Nail Art How-To From Pattern Stamps To Glitter Pens

22 June 2012 by

GALLERY>> Nail Art How-To

From freehand leopard splotches to blingy glitter tips, to the unbelievably intricate patterns achieved with stamping kits, nail art has gone from niche to de rigeur in the last year. It’s no longer enough to simply rock a classic red nail (unless it’s completely immaculate) and you’re just as likely to ask your glam friend “where did you get that polish?” as admire her fierce heels. Once the reserve of celebs, nail art has exploded!

With Lady Gaga and Adele rocking glittery, over the top nails at almost every event and gals like Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry showing off their quirky twists on nail art, it’s clear that the humble fingernail is having its moment in the spotlight.

By Becca Day-Preston



The most effective way to get seriously WOW nails with little-to-no skill, is with a stamping set. Stamping works by transferring an image or pattern from a metal plate onto the nail, using a rubber stamper. With a bit of practice, you can easily stamp all ten nails in ten minutes! The best way to learn to stamp is to check out YouTube; it’s full of tutorials. Your secret weapon is a quick hand and a good, fast-dry top coat.

We recommend: Konad Stamping plates £6, Konad Stamping polish in black £4, Konad stamper £5 all from [a href="">[/a], Rimmel 60 Seconds Polish in Pulsating £2.99 from Boots, Seche Vite top coat £5.49 from [a href="">[/a].

Glitter Gradient

Blingy but easy, glitter tips are accessible to anyone who owns a glitter polish! Simply paint the nail your desired base shade, then paint a coat of glitter from halfway down the nail to the tip. Once dry, repeat, starting higher up the nail, and then once again higher up. You should be left with a pretty gradient effect that is really eye-catching.

We recommend: Nails Inc in Warwick Way £11 from Nails Inc, ELF in Golden Goddess £1.50 from [a href="">[/a], Orly Polishield 3-in-1 top coat £5.69 from [a href="">[/a].

Freehand Abstract Leopard

The world of freehand art is a little daunting for some, but we love the WAH Nails pens for Models Own, which come in five great colours and make the perfect leopard print mani a breeze. Simply paint the nail your desired base colour, and once dry dot on a contrasting polish in a random pattern. Complete with purposefully messy half-done outlines and mini splotches from your nail art pen, and seal with a top coat to smooth out bumps.

We recommend: WAH Nails Pens for Models Own in pink and yellow £6 each from Boots, Barry M Cobalt Blue £2.99 from [a href="">[/a], Seche Vite top coat £5.49 from [a href="">[/a]

If you’re reluctant to take the plunge with a full-on nail art look, dip into the trend by applying nail art to just one nail on each hand (the ring finger always looks classy, and the thumb looks fun and spunky) for an accent look.

Quick nail art fixes can also be achieved with blinged-up false nails, such as those by Nazila London, and nail wraps from Nail Rock and Sally Hansen. Applied with care, these methods can look really professional and expensive.

Nail art is a fun way of expressing your personality and creativity, and we say if it’s good enough for Gaga, it’s certainly good enough for us.


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