You’re dressed to the 9’s and you look in the mirror for one last outfit check when you realize you haven’t had a mani or even had the time to cut off those pesky hangnails that have been torturing you for weeks. Of course, it’s not the end of the world if your nails aren’t perfect and it’s definitely not required to complete an outfit, but with that said, painting your nails and having them look polished can be a mood booster. Here are some nail art designs you can DIY that will take no more than 10 minutes and require no special tools.
Next time you remember to floss your teeth, buy a pack of disposable floss picks to create a nail design! After painting on a base color of your choice, cover the floss with nail polish and begin to move the pick side to side (or vertically if you choose) to create a unique striped design. It’s super versatile because you can add more pressure to create the lines thicker and thinner to create gentle wisps too.
If you want a more textured look, test out this quilted manicure. Start with another base color of your choice, and before it dries get your floss pick and apply pressure over your nails. It’ll instantly add a 3-D look to your nails, and if you seal with a matte top coat it will enhance the design.
Maybe you want to make your own design, but cannot free hand or be bothered with buying nail art brushes. Don’t worry, paint decorations on a Ziploc bag and easily make your own nail stickers. Put the nail polish on a zip loc bag and wait for it to dry before cutting out your desired design. Gently peel it off and apply to your nails — just remember to seal it with a top coat.
For more subtle, but still eye-catching nail art consider these jelly nails. Begin by painting a coat of a sheer polish, let it dry and add a glitter coat. For this layer, you can try both chunky or smaller sized glitter. Add the same sheer coat again to give your nails a snow globe look or a “jelly sandwich”.
For an edgier nail look check out negative space nails. Paint only certain areas of your nail, whether it be a diagonal stripe of white, or a streak of black ⅔ down your nails. You can stick with the same design or try a gradient with each nail, going shades darker from your thumb to your pinky with different polishes.
For added color on the negative space nails, try using a base color and layering using the same negative space technique. Do one layer of a color and choose another polish to paint over after the base has dried leaving the bottom ⅓ uncovered or painting only ½ of the nail. The key to this is making sure you choose an opaque base color that won’t require two coats. The thinner the coats the better.
You’ve seen the marble trend everywhere, so why not put them on your nails? Create marble nails using cellophane. Paint a grey tone nail polish on some plastic and dab on white nails to create this classic look.
And if all of this is too much of a challenge, go ahead and paint your cuticles. It may sound crazy, but they look chic and effortless. Use eyeliner or even nail polish to decorate around your nails.
Nail art can be stressful, especially when the other hand doesn’t look as good as the one done with your dominant side. But these designs are easy and will definitely have people asking where you got your nails done.
Liv Chai is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.