Give yourself the gift of bright, shimmering nails during the holiday break with these three looks, designed exclusively for The Post by nail artist Yukie Miyakawa.
“It’s always good to go ‘bling-bling’ for the holiday season,” says Miyakawa, who likes blending glitter and classic festive colors for a party-ready manicure. Plan on blocking aside up to an hour — from start to finish — for each of these featured designs. “If you don’t make the time for the art,” she says, “it’s not going to happen.”
“Polka dots are an easy and classic look,” says Miyakawa. But rather than dabbing on polish for the dots, she uses flecks of glitter for a festive twist.
First, brush nails with a clear base coat, such as Zoya Naked ($12 at Ulta.com). Add two coats of a bright, Kris Kringle red lacquer, such as Love My Nails by ORLY ($9.99 at Ulta.com). While that dries, drop several globs of a clear polish with large flecks of gold glitter (JINsoon Bijou, $18 at JinSoon.com, works well here) onto a paper plate. Use a toothpick to lift and place a chunk of glitter onto the nail. Repeat, adding a half-dozen pieces of glitter onto each nail until dotted with gold. Wait two to three minutes, then cover with a clear top coat, such as Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($9.95 at Ulta.com).
“This design is more of an accessory,” says Miyakawa. “It’s like wearing a ring.”
Begin by painting a clear base coat onto each nail. Once dry, place a chevron-shaped nail tape sticker (Miyakawa likes Kiss Nails Design Perfection Tip Guides, from $2.99 in drugstores) along the middle of each nail. Coat the tip of each nail in a gold polish, such as Essie Good as Gold ($9 at Essie.com), and the base of each nail in silver (try Essie No Place Like Chrome, $9). Peel each sticker off immediately after painting, to avoid chipping once the paint dries. Top with a light coating of clear polish.
“You have to wait until the colors are absolutely dry, so they don’t bleed,” advises Miyakawa — at least three minutes for a thin layer, and five for a thicker layer.
“Plaid flannel is warm and cozy,” says Miyakawa — perfect for coping with frigid temps and party guests alike.
Start with an even layer of a shiny base coat. Once dry, brush two coats of a green polish (try Essie Off Tropic, $9 at Essie.com) across the top half of the nail, leaving a rounded edge at the middle of the nail. Clean up any smudges with a brush dipped in nail polish remover, let dry, then reach for a thin liner brush (available at craft stores and Amazon.com).
Dip the brush in a black polish (try Deborah Lippmann Fade to Black, $20 at DeborahLippmann.com), drawing two thin vertical lines and two thin horizontal lines. Don’t worry about getting them perfectly straight, says Miyakawa — like fabric, it’s fine for the lines to move a bit. Let the lines dry, and wipe the liner brush clean in polish remover, then repeat with white polish, such as Smith & Cult in Sugarette ($18 at SmithAndCult.com).
Let dry, and finish by tracing a gold glitter polish with tiny flecks, such as OPI Gold Key to the Kingdom ($10.49 at SallyBeauty.com), alongside each black line, again using a cleaned liner brush. Next, repeat all the stripes on one more nail, such as the thumb, leaving the remaining three nails unlined. “If you did them all,” says Miyakawa, “it would be too busy.”
On the remaining three nails, use the glitter polish — and the bottle’s regular brush — to paint along the inside edge of the green polish, then down toward the tip of the nail for an ombré look. Once dry, top each nail with a final coat of clear polish.
Don’t want to DIY? Head to the pros