Get A Mani To Match Your Cocktail

Caroline Murray

Associate Editor, Megan: Watermelon Manicure

I love watermelon-flavored cocktails. But as a mani? I was worried it would be a little corny and too cutesy. Once applied, however, I was in love. I got so many compliments and it was a really fun change-up to my everyday monotone manicures. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to get the look at home:

sum nails megan Get A Mani To Match Your Cocktail

Step 1: Apply a coat of red or bright pink. My manicurist used CND’s Poppyfield, which served as a great base for my watermelon look. Make sure to let the color dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Next, dip your brush in a coat of white and prepare to give yourself a French tip. According to CND, the trick to applying a great white tip is never moving the brush. Instead, you should move your finger as you paint from one end of the nail to the other. Make sure to have Q-tips and alcohol on hand to clean up any mistakes you make. The reason alcohol works better than nail polish remover is it will take off the wet nail polish, but it won’t mess up the color that’s already dry, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your design.

Step 3: Once your white tips are dry, you want to add a tiny sliver of green at the very tip of your nail to serve as the watermelon’s rind. Unless you are using a very fine brush, you will most likely end up with green polish on your skin, so again be prepared to clean up your design.

Step 4: You will need a very fine tipped brush again for this step. Dip the brush in a black polish and let the excess drip back into the bottle. Paint little seeds onto each nail. Instead of making dots, paint in tiny vertical lines. Three or four per nail should do the trick. Don’t worry about making each nail perfectly uniform when it comes to this step.

Step 5: Once your nails are dry, finish with a coat of clear gloss to perfect the look.

Looking to make a matching drink? Try a “Bitter Sweet Symphony”:


Champagne or sparkling wine, watermelon-flavored liquor, 1 tbs. grapefruit bitters


1. Fill a champagne flute 3/4 of the way with chilled champagne or sparkling wine.

2. Add 1/4 cup watermelon-flavored liquor.

3. Stir in 1 tbs. grapefruit bitters.

4. Use a melon baller to scoop out a bit of watermelon, dropp it in the flute and serve!

Assistant Editor, Caroline: Blue Kitty Hawk Manicure

I’ve always been a fan of “girly” drinks—if it contains juice and an umbrella, I’m in. So I decided to create a manicure that would match my favorite cocktail color: blue. Here, CND whipped up a nail look they like to call “the starry night” to match my love of fruity drinks.

sum nails caroline Get A Mani To Match Your Cocktail

Step 1: Once your nails have been buffed and filed to your ideal shape, start applying a dark blue polish, like CND Inkwell #539 to your nails. This will be your base coat.

Step 2: Using tweezers, dab a tiny piece of sponge (you can just cut a small piece off your kitchen sponges), into a purple polish, like CND Plumville #534. Gently dab the purple over your nails—the sponge will give it a cool, airy effect.

Step 3: Using a separate little sponge, repeat step 2 using a white polish. Don’t worry if it looks blotchy at first, it will smooth out eventually.

Step 4: Don’t wait for the polishes to dry, apply a clear top coat with shimmer right away. This will blend all the colors together for a smooth, “starry-night” effect.

Want to try the pretty cocktail that went with this mani? It’s called a “Kitty Hawk” and is just as refreshing as it looks. Here’s how you can whip it up:


1 ounce gin, 1 ounce Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, 2 tsp. maraschino liqueur, 1 tsp. crème de violette, brandied cherry (as garnish)


1. Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add all the liquid ingredients.

2. Shake for 15 seconds and strain (or double strain for a smoother drink) into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

3. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Editorial Assistant, Shannon: Margarita Manicure

When I was a kid, my mother always said, “It’s not summer until you’ve had soft serve ice cream.” As an adult, I’ve substituted soft serve for margaritas. I may not be vacationing on a beach resort with a margarita in one hand and a trashy novel in the other, but a marg definitely makes the city feel like a summer resort. So why not match my tips to my fave cocktail? Here’s how I got the look:

sum nails shannon Get A Mani To Match Your Cocktail

Because traditional margs are my favorite, we combined CND Green Scene #546, a classic Kelly green, and CND Bicycle Yellow #543, a bright yellow, to create a vibrant lime green.

Step 1: After shaping the nails in soft almonds, our manicurist coated the nails with the lime green polish.

Step 2: She applied CND’s Air Dry Fast-Set Top Coat and let set for two minutes.

Step 3: Lastly, she dabbed a coat of white glitter on the tips to resemble the salt on the margarita glass. To get the same look, you can also try Ciate’s Caviar set or even use real salt.

Who better to get a margarita recipe from than ‘Mr. Margaritaville’ himself, Jimmy Buffet? Here’s how to make a classic margarita, courtesy of The Jimmy Buffet Concert Handbook.


1 1/2 oz tequila, 1/2 oz triple sec, dash of lemon or lime juice, 3 oz sour mix, lime wedge for garnish, salt to rim the glass (optional)


1. In a glass, combine the lime juice, tequila and triple sec. Stir to mix well.

2. Prepare the cup by rubbing a lime wedge around the lip of each cup. Pour salt onto a small plate and roll the outer edge of the lip in the salt.

3. To serve, fill the cup with ice cubes. Pour the margaritas over the ice and garnish with a lime wedge.


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