix in any number of hues using this technique. Sometimes uses a pointed kitchen knife to draw wet polishes into interesting patterns.

8. Holographic Extravaganza

This manicure is perfect for you if you’re not confident enough to try a nail art technique that calls for more than just a bottle of polish. Polish in the shade “Finch Me I’m Dreaming” by Wildflower Lacquer was worn by Caitlin Gladney-Hatcher. It only takes two coats to achieve a flawless finish on the nails. The brand’s website no longer sells the polish, but if you want a holographic, golden sheen, try Cirque Colors’ 24K Affair.

9. Side-by-Side Shapes

Nails painted with pink, purple, and white abstract forms, set off by a grey and white background.

An abstract nail design is a safe bet when in doubt. The above manicure was designed by Anne Thompson, who also attests that “it’s one of the quickest manicures to make.” “Picking colors that will complement each other and make a bold statement,” adds Thompson, “is the most enjoyable part of the abstract nail art design process.”

When asked about the colors she used to create this abstract pattern, she told Allure, “two pale colors, a bold color, and a dark shade.” After Thompson has gathered her polishes, she “swipes the polish on randomly.” “I love how each nail turns out differently,” she exclaims.

10. Rainbow Skittles

14 Simple Nail Art Designs Even a Beginner Can Do!

Rainbow Skittlebest piece of advice for nailing the layout. “I always use at least two thin coats of polish and allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next,” Zheng says. While it’s simpler to apply a single thick coat of polish, doing so will cause the polish to dry more slowly and highlight any defects in your nails.

Best piece of advice for nailing the layout? “I always use at least two thin coats of polish and allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next,” While it’s simpler to apply a single thick coat of polish, doing so will cause the polish to dry more slowly and highlight any defects in your nails.

11. Gorgeous Glitter

Take a page out of nail artist Jamie Didlock’s book, since pretty gorgeous girls really do adore wearing glitter. Didlock explains that all you need is your favorite nude shade and a glitter polish (we recommend Butter London’s All You Need Is Love, which won the Best of Beauty award).

Didlock recommends any of the following to get the classic crescent shape of a French manicure’s glittered tips: things like toothpicks, “ultra-fine eyeliner brushes,” “dotting tools,” “cheap fine nail art brushes,” and “even a brown wooden stick.”

Pouring the glitter polish onto “some flat tinfoil or a palette of some sort” before applying it to the nails. She instructs, “Dip your chosen tool just enough so it doesn’t drip. Remember to begin painting in the center of your nail and “softly slide up to each side,” as instructed by Didlock.

12. Fresh Foils

These foil nails by nail artist Samantha Pasaye are a classy, understated way to step up your at-home manicure routine. Pasaye covered each nail tip in translucent nail foil

We recommend priming the nail with your favorite gel base, painting on one coat of OPI’s Gel Color in Put It In Neutral, and then applying Daily Charme’s Foil Transfer Gel before adding the foil. Applying the transfer gel to your nails prepares you to apply the foil. Be sure to use a gel topcoat to protect your nail art.

13. Fine Faces

Even though it’s not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of nail art ideas, we think it’s pretty darn cute when people draw faces on their nails. A nail artist told Allure that she painted the faces on with black acrylic paint rather than polish.

She notes that acrylic paint is preferable to nail polish since it allows more time for fine-tuning the design and, thus, makes it simpler to produce smooth lines. She freely acknowledges that she constantly resorts to painting whenever she has to create something intricate.

She recommends using thin-tipped detail brushes to sketch the faces because the tools you use are just as crucial as the colors you pick. She explains that using a narrow brush allows one to create more delicate strokes.

14. Radiant Sunflowers

Sunflowers are painted on a transparent background and then applied on a manicured hand.

This pattern will bring the sunny warmth of sunflowers to your fingertips. To “make the [bright colors of the] flowers pop,” Lockwood uses a neutral color as a foundation coat. If you’re looking for a gorgeous neutral base.

Use two different shades of yellow for the petals, so be aware of that before you begin. “Then, take a small skinny brush and dip it into the first yellow color,” she says. To make the sunflower’s petals, “do this all around the dot.” After she’s done painting all the petals, she’ll go over them with a darker yellow “to create more dimension.”

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