One day last week, I was stuck in a creative rut. I had naked nails and no ideas to paint on them. So, I put out a poll on my Facebook page asking all of my beautiful friends (male and female alike) to let me know if there were any specific colors or art they would like to see me tutorial. Among several great ideas, my friend Nikki casually mentioned that she hasn’t seen much in the way of tan and lavender manicures in the nail world. After considerable thought (And a lot of internet research – She was right! There aren’t a lot of tan and lavender manicures!), I agreed, and proceeded to begin my search for the perfect tan to compliment my favorite lavender in my collection.
After many days and shopping trips, it was my boyfriend who spied her sitting on a shelf at Walgreens, of all places, and brought her to my attention. I knew she was the one. I snatched her right up and brought her home that moment. Once home, I had to get the gears turning somehow, so I browsed Pinterest for awhile to jog my creativity. I kept seeing a lot of houndstooth patterns popping up on coats and dresses. I absolutely LOVE houndstooth. It’s classy yet outgoing and always makes me feel important when I wear it. Aside from cheating with nail stickers, I could not figure out a way to pull it off freehand on my nails! After about an hour of looking at photos of this design and being frustrated because I could not come up with a way to get this design ON MY NAILS, I stumbled across an easy-to-achieve, basic, photo tutorial. I nearly cried. Then, I composed myself and immediately had to try it out.
For my ladies and gentlemen who are more in the basic stages of nail art, this is a moderately difficult design, and shaky hands are not going to do this mani any justice at all. I decided it was a good idea to drink a cup of Italian Blend Dark Roast coffee before I started to wake myself up. Halfway through the manicure, the caffeine jitters kicked in, and my non-dominant hand looks like I let my dog do my nails today, opposable thumbs or not. So be warned, you need to be calm and collected to pull this off. Here’s how I did it:
Supplies You’ll Need:
Trusty Base Coat
Lavender Base (I used Color Club’s “Lavendarling”)
A Gentle, Complimentary Tan (I used Essie’s “Sand Tropez”)
A Thin, Long Nail Brush, A Small Dotting Tool, or A Toothpick
A Piece of Scrap Paper
A Super Shiny Top Coat
How to Achieve the Look:
- Start out with your base, as always. Once dry, apply a couple layers of your lavender to ensure maximum opacity. Color Club’s “Lavendarling” took 2 thick coats.
- Once dry, use your tan to apply crosshatched stripes on each nail. Be careful to evenly space your stripes to ensure your squares are all equal size, and, well, square. Rectangular spaces will be harder to deal with. Depending on the length and width of your nails, you may need more or less stripes than pictured to make the squares all equal size.
- Once dry, remove the applicator from your lavender lacquer, use the sides of the bottle’s mouth to wipe off excess polish as best you can, and place it on a piece of scrap paper to the side. Then, take your long, thin nail brush, and dip it in the bottle. Wipe off excess polish on the sides and CAREFULLY apply tiny lines in the shape of a plus sign to one of the top corners of each purple square, with one side of each line disappearing into the purple square.
- Once all your lines are drawn, use the same brush and connect the “Plus Sign” lines to the other side of the square using diagonal lines, and fill in the triangles. At this point, it’ll look like you have sideways, long, cat faces on your nails.
- Once done, connect each square to the one next to it using a diagonal line from the top corner opposite the “cat ears” side to the bottom of the square next to it.
- Apply your top coat once totally dry to avoid streaking.
Voila! You now have a totally classy hound’s-tooth manicure! I’ve had a couple people ask me if they were stickers and were surprised when I told them I freehanded the design. Be sure to share your versions in the comments and, as always, Happy Lacquering!
XOXOXO – Amanda