Summertime Splashy Nails

0 Posted by - May 9, 2012 - Hair & Beauty

My grandma taught me how to paint my nails when I was like 7. Ever since, I’ve been kind of an addict. If I ever were to be in danger of hoarding anything, it would be nail polish. I’m pretty sure I have more nail polish than every cosmetics and hair thing I own combined. So nail tutorials attract me like fruit flies to a freshly applied topcoat. (Take that visual image with you. It’s on me.)

I found this one tonight for perfect summertime nails.

Pretty cool, right? And, bonus, the accompanying blog post has instructions.

1. White Base Color
2. Place small dots of colored polish in corner of nail.
3. Spread colored polish dots outward with a toothpick.
4. Apply topcoat.
5. Voila!

4 steps and a cute little cheat step. Easy peasy.

Guess where I ran into the first problem…

If you guessed Step 1, you are the WINNER DING DING DING! Turns out that all my white nail polishes are actually from French manicure sets, because I have like 5 French manicure sets for some reason. I don’t know. One for each finger? Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, but French manicure white is always kind of gross and gloopy. Maybe it’s because it’s meant to be applied just to the tip (hee, just the tip, ahem) and therefore should be thicker than your run-of-the-mill polish, but it’s fucking annoying when you’re trying to use it as your base color.

And this is why I ended up with racing stripes in my base color.

Unthwarted, I pressed on.

Here’s where things got tricky. I wasn’t sure if I should put all the dots in the corner of my nail at the same time, or dot and spread, then dot and spread, with each subsequent color. I opted for the first.

And (drumroll please… ) I fucked it up.

I mostly succeeded only in completely messing up the base layer by dragging the toothpick too forcefully and exposing naked nail. By the time I got to the top blue dot, it was already dry, so the color didn’t even move a little bit.

So, I tried option 2.


I tried variations on all the other fingers. Bigger dots. Smaller dots. Less toothpick pressure. Using my finger instead of a toothpick. Putting the dot in a different spot. All met with varying degrees of fail.

The saddest part of all of this is the fact that I haven’t decided if I’m going to take it off before work tomorrow or not.


  • Heather – Dollar Store Crafts May 9, 2012 - 9:26 pm Reply

    That’s awesome. In the most not-awesome way. :)

  • Kate George May 9, 2012 - 10:39 pm Reply

    Um, I’m kind of wondering if the clear top coat wasn’t supposed to do some of the dragging/smearing/making the undercoat running stuff. But what do I know. I have trouble doing french tips – even with the little stickers.

  • Julie May 10, 2012 - 1:19 am Reply

    The last time I polished my nails was nearly 30 years ago. Didn’t have clue all this art was happening until just a few months ago when I saw someone I follow on the tweeties talking about it. (And showing pictures, obviously.)

    Lovely fail, because this time no food was ruined and you can say you did it this way on purpose!

  • inkgrrl May 10, 2012 - 12:38 pm Reply

    Just the tip? As I asked the doc right after having abdominal surgery when he told me no sex for 6 weeks…

    Just the tip never works for me. I get nail polish everywhere. But this does make me want to try making a henna pattern on my nails. Because not being able to hold anything steady means total success with miniature henna patterns, right?

    • Pintester May 10, 2012 - 3:37 pm Reply

      Go for it.

  • Joanna May 10, 2012 - 2:01 pm Reply

    Ha, and this is a prime example of why I don’t paint my nails. Well, one example. The other is that I have huge man hands that transform into creepy child like man hands when my nails are painted. It’s weird, I know. Anyway, I can’t even manage a single coat, much less something cool and “easy” like that! I did see a similar tutorial for this though, but they used a straw and blew the pretty colors across the nails. I don’t know if that would be any easier or come out any better, but hey, it’s worth a try!

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  • Elizabeth June 24, 2012 - 9:44 am Reply

    You should totally try Ombre Nails. Ombre is totally the new “Thing” Ombre dressers, ombre tights, etc. Here is a Pictorial for Ombre Nails. I am too scared to try it

  • Jamie June 24, 2012 - 10:01 am Reply

    Yeah…I tried this one too and ended up with the same shitty results as you did.

  • jessica June 24, 2012 - 11:15 pm Reply

    I just have to tell you i have tears running down my face from laughing so hard! I’ve read several of your “attempts” now and i’m seriously sitting here on the couch snorting and crying w/ laughter… i bet you are a hilarious person! Good work!

  • Ally June 25, 2012 - 8:54 am Reply

    Your blog is awesome! I am obsessed with nail art too and find that I cannot master any of these designs. Can you try some stamping designs out? There are no directions that help with applying the design before it dries on the stamp or the plate.

  • Nadine June 25, 2012 - 11:10 pm Reply

    Omg just discovered your blog! you’re friggin hilarious, totally made my day..

  • Angel Burke June 26, 2012 - 9:13 am Reply

    LMAO!!! You are cracking me UP!!! I had a HUGELY EPIC fail with an ombre manicure and I couldn’t decide if it was because I was too old or I just suck. In any case, all I could do was laugh. Thanks for your blogs, you are a riot!!!

  • chrysalis101 June 27, 2012 - 10:18 am Reply

    I tried a variant on this one. I only used one color per nail. It worked pretty well for me, even hubby was impressed and asked me to do this mani again sometime (he hates my mani obsession). You have to let the white base coat dry TOTALLY. I waited half an hour before applying the colors, just to make sure that it was completely and totally dry. If you want to put more than one color per nail, I suggest dropping one color, pulling it out, then dropping the next color and pulling it out. Also, bonus tip, put a layer of top coat between your base coat and dripping the colors on. Then, if (when?) you mess up, it’s easy to take off without having to redo your base coat.

  • VictoriaDavis June 28, 2012 - 12:16 am Reply

    To funny.  But it looks like the directions done lied to you! lol I think she dipped the toothpick into the nail polished then made the color swipe… 

  • Gretchen June 28, 2012 - 1:38 am Reply

    I think they used a kind of splatter techinque: You put down a drop of nail polish, and take a coffee straw and blow through it so the polish runs out in little legs… but I’m thinking the polish would have to be a little more runny than normal nail polish, like thinned out.. Idk, just an opinion

  • GinaGossman July 3, 2012 - 9:17 pm Reply

    i tried the pin where you put the nail polish in water and dip your nails in it for a swirly kind of effect. Needless to say i ended up with nail polish all over my hands and no effing nail polish remover. fml!

    • Kristin July 10, 2012 - 8:32 pm Reply

       @GinaGossman If you put lotion around your nail (not on it) then the polish will stick to your nail and not your hands. I did it and it came out pretty awesome. On another note the lotion eventually breaks the water tension and you have to get a new bowl or new water to make the nail polish stick to the surface again. Over all a pain in the ass but cool otherwise. 

  • Jessica July 4, 2012 - 11:35 pm Reply

    i did this and it worked! it helps to do one color at a time, because the dots will dry. also wait to make sure the base white is hardened or else it gets all messed up

  • karinewkirk July 9, 2012 - 8:35 pm Reply

    Just the tip!!! OMG it was so unexpected and i laughed so hard tears came to my eyes.

  • dajenks July 21, 2012 - 11:29 am Reply

    I hope you kept it on just for pure awesomeness.

  • ChristineGoodingLambert August 9, 2012 - 2:42 pm Reply

    I tried this literally 10 different times. all on my toes. different ways, different ‘dragging’ objects…and my daughter tried it several times too (on her own fingernails) and ACCIDENTLY got it to work on ONE nail ONE time! But could not recreate this anomoly. I’m tellig you, we should be Pintesters!!!! we SUCK!   (Our instructions said to apply a base layer of white & let it dry then apply another layer of white and quickly add the dots and drag while its all still wet) Yeah right!

  • axo06a August 14, 2012 - 2:30 am Reply

    This was possibly the funniest thing I have read all year.  I have tears running down my face from laughing so hard.  You word things perfectly.  I am very much enjoying reading all your posts!  Please please do not stop!  You are hilarious!

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  • Gs22 January 28, 2013 - 8:02 pm Reply

    Holy shit! Hilarious! I’m finding this blog for the first time and you just earned a spot in my ‘favorites!’

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