Nail art is the kind of thing that looks so great on Instagram and in magazines, but the idea of attempting it yourself is just… a disaster. Either the margin of skill level between your dominant and non-dominant hand is way too broad, or you just can’t get a hold of drawing tiny intricate things on such a small space as a fingernail. Maybe your hands are just unsteady to begin with. Thankfully, the trend is so popular that there are so many ways you can participate in it even if you’re not a whiz with a tiny paintbrush. Try any of these nail art shortcuts for a fly manicure in no time.
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There's pretty much no way to mess up this abstract stripe look. You don't even need a special brush. Just take three colors of your choosing and do a quick and light swipe down each nail at different lengths for this colorful matisse-inspired look, done by Jin Soon.
Courtesy of Jin Soon
Much like those handy 2-in-1 tank tops in a shirt, Revlon is making your color coordination choices for you with these nail polish duos. One side has a normal brush and the other side has a narrow brush for painting on designs, tips, whatever you like!
(Revlon Nail Art, $4.79 at Ulta.com)
Another look from Jin Soon that is so simple to do—the box stripe down the center of the nail. After painting on two coats of a base color, just take your brush on it's broad end and starting from the middle of the nailbed, brush down quickly for the simplest rectangle or square (depending on how long your nails are).
Courtesy of Jin Soon
If you're into 3D textures and blinged out texture, Essie offers nail stickers with rhinestones attached on so you don't have to worry about haphazard placement. It's all done for you, just stick them on and your mani looks like a million bucks.
(Essie Sleek Stick Nail Stickers, $9.99 at Target)
The easiest and automatic way to create an abstract textured look on your nail is to go for the "crackle" formulas. Popular in the 90s and resurging back into popularity due to the trendiness of nail art in general, this nail polish formula once painted on, separates on your nail to create a jagged appearance like on the top of OPI's "Shatter" collection, which does just this.
(OPI Shatter Nail Polish, $7.09 at Sleekhair.com)
For the doodler in you, these nail art pens are the answer to your expressionist freedom. Draw whatever on your nails and it dries to a flat finish so your nails become a work of art, no matter how abstract.
(Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, $4.79 at Drugstore.com)
And for when you can't be bothered to do polish your nails but want to look polished without looking trendy, there are these French manicure strips from Sally Hansen. A total no-brainer to the hard-to-draw french tip—just stick them on instead!
(Sally Hansen Salon Effects French Mani Nail Strips, $12.99 at Ulta)