3 Nail Art Tricks That'll Upgrade Your DIY Manicure (Using "Tools" You Have At Home)
Ever stop mid-scroll to wonder how in the world a nail artist did that? If you're one of Amy Tran's 100,000 Instagram followers, the answer is probably yes. The nail artist and content creator's feed is littered with chic — and, more impressively, clean — nail art; this includes a recent "dotticure" that's perfect for spring. The secret nail art trick behind the colorful look? According to Tran, she used three under-$5 shades and a bobby pin to pull it off.
To create Tran's dotticure, the nail artist recommends starting with a base coat first and actually letting it dry down (so, no rushing ahead with a half-wet base, please). After you've set up a palette of your three shades on foil — Tran used SinfulColors' Quick Bliss Collection in Climaxxx, Hit the Spot, and Bite — "take a bobby pin and dip it into your first shade (Climaxxx) and randomly place dots on the nail," she tells TZR via email. "Repeat step three with Hit the Spot and Bite. If polishes on the foil start to dry, just apply more. You want to make sure the polish is wet and not tacky."
It's easy to create tiny, even spots, too — even though yes, they look pretty complicated. "The pressure you apply on the nail will determine the size of the dot. If you’d like a small dot, put less pressure. If you’d like a big dot, make sure there’s more polish on your bobby pin and apply more pressure on the nail," Tran explains.
Another pro tip: Invest in a formula that won't have you waiting around between shades. "It’s great to use a quick-dry formula for nail art, because there’s less opportunity for smudging between steps," says the artist. ("To further prevent your art from smudging, form a bead at the tip of the brush and float the top coat over the nail," she adds.)
Interested in a few other expert tips? Ahead, two more nail art "tools" that are probably already sitting around your house — plus, everything you need to recreate Tran's dotticure on your own.
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"Tape can be a great tool to use for creating straight lines, but you need to make sure the base coat is 100 percent dry. Add a quick-dry top coat to speed up the process," notes Tran. "Once it’s completely dry, you can apply tape."
"Want to step up your water-marble game? Grab a cup and fill it with room temperature water, add drops of polishes into the cup, then take a toothpick and drag the polishes in the cup," says Tran. "You just dip your finger into the cup. Once you remove it, you’ll have a water-marble nail!"
Feel free to experiment with colors you wouldn't normally pair together. "I love using the color wheel to help me pick out color combinations," notes Tran. "Choosing colors opposite from each other are complementary and can even spark new color combos you never thought of!"