To Nail Art or Not to Nail Art, is That Even a Question?


I used to hate nail art.

Actually, hate is a strong word. I used to be nail art indifferent.

I knew it existed–sometimes I thought it was cute, sometimes I thought it was tacky–but that was as far as it went. I hardly had time to paint my nails, let alone fuss over a design. 


Nail art not only seemed tedious and time consuming, but it required a certain amount of skill that I simply did not have. I have a hard time painting my nails without getting polish everywhere, so intricate snowflakes– or fireworks or whatever it is that people paint on their nails– were completely out of the question.

But all of that changed when I found this Revlon polish. It’s called Copper Penny, but it looks more like a gold foil (like the kind they put on fancy chocolate.) I saw it next to a pretty, coral pink polish and was overcome with an acute and powerful NEED for nail art. “Must. nail. art. now. nail. art. please. art. my. nails!!!!” (Looking back, I wonder if maybe maybe the fumes from the polish may have influenced this thought process…)

instagramableNevertheless, I attempted an easy, two-toned design on my nails later that night and just like that, I was hooked. It occurred to me then that there are two types of people in this world, those who nail art and those who do not nail art. For now, it seems, I am the latter.

Although I used to be concerned that I did not have time for frivolous activities like painting shapes on my nails, I now see holes in my schedule perfectly suited for creating a new, exciting designs (Like 2 am on a Sunday night! Perfect time to paint my nails, right?! #sarcasm) In the last two weeks, I’ve painted and re-painted my nails 3 times, and though I am not proud of that number, I am VERY proud of these designs.

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This was the design that started it all. It’s imperfect and uneven but it’s the artsiest thing I’d ever done to my nails and I just loved it. Watch the video below to see how I got this look!




unnamedThis was my second attempt and the reason I had a hard time focusing on my book/ in yoga class/ while working on the computer/ constantly last week. This design reminded me of champagne bubbles, floating up my nail in an ombre effect (use your imagination, it was only my second time) and it just made me happy.

To achieve this look, paint two thin layers of polish as you normally would. I chose Blanc by Essie, but any color you like will do.

unnamedThen I took a sponge and dipped it in Copper Penny. I gently pressed the sponge on the tip of nails and worked half way up the nail–pressing, not rubbing–until there was a slight gradient effect. Most of the gold color was focused on the tip of the nail. When it was dry, I applied a glossy top coat and removed the excess polish around the nail with a cotton bud and nail polish remover.




This (if my Snapchat is any indication) is my current favorite design. I painted my nails with Wet and Wild’s “Grasping at Strawberries” and let both coats dry completely. Then I applied one piece of scotch tape diagonally down my nail, and another piece going in the other direction, so there was a triangle at the top. It seems complicated and time consuming, and it is a bit time consuming, but it’s very simple. I recommend doing this while watching a show or catching up with girlfriends (Nail art-doers know that you must multitask, otherwise you’ll literally be waiting for paint to dry and completely lose your mind.) Then apply a thin coat of Copper Penny to the exposed triangle and gently remove the tape. When that’s dry, finish with top coat and viola!

***Put the tape on you the back of your hand and peel it off once of twice before applying to your nail. This will ensure that you don’t pull off the base coats when you remove the tape.***

Nail art–and painting your nails in general–is a very meaningless thing when it comes down to it, but I like that it’s yet another little thing that I can do to brighten my day. The deigns makes me feel a little extra fancy and fun, so I have a feeling I will be on the nail art bandwagon for a while.

Let me know if you like to do nail art too and share a pic on Instagram with #missvranhalen if you try one of these looks so I can see how it turned out!

To see how I achieved the first look, watch the video below and for more incredibly easy nail art ideas, check out BuzzFeed’s 27 Lazy Girl Nail Art ideas. Happy painting!


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