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5 Ways to Spice Up Your Mani (No Salon Tools Required!)

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE painting your nails. Even if you don’t like painting your nails, you might love to have a cute manicure at all times. Here are some easy and fast ways to spice up your mani even during your busiest days!

1. Polka Dots

(Source: Flickr, Etsy Ketsy)

Polka dots are a relatively easy nail art design to create, but it takes a little bit of time. Find a nail polish brand that has a small, round-tipped brush (I use Essie or China Glaze) –  this polish will be the color for your polka dots. After applying your base color, simply dot your nails with your desired color in any polka dot pattern you like. Make sure to keep the brush applicator completely vertical when applying it to your nails to get that perfectly shaped polka dot!

**Pro tip: Make sure the brush isn’t completely saturated with polish and keep the same amount of polish on the brush each time to get uniform polka dots.

2. Flowers

(Source: Flickr, Zicon)

This cute nail art design also requires a small round-tipped brush. Choose your desired color or colors for your flower. After applying your base color, create the center of your flower with the same dot technique described above (I usually use a yellow color for the center such as China Glaze’s Lemon Fizz). With another color, dot five petals around the center.

3. Two-toned Mani

(Source: Flickr, Angie Armstrong)

Choose any two colors you’d like. Apply one of the colors on your nails as you base color. After the base color has dried, take a piece of not-so-sticky tape and cover half of your nail with it. (You can place the tape vertically, horizontally, or diagonally across your nail – try experimenting and switch up the orientation for each nail!) Then, apply the second color on the part that is not covered with tape. Wait until your nails are mostly dry, then peel the tape off.

4. Glitter

(Source: Flickr, Emma Story)

Glitter fixes everything. A glitter topcoat works wonders if you’re not very skilled at painting your nails and can cover your mistakes! Once you’ve applied your base color and let it dry, apply a glittery topcoat to cover up your poor nail polish application (I do this a lot) or to just make your manicure look even cuter.

5. Accent Nail

(Source: Flickr, Emma Story)

An accent nail is any nail (usually your ring finger) that is a different color than the rest of your nails. Adding an accent nail definitely adds a little something extra to your plain, monochromatic manicure. I like to use metallic or glitter nail polishes for accent nails – any of the designs mentioned in this article can also be used on your accent nail!

Enjoy trying out these super fun and easy trick to spice up your manicures!

*None of the images used belong to Her Campus or the author.

Cover photo source: Pexels

Amanda is a fourth year UCD student majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior with a minor in Psychology. She is an undergraduate research assistant at an affective neuroscience lab on campus. When she isn't studying or working, Amanda enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix, doodling, napping, and hanging out with her friends.
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