early nail art

Mint and Purple French

I’ve always liked mint green and purple as a colour combination and I when I saw Essie’s Where’s My Chauffeur? I absolutely fell in love with it and knew the first manicure I did with it would have to be combined with a nice purple.

I wanted to do something simple but fun and needed to practise my French tips as I’m still not great at getting nice clean lines, so the decision was made!


I used: Where’s My Chauffeur? – Essie, Impulsive – Revlon

Dotty French

I’d been browsing various items with tutorials for beginners and found loads of great ones at nailsmag.com. I loved this design as soon as I saw it. I also knew it would be within my abilities and was excited to try something that looked so effective but relatively simple.

I wanted mine to look a bit more summery than the one in the tutorial so I picked bright, bold, happy colours. My nails were a lot shorter than the ones in the tutorial so I also had to be careful to limit the number of dots. There was the temptation to go overboard and it was difficult to know when to stop. I think I got the balance right and didn’t overdo it.
I was pretty pleased with this one. Some of my dots could be neater, but I still love this design and I’m sure it’s one I’ll revisit in future.

Alice in Wonderland

I went to a friend’s birthday party at an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant in Tokyo, complete with teacup tables and waitresses in cute Alice costumes. Thought Alice themed nails would be fun to try, but all the ideas I came up with were way too advanced for my current abilities. So I had a look on YouTube and found this great tutorial
It was still a bit tricky for me and so I simplified it a bit. (I was also running out of time and actually needed to get to the restaurant!)

I was happy with the way the lace on the tips came out, as I found it quite tricky to do with the fine dotting tool. I wasn’t so thrilled with the diamonds, clubs, hearts and spades, but I liked the overall effect and got lots of compliments. I need to work on getting shapes more accurate and central!

I used: Matte Aqua – BYS, Black – Decorative Nail, White – Bon Bon and small black pearls in the centre of the bows.

The photo’s not the best quality but was taken in a bit of a rush…

Simple flowers


This was my first attempt at nail art.  Ever.  I’d bought some cheap brushes and dotting tools from eBay, had a small collection of nail polishes that I already owned, but had never done anything creative with and had bought a couple of new polishes, including a top-coat and base-coat the day before.

I’d spent some time looking through tutorials on the internet trying to determine where would be a good place to start.  Obviously choosing a complicated design first time would be setting myself up for failure and it’s important to have small successes when embarking upon a new hobby, especially a creative one, otherwise I find it easy to lose interest and move on to a new pastime.

So the tutorial for this came from Nail Art 101 which has loads of great tutorials on it categorised according to difficulty.  I’m hoping to try a few more from this site in future.  It made the flowers look simple, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Using the dotting tool was easier than I first thought it would be, and I came to understand why dots feature so heavily in so many designs labelled “beginner” or “easy”.  This was reassuring as it seems there is a lot that can be done with a fairly simple tool and technique, so plenty to keep me going as a beginner.  I do hope to move on to more complex, hand painted designs at some point though.

I also learnt that the polish can quickly become dry and sticky on the dotting tool and can leave unattractive hair-like threads on the nails.  Keeping the polish from drying too much was the first challenge for me, so I kept mixing it on the palette I was using and re-dipping the tool for each individual dot.

Colours I used were:

Pure Pearl – Revlon, Sensation – Color Addict, Baby Pink – Sweet Closet (Japanese Brand), White – Bon Bon (Japanese Brand)

I was fairly pleased with the final result considering it was my first attempt.  The flowers weren’t very even sized and some of them could be neater.  It’s a design I’ll certainly revisit and try to perfect in future.