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Arrgh! Playful Pirate and Nautical Nails

Take nautical nails to a whole new level with this sea-worthy look that combines anchors, stripes and cartoon pirates for a mani that's worth its weight in gold.

I love a simple anchor-theme nautical nail. It's one of the easiest designs to do and always a classic without looking too kitschy. A few years ago, I saw a cute picture of a cartoon pirate and decided to combine it with some pirate-y stripes and a simple anchor nail for a next-level nautical look (you can see my original design here). I've always intended to re-create the design and do a tutorial for it, and here it is!

Playful Pirate & Nautical Nails

Here's what you'll need for this nautical nail look: a base coat, nude nail polish (I used OPI My Vampire is Buff), red nail polish (I used Barry M Copa Cabana), navy nail polish, a thin nail art brush, white nail polish or acrylic paint, white striping tape or a striping brush, a small dotting tool, black nail polish or acrylic paint, and a top coat.

Playful Pirate & Nautical Nails: Steps 1 and 2

1: After applying a base coat to your clean, shaped nails, add your colors. For nails where you'll do the pirate face, paint the nails with nude polish. For the striped nails, apply a coat of red polish. And for anchor nails, apply the navy polish. Allow the polishes to completely dry before moving to the next step.

2: Using a thin nail art brush and white nail polish or acrylic paint, draw an anchor on each navy nail. The best way to do this is to draw a circle at the top, followed by a line down the middle; then cross that line. Then do the hooks coming out of the bottom, and fill in the center of your circle with the navy.

Playful Pirate & Nautical Nails: Steps 3 and 4

3: Use striping tape or a striping brush to paint white lines across the red nail.

4: Using a nail art brush and red polish, draw bandannas on the top third of each nude nail. Add two short lines to one corner of each bandanna to look like ribbons dangling down the side.

Playful Pirate & Nautical Nails: Steps 5 and 6

5: Once the red polish is completely dry, use a dotting tool and white polish or acrylic paint to add polka dots on the bandanna.

6: Using a thin nail art brush and black nail polish or acrylic paint, draw the eyes, eye patch and mouth on your pirates. Once everything is dry, finish with a top coat to seal in your design.

While the pirate portion of this nail art is a bit involved, with a little practice anyone can pull it off. Have fun with it!

For more nail art ideas from Alice, visit One Nail to Rule Them All.

Alice Sanderson

Hi! I'm Alice, I'm 19 years old and I'm in my second year studying history at the University of Sheffield, in the UK. I've been doing nail art for about three years, having started in order to stop myself from biting my nails. I used to think of nails as a backup to my degree, but now I’m not so sure!

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