This versatile nail design would look good in any color, but I used Westside Warrior, a rich green, to celebrate the "luxe of the Irish" this St. Patrick's Day. To get the look, you don't need any freehand nail art skills. But you do need patience and the right tools. I also recommend trying a gel top coat. Gel top coats require a UV or LED light to harden, unlike regular polish that dries with enough exposure to the air. Whether you use a UV or LED light depends on the brand of polish, but a great starter kit that comes with everything you'll need is the Sensational Gel Polish Starter Kit. Be sure to read this article to get the 411 on gels, but as long as your layers of regular polish beneath are dry, you shouldn't encounter problems.
Here's what you'll need:
- Base coat
- Rhinestones in at least two sizes, one bigger and one smaller
- A pair of tweezers, preferably angled tweezers
- Gold bullion (or "caviar") beads
- Gel top coat
Here's how to get the look:
1. After laying down a base coat to help with adhesion and to protect your nail, polish on two coats of your base green. Let those coats fully dry. Add a layer of gel top coat.
2. Using your tweezers, pick up a large circular rhinestone, and place it in the center of your nail. Then, add two smaller rhinestones on either side. The beauty of a gel top coat is that it will remain liquid until you cure it, so you are free to nudge your studs and rhinestones around until they're in the perfect position.
3. Now comes the true test of patience. Using your tweezers, place the gold caviar beads around the rhinestones as shown. It may take several tries, but a gel top coat will prevent smudging while you get it just right. Cure your nails according to the gel top coat's directions (usually 1 minute in LED or 2 minutes in UV).
Tip: Most gels have a sticky layer after you cure, which is perfectly normal. To remove it, use a non-acetone remover or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and swipe the nail. That sticky layer will disappear, and you'll be left with a beautiful and shiny nails.
Here's a Pin-able version with the steps and a finished image. Happy St. Patrick's Day!