Let me get one thing straight: I'm no nail pro. My roommate has often laughed at my hours-long attempts to create elaborate stripes and swirls on my nails using pieces of Scotch tape as guidelines and an entire arsenal of Essie, only to mess up a few too many times and wipe the whole thing off. But nail art doesn't have to be complicated, or so I learned. Using two detail nail brushes (thinner than regular brushes) by Mattese Elite Nail Art, I created three patterned nail art looks that are easy to nail – pun intended.
Look 1: Graphic
Can't commit to one look? Want to get your feet (or, rather, hands) wet with nail art, without attempting to recreate ten miniature replicas of the Mona Lisa? A few punchy, bold designs are an easy way to jump into nail art.
1. Paint your nails with a solid color. I chose New York Color “Spring Street,” a bright tangerine in a quick-dry formula.
2. Using a detail brush, let your imagination run wild – anything goes! I created a half-moon, diagonal racing stripes, a checkerboard, a row of dots, and horizontal stripes. Not inspired? Try painting zig-zags, bows, hearts, your favorite emoticons, peace signs, or spelling out a word. Nautical-inspired fashion and florals are two perennial spring favorites, so try your hand at painting on anchors or flowers – it's easier than you might think!
Look 2: Color Blocking
Color blocking is an easy trend to translate to your nails because it's so simple – just draw your lines and fill them in! This version uses diagonal chevron stripes to separate the base and accent colors.
1. Start with a solid-colored base. I used Essie “Cocktail Bling” and used three coats to ensure the finish was completely opaque.
2. Using a detail brush, draw two diagonal lines extending from the bottom outer corners of each nail to meet at the top center to create a chevron. I found it was easiest to touch the tip of the brush to the corner, then lay the brush down flat as I dragged it diagonally to the top of my nail. Your lines can be thick or thin, depending on the effect you're going for, but make sure they're (relatively!) consistent.
3. Pick a second color for the accent, I used Essie “Lapis of Luxury,” but any color that's darker than your base should show up well. Angle your brush to fill in the upper corners of each nail. Don't worry about going over your chevron lines – you can always touch up the lines once your accent color dries.