Welcome to the (almost) weekend, ladies! Sorry I didn’t get around to publishing this post yesterday; I spent most of the day finishing my application to study abroad. Fingers crossed I get into my first-choice program at the University of Glasgow, Scotland! But for now, I want to share this adorable Christmas nail tutorial. The whole process took me about an hour, and I’m so happy with the results!
And yes, my ring is a snow globe with a little snowman inside. Isn’t that incredible?! My aunt handmade it, but I’ve never actually worn the ring out because I’d certainly break it… I think it’s more for looks anyway.
Step 1: The first step was shaping my nails with a nail filer. I used to always clip my nails immediately before painting them, but within the last two years, I’ve started to let them grow a little before doing an at-home manicure. I just like the look of my nails more when they are long(ish) and polished rather than short and stubby. I filed mine into a round shape, and a trick that I’ve learned over the years is to file your nails a day before painting them. I don’t know why, but it seems easier to me to paint them the next day because all of the powder/nail cruft has fallen away.
Step 2: The second step is to put a thin layer of base coat on all your nails. My favorite is the Double Duty Base and Top Coat by Sally Hansen, my favorite nail brand. I buy it at Target.
Step 3: The third step is to apply a thin coat of red nail polish to all your nails. You can use any red nail polish, but I used Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri in the shade “Rapid Red“. Make sure that the red nails on your thumb, index, and pinky finger look especially good because you won’t be painting any other designs/polish over them. These nails may even require a second coat of red.
Step 4: Paint your middle finger with gold sparkly polish. I used the Maybelline New York Color Show Nail Lacquer in the shade “Gilded Rose“, which is one of my favorite polishes, but you could use any gold, silver, or red sparkly polish you want. In hindsight, I think I would have only put the gold polish on my middle finger rather than the gold layered over red. But you know how sparkles are… They’re dicey! You never know from the bottle how well they will show up on the actual nail.
Step 5: Now here’s where it gets tricky. I love these L.A. Colors Art Deco Nail Art Lacquer polishes because they’re made specifically for you to draw designs—the brush is very thin and smooth. I’ve had a few shades for several years now, and they still haven’t dried out. For these glam holiday nails, I used the white polish to draw candy cane stripes on my ring finger nails. Yes, it requires a steady hand, and yes, you have to worry about the dreaded non-dominant hand messing everything up. To combat that, I always keep a toothpick nearby when I’m painting my nails and use it to smear away anything that gets on my skin, which is especially useful when painting these stripes. If you know you won’t be able to paint the stripes yourself, you can always try using a decal or specific nail stripes. I’ve never used them before, but the inexpensive price makes them worth a try!
Step 6: Ta-da!! You’re almost done! Now you just need to add the topcoat. I always layer the Sally Hansen Base & Top Coat polish over them again, followed by the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat. Yes, two layers of topcoat, but I swear by it! It’s my (not-so-secret) formula! Whenever I do this combo, my nails never chip, they only grow out. Plus, the quick drying stuff really does make the surface of your nails dry in less than a minute, so you can go about your day. But a quick tip: red polish almost always smears when you add topcoat. This isn’t an issue for most of your nails, but it does pose a threat to the gorgeous white stripes you spent all that time adding to your index fingers. Not only do I recommend allowing extra drying time before applying topcoat to those nails, but I also recommend brushing on the topcoat in the direction of the stripes. That way, the red has less chance of smearing into the white stripes than if you were painting your nails normally, straight up through the white designs.
For all my best nail tips and more nail themed posts, click on the links below!
Thanks for stopping by today, and let me know if you try this nail tutorial. Have a great Friday!
Miles of smiles,
P.S. Can you tell I had no idea what to do with my hands in this post? So awkward looking.