Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Floral Nail Art Tutorial

Happy Hump Day! I promised a few weeks ago in my birthday manicure that this would be coming and it's finally here!

I wanted to make this a color-themed floral manicure, so I went with my favorite color of all: purple! Although, I did mix in a little pink and green for accents and highlights. But it's mostly purple. And all OPI.

The colors that I used: OPI You're Such a Budapest (base), OPI Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs, OPI Gift Cards for Everyone, OPI Skip the Gift Wrap, OPI Strawberry Margarita, and OPI Alpine Snow.

I have a few tips for color selection:

1) If you choose a light base color, you're going to want to use darker colors.  If you choose a dark base color, you're going to want to use lighter colors. The more contrast, the more impact your nails are going to make.

2) Again, if you have light flowers, you're going to want dark accents and vice versa. All in the name of contrast.

3) I don't suggest using any sheer colors for actual art. The more opacity, the easier of a time you're going to have.

4) Test out your color combos on a piece of paper first. It's very hard to paint over the flowers or the highlights if you decide you don't like it and there's nothing worse than wasting time. An easy way to do this is to make a swipe of your base color, a big dot of your flower color on top, and a small dot of the highlight color on top of that. It's literally your pallet in one place.

The tools that I used: dotting tool (large and small ended), striping brush, and a lip brush.

The first step is to take your first color, in this case Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs, and make splotches with the large-ended dotting tool. You want to make them look like puffy clouds.

Then repeat the process with your second color. Here, that's Gift Cards for Everyone.

Repeat this process with a third color, if you so choose. I had a third color in my original floral manicure, but only used two for this tutorial.

Now, take your striping brush and dip it in your accent color. For Gift Cards for Everyone, I used Alpine snow as the accent and for Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs, I used Strawberry Margarita.

You're going to start by making a small curved line somewhere near center. You don't want it to be dead-center because that will make it harder to get the imprecise look for a flower. You'll see why in a moment.

Next, make another curved line opposite the other that is also off-center, as above.

Continue to make lines curving in towards the center around the original pair of curves and build outward. The less evenly spaced they are, the better your flower will look. Try not to crowd them together, or you'll lose the flower effect.

Now, take your lip brush and dip the first third into your green (Skip the Gift Wrap). Be sure to swipe it a few times on a paper towel to get rid of the excess polish. You can do one of two things at this point.

The first is to press it on the nail to make a pattern of a leaf, then fill in the bald spots. Or you can free-hand it like I did to get a more brushstroked look.

The last part of the puzzle are the green dots. Using the small end of your dotting tool, scatter some dots around the free space of the nail. DON'T crowd them together. Less is more.

Compare the index, middle, and ring fingers (scattered) to the pinky nail (crowded). The spaced out dots clearly look better and less busy. The flowers are busy enough.

BUT WAIT! One last tip: do not use top coat right away, no matter how badly you want to get this glossy and dry! If you use top coat too quickly, it's going to smudge and you're going to be mad at yourself. I promise, the wait is worth it!

Here are two more examples of finished florals:

So what do you think of my tutorial? Are you going to be trying this nail art out? If you do, be sure to post it to my Facebook page... I'd love to share them!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I think ill be trying this very soon. Love the colors you chose. They look great together.

    1. Congratulations, Courtney! You have won the April Comment of the Month giveaway! Please send me an email at! :-)

  2. Congrats Courtney! And these are very lovely! I may have to try it soon. :)