Dress up your usual two coats of clear polish this New Year’s Eve with one of these fun, easy-to-achieve nail art party looks! NYC nail artist Candice Idehen of Bed of Nails gives us inspiration and step-by-step guides on how to apply these three stunning designs. Your nails are sure to be a conversation starter as you hold a glass of bubbly at your festive NYE soiree.
// MIDNIGHT BALL DROP
We call this “Midnight Ball Drop” because it’s reminiscent of a glam New Year’s Eve night with the ball dropping in Times Square. Black nail polish is a staple color you should always have in your polish kit. Stylish yet serious, it’s the perfect base color to have in your repertoire year-round for parties, date nights, and upscale events.
01. Apply a base coat. We like JINsoon’s Power Coat. “I definitely recommend investing money in high-quality base and top coats,” Candice says.
02. After it dries, apply two coats of a black polish like Zoya’s Willa, a classic onyx with a glossy finish.
03. When the black polish is dry, apply top coat, one finger at a time, so that the nails are a bit wet and will hold the rhinestones you will press into it.
04. There are two ways to apply the stones:
Top coat way: Drop a few drops of top coat onto a little piece of aluminum foil. With tweezers or an orange wood stick, carefully press M&J Trimming SS7 “Crystal” flatback Swarovski crystal rhinestone into top coat.
Nail glue way: This guarantees far more security for the stones to stay put. “When using a nail glue like Kiss Maximum Speed Nail Glue, only apply it to the spots on the nail where you will be applying the stones,” Candice says.
05. Apply an additional coat of top coat, if you would like. Doing so may diminish some of the rhinestone’s shine but will assure its placement.
// SKI TRACKS IN THE SNOW
Unexpected and edgy—this is a negative-space look that Candice has done for New York Fashion Week. We named this after the wintertime adventure it evokes!
01. File your nails into a square shape.
02. Cut pieces of Scotch tape (yes, regular office tape!) into long thin strips to your preferred width. Make sure that the strips are long enough to hang past your nail tip and past your nail bed. Candice recommends that you purchase inexpensive stork scissors for cutting in nail art.
03. Press one strip down the middle of each nail; make sure each strip is securely adhered to nail.
04. Apply base coat as usual. Let dry.
05. Apply two coats of a clean snow-white nail polish like côte’s No. 2. White nail polish is also a staple color convenient to have. It’s fine if you get white nail polish on top of the Scotch tape strips—as long as it doesn’t get under the strips onto your nail. Let dry.
06. Apply top coat. Let dry completely.
05. Remove the tape strips.
// GUNMETAL GLITTER OMBRE
This simple nail art look is all about being unpredictable in subtle ways; gunmetal polish instead of black and holographic glitter as the accent polish with hex pieces of various sizes instead of a homogenous glitter polish is super modern and festive.
01. Apply base coat. Let dry.
02. Apply two coats of a gunmetal-color polish. We like JINsoon’s Nocturne.
03. Using Zoya’s PixieDust polish in Imogen, get as much glitter on the brush as possible without the liquid-y part of the polish. Brush on the glitter onto the top third of each nail.
04.Dip the PixieDust polish’s brush back into polish and get it liquid-y this time with a third as much glitter on it. Brush onto the top half of your nails. Then do this again to the top half of your nails with very little glitter on the brush.
05. Apply top coat. “What makes a great top coat is its wear and gloss. It should keep the polish together for two to three days, and the gloss should not fade quickly,” Candice says. JINsoon’s Top Gloss (a quick-dry top coat) is such and also remarkably thick—we couldn’t feel the texture of the PixieDust polish through it. Candice advises to reapply top coat to nail art looks every two to three days.
// MORE EXPERT NAIL ART TIPS FROM CANDICE
>For ombre, use a makeup sponge to dab on a contrast polish to the upper part of your nails.
>For stripes, pick up an inexpensive brush at an art store.
>Dollar Nail Art has all kinds of supplies: foils, glitter, studs, and more.
>M&J Trimming has Swarovski crystals in unlimited colors and shapes. You can get 144 pieces for less than $10.
(images via Pinterest)