20 Awesome nail art designs explained step by step

by Aarti K. Singh

Take a look at 20 pretty awesome nail art designs explained step by step. Now, decorating nails can be easy and fun!

Historically, nail art originated in ancient Babylon where males (yes you read that right) coloured their nails with kohl. Cleopatra used henna and gold dust to decorate her nails. We sure have come a long way from there! If you envy the talons of women who have a new design on their fingers very often, fret not. For you can be a stylish nail art queen too. And without going to the salon every day! Read our list of super easy and yet super sweet ideas and designs that are easy to execute.nail art designs step by step 19

1. Penguin in the Sea: 

You need four colours for this nail art – black, white, yellow and blue. Paint all fingernails except your ring finger in blue nail polish. This ring finger will be your accent nail – the penguin. On the ring finger, apply black nail polish. Let it dry completely. Paint on the penguin with white and yellow as shown in the picture. Allow it to fully dry before you apply a top coat so that it doesn’t smudge. Take your penguin all over town!

2. Buttercups: 

For the dull, dreary winter months ahead, add a splash of a bright warm color like yellow to your digits. Choose a gradient for added effect – such as a cream or white for the base, a yellow for the second and an orange for the final. Line with black for added dimension. This nail art is so easy to do if you follow the pictures, that it doesn’t even need an explanation.nail art designs step by step 20

3. Crazy dots: 

Even if you don’t have a dotting tool, you can use the blunt end of a toothpick to do this design. You will need a white nail polish for the base. A white base always makes the colors pop. Apply the whit polish and wait half an hour till it is fully dry. Choose multicoloured nailpolishes to dot your nails with the blunt end of the toothpick. You can choose either one color family – say shades of red or go ballistic and get a rainbow on your nails. Dot till done. Dry. Apply top coat.nail art designs step by step 21

4. Musical Notes

For those of you that are musically inclined, this is a great design. Simply apply two coats of a pastel (or white) nail polish – allowing it to dry between coats. You can either paint the notes on with a really thin brush and black nail polish or draw them out with a black CD marking pen if your hands are not too steady. La-di-dum!nail art designs step by step 22

5. Zebras: 

This is the ideal design for those who don’t have steady fingers. Just apply a base coat in any color – white, if you are a purist – and make zebra print/stripes with a toothpick or fine brush!nail art designs step by step 23

6. Love and Kisses: 

For nails that are so sweet, you could kiss them, try this nail art that spells romantic like never before. Apply a nude or pastel pink base coat. After it has dried completely, draw lipstick marks in shades of red. Remember less is more here. Don’t make more than two patterns per nail.nail art designs step by step 24

7. Neon Triangles: 

Why be a plain Jane when you can shine and stand out. Apply a nude or slightly tinted base coat and make triangles on the tips with an eye-popping neon shade.nail art designs step by step 25

8. Jigsaw Puzzle Nail Art: 

Follow the pictorial instructions for this looks-difficult-but-is-super easy pattern and let everyone solve the puzzle of how you did it.nail art designs step by step 26

9. Some Bubbly?: 

Get the effect of champagne on your nails. Refer to accompanying picture for inspiration.nail art designs step by step 27

10. Leave Some Room: 

Remember your art teacher in school talking about the importance of negative space? This design is an ode to that. You will need four shades belonging to the same colour family. Simply line the edges of your nails in each of the four colours, leaving a rectangle in the middle plain. Let dry and apply top coat.nail art designs step by step 28

11. Cherry Blossoms: 

Fan of florals, but find them tough? Here is something not too dainty and easy to execute. This design looks really cute on short nails. While the picture shows a gray base coat with pink dots that serve as flowers, you could change the color scheme if you like.nail art designs step by step 29

12. Snowflakes

Start with the base color with a base coat beneath. It is better to stick to a simple base color like a lotion or shimmer polish. Use a nail art brush and a white or silver nail paint to draw 3 intersecting lines. Then draw two small aslope lines to every line that you drew. Apply  topcoat to seal the nail paint.nail art designs step by step 30

13. Peacock plumes: 

Think how intricate a peacock feather is. Don’t even think about replicating nature, but you could come close if you follow the steps shown in the image. Use the thinnest brush possible to get the delicate effect right.nail art designs step by step 31

14. Precious Turquoise: 

The turquoise is such an alluring stone. Get the look of turquoise on your tips using two nail polishes and some cling film. Paint your nails with a nice turquoise or sea-blue color. Wait for it to dry. Cut out a few small pieces (about 3cmX 3cm) of cling film. Crumple each into a small ball and apply a very thin dab of gold to the plastic balls. Now dab this on top of your blue nails. Go easy and don’t overdo it. One it is completely dry, apply a top coat that has gold flecks in it to make it look even more realistic.nail art designs step by step 32

15. Floating in the Clouds: 

Bring some happiness onto your nails with this effortless design. Paint your nails a sky blue shade. Let it dry. Apply some white dots sticking to each other to float some clouds on your nails. If you want it more dreamy and surreal, apply a mildly glittered top coat.nail art designs step by step 33

16. Chequered: 

Black and white chess boards are so passé! Add some color to geometric patterns by following the instructions in the accompanying image. You will need striping tape to make the edges look neat and finished.nail art designs step by step 34

17. Back to School: 

Relive your childhood memories by turning your nails into a blackboard. Apply jet black nail polish in a matte finish. Or you could apply regular nail polish and once it is dry, cover it in a matte top coat. Once this is dry too, use a thin brush and white nail paint to ‘write’ on your board!nail art designs step by step 35

18. Swirls: 

This is another trick nail art. TRICK, not TRICKY! Paint your nails in a dark shade of nail polish and let it dry completely. In fact, wait an hour or two before you proceed to the next step. Apply a totally contrasting light shade and before it dries, carve swirls on it using the sharp pointed end of a toothpick. Let dry and cover with a topcoat. It isn’t so much effort if you have steady hands!nail art designs step by step 36

19. Multicoloured Chevrons: 

Chevrons are such a rage right now. Fall in trend and replicate the pattern on your nails using scotch tape to block areas that you want painted in different colours. Follow the image instructions for clarity.nail art designs step by step 37

20. Cupcakes

Tantalise your taste buds with this so-good-it-could-be-eaten nail art. Peach pink color is applied as a base. Wait till the base gets dry. Then apply royal blue over the nail tip. Make strips of light blue or lilac line over nail tips. Then use white nail paint to draw pattern.nail art designs step by step 38



Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

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