Monday Manicure: Simple DIY Feathers Nail Art

How to do an easy nail art manicure via That Redhead. Simple DIY Feathers Tutorial.

Ah, it’s been too long since I did a Monday Manicure here. It’s also been too long since my nails were done! I blame the upheaval of moving and unpacking- nothing destroys a manicure faster so I decided why bother. That led to my nails looking like this:

Healthy, long, naked fingernails.

I grow some pretty impressive claws when I’m not keeping them trimmed and filed short (my preference) for regular manicures. Blame the avocados and almond milk, I guess. ;)

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to do something fun with my nails since we had an 11 year old girl staying with us over the weekend who is obsessed with nail art. I figured she would approve and I was right! (It’s so validating to be “right” to a pre-teen who usually scorns all things adult as “boring”). This is simple, as promised, and shouldn’t take much longer than a regular manicure.

  1. Trim and file nails as desired and push back the cuticles, cutting only the hangnails. Cuticles are important and you shouldn’t cut them off completely.
  2. Pick out your colors. I wanted the “feathers” to really pop so I chose white as my base. Pick colors that are complimentary together and ideally ones you wear often so your nails will coordinate with more than one outfit. As a redhead, I wear a lot of blue and green so I chose mint, royal blue, and jade.
  3. Do a quick coat of base coat. I like Orly’s Rubberized base coat.
  4. Polish two thin coats of opaque white nail polish (or the color you chose). They don’t have to be perfect but usually one coat isn’t enough coverage. Thin coats are preferred so they dry faster. (see photo below)
  5. Wait a couple of minutes until the base color is dry to the touch, then add your first “feather.” If you have experience in painting, you already know the rule of starting with the lightest color FIRST. This is important. If I had used the mint color on top of one of the darker ones, I would risk picking up the darker color on the brush and contaminating my bottle of lighter color. Plus, I wanted the colors to overlap and mint won’t cover the darker shades.
  6. I used the width of the nail polish brush itself to determine the size of the stripe, or “feather.” It doesn’t have to be perfect, which adds to the freedom of the design and also the ease of actually being able to do this yourself. Be sure to practice a few times on a scrap piece of paper to get the amount of polish right. When in doubt, use less since you can always touch it up with another thin coat. (see photo below)
  7. Do the darker colors and let your nails dry for a bit.
  8. Finish with a coat of shiny top coat, being careful to try to use as few strokes as possible so you don’t pick up the colors at the tip and then drag them through the white part of the nail.
  9. Enjoy the compliments on your fabulous nails!

Step One of Simple DIY Feathers Nail Art Tutorial. Two coats of white nail polish.

Step Two of Simple DIY Feathers Nail Art Tutorial. Adding first feather.

Final result of Simple DIY Feathers Nail Art Tutorial. Colors used from OPI, Essie, and China Glaze.

The colors I used were: Nina Ultra Pro French White, China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, OPI Jade is the New Black, and Essie Butler Please.

If you like this look, you might also like this look I did before: Mint and Blue French Manicure.

What’s on your nails today?


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