A Retro Polka Dot Manicure to Wear on Valentine’s Day

Victoria Moorhouse
Courtesy of Paintbox

Courtesy of Paintbox

Seeking a Valentine’s Day nail art look that won’t expire on February 14th but still feels festive and a tad more exciting than two coats of bubblegum pink polish? The key is combining a popular nail trend with a classic color and dainty details, like this retro tutorial straight from the pros over at Paintbox. This look, named the Retro Grade, incorporates a bit of well-placed negative space (perfect for when your nails start to grow out) and the deep red polish color that’s signature to this day of L-O-V-E. Sure, it’s free of hearts, lips, and all things sparkly, but it still makes a statement.

Courtesy of Paintbox

Courtesy of Paintbox

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This Limited Edition look is created with gel polish at Paintbox, but you can follow the tutorial below and use the lacquer in your own collection to try creating it at home.

1. Start off by applying base coat to your nail.
2. Apply painter’s tape in the shape of the triangle at the base to block off the area reserved for negative space.
3. Next, paint the nail to the edge of the tape with your color of choice. Paint another coat and let it dry for about five minutes. Clean up the triangle with an angled eyeliner brush dipped in an acetone-based polish remover.
4. Dip a dotting tool in an opaque white polish (Paintbox suggests essie’s Blanc) and create three to four vertical columns of dots. Start in the center vertical line and then work towards the edges. They suggest trying to space out the rows of dots in an alternating pattern.
5. Finally, apply top coat to the entire nail once the dots have dried.

MORE: 9 Nail Polish Tricks You Need to Know