How To Do A Polka-Dot Manicure


This week’s DIY comes to you with a hat-tip to Sarah Palin. Please don’t stop reading: the thinking woman’s least favorite half-governor has a pretty fearsome nail game. Don’t imitate Palin’s politics: bite her nails (steez).

Here’s what you’ll need for a long-lasting manicure: 1) The base coat of your choice (I use OPI’s Nail Envy, without either enthusiasm or the lack thereof. Meh.) 2) Your base color (I went with some lime green Sally Hansen.) 3) Your dot color (I used an Essie fuchsia pink that on its own doesn’t last for shit, but for dots it does just fine.) 4) Your top coat (I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, because it’s the best, although it doesn’t dry instantly, or even close.) Click any image in this tutorial to enlarge.

First, prepare for your manicure. Soak your hands, push back your cuticles, trim and shape your nails. Don’t apply any moisturizers or products containing oil to your hands: it will interfere with the adherence of your polish. Wash your hands with soap or detergent just before you start with the base coat. (And dry them thoroughly, obviously.)

Next, paint your base color. I always save my thumbs ’til last, so I can use the tip of my thumbnails to clean up any polish mistakes on my opposite hand. Also, a good tip is to do your non-dominant hand first. You’ll be steadier.

Now it’s time for the dots. Start by putting one dot in the very center of your nail. Then place dots around it methodically, working off an imaginary matrix. I didn’t use a nail pen or a narrow brush for this part, just the regular brush from the bottle, and I found that holding the brush steady and moving the nail under it was easier than the opposite. I still made some mistakes, which I covered up with my base color. The top coat will penetrate all these coats and turn the manicure hard. Also: one awesome commenter tip is to use a narrow-tipped permanent marker for nail art. I bet that would work fantastic for polka-dots.

On your fingers, try and get some half-dots on the very edge of your nails.

Then brush on your top coat. And you’re done! Go enjoy your fun manicure before it chips.

If there’s something you’d like to see as a DIY project, just
email me me your suggestions (or tell me on Facebook). In the meantime, to check out past DIYs — including how to make a purse, how to make shorts, and how to make a fascinator — click here.

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