Cute + Chic! Easy Nail Art Designs
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So, maybe you can’t make it to the salon and your nails need some love. I know I’m not the only one who thrives on looking down at a set of colorful, cute nails.
Unfortunately, with work (typing, having your hands in water all day, or any kind of manual labor) a homemade manicure can start chipping within just a couple days.
I feel it! I won’t give up, however. Here’s my solution to this problem…
♡ Minimalist/cute easy nail art designs. ♡
These designs are cute and subtle, and incorporate a lot of negative space (i.e.: your naked nails).
That way, when they start to chip and wear at the ends, the rest of your nails still get to keep their cute designs. (Where there’s a will, there’s a way!)
Sometimes you just have to adapt.
These easy nail art ideas are versatile (you can choose whatever color/s you want) and extremely easy to do at home, on yourself.
But first, you’ll need a few basic tools:
♡ A good clear base coat (important to get a good one for a longer lasting design. Orly Rubberized Bonder Basecoat works nicely.)
♡ Topcoat (also important to get a good one to protect it and make it shine. Orly Chip Resistant Topcoat is my favorite)
♡ Toothpicks to make small dots OR an inexpensive Dotter Tool
♡ A super-skinny paint brush to create fine lines OR an inexpensive Striper Brush
♡ Scotch tape or Painters tape (for creating boundaries)
♡ Elmer’s Glue (to prevent polish from sticking to your skin)
♡ Nail polish remover, cotton balls and pointie Q-tips (for cleaning up mistakes)
♡ Paper towels (to protect your table top)
♡ Paper plate (to use as a palette for dipping your toothpicks or skinny paint brush)
These easy nail art ideas will hold you over until you can get back to the salon!
Just a few swipes of color over a naked or nude-colored nail.
Add a series of dots randomly on each nail.
Simple, unique and cool.
Use 3 to 5 different colors that contrast well, to make the design POP.
NAIL ART HACK: Remember to do 2 coats of your base coat — one from the tips to the center of your nail, let it dry, and then another coat over the entire nail. This will help keep the ends from chipping too quickly.
This look is chic and modern.
Stick with one or two contrasting colors.
You can use your skinny paint brush for this look, and concentrate the line toward the center or lower half of your nail.
Try diagonal lines as an alternative.
Keep your lines nice and straight by using the edge of Scotch tape or painters tape as a guide. Once the polish is dry, peel off the tape and finish with clear top coat.
Want thin metallic stripes? Striping nail tape comes in metallic gold, silver and many other colors! You just cut it to size, stick it on, and coat with clear polish.
It’s easy to add some subtle shimmer and bling to your nails.
You can get some nail polish that already contains the glitter in shapes like stars, hearts, moons, etc…
OR you can buy the glitter itself and stick them to your nails with a tiny dab of nail glue on the back. (Use a toothpick to apply the glue.)
If the glitter is pretty small and light, you can just apply it straight to your base coat while it’s still wet to make it stick.
Be sure to get the glitter that specifies “solvent resistant”. There are TONS of different colors, shapes and sizes of glitter and confetti on Etsy.
Check out these beauties:
Your design won’t look messed up as fast, because the tips are more prone to damage and chipping.
Paint just the “half moon” (the little half-circle thing at the base of your nails) with a color that stands out from the rest of your nail.
Another idea is just painting the bottom half, using Scotch tape as a guide. Do a straight and horizontal, diagonal, round, etc. Get creative!
NAIL ART HACK: Use the hollow inside of paper hole reinforcements as a guide to create the perfect “half moon” design. You can also use the hollow part of any circular sticker, or purchase a cheap set of nail sticker guides.
By far, the easiest way to get cute nails.
OR you can grab a set of regular temporary tattoos (the kind you apply with water) and just cut them down to size to fit your nails.
You can also try tattoos on 2 different nails on each hand, and a different design technique on the other nails.
Switch things up to keep it interesting, and experiment.
Use tattooed nails as the accent nail.
These are all just examples and ideas to get your creativity going. If you use any of these techniques, or if you’ve done something like this before, share it with us on Instagram!
Use the hashtag #minimalistnailart. We are following that tag and will be re-posting and tagging our favorites.
mom / artist / writer / light worker / editor-in-chief of neon moonbeam