Nail Art How To: Picnic Nails Perfect For the Park

Glennis McCarthy
Nail Art How To: Picnic Nails Perfect For the Park
11 Start slideshow

We at Beauty High have decided to declare July “Manicure Month,” a month-long celebration of what we love most: nails. We’ve teamed up with nail art bloggers and manicurists from across America to bring you nail art how to’s, video tutorials, and manicure inspiration throughout July.

Nail Art Blogger: Glennis McCarthy
Location: Los Angeles
Website: Yes Hands 

Hello, all! My name is Glennis and I’m bringing you the first nail art tutorial to kick your summer into high gear. With these designs, you’ll be the envy of everyone in your direct, sand-filled, sun-drenched, wave-surfing vicinity.

Celebrate the summer the best way I know how: with a picnic! Picnic nails are a fun accessory for a gingham blanket and lunch packed in a basket. Below are the tools you’ll need, and above are the steps you’ll follow. Enjoy!

The Polish You’ll Need: 

  • China Glaze, Unplugged (Brown)
  • Essie, Bottle Service (Hot Pink)
  • China Glaze, White on White (White)
  • Orly, Skinny Dip (Light Blue)
  • OPI, Did It On ‘Em (Lime Green)
  • Super Black, Grassy Knoll (Kelly Green)
  • OPI, Green-wich Village (Grass Green)
  • One small googly eye


  • Dotting Tool
  • Striping Brush
  • Detail Brush

Photos by Glennis McCarthy 

More Nail Art From Beauty High:
Tuesday’s #NailCall: Diamond Nails and Geometric Prints
Get Crafty: The Best Home Nail Art Kits
How to Match Your Bikini, Sunglasses and Nail Polish For the Beach

0 Thoughts?
1 of 11

There's no time like summer for a picnic in the park, and these nails are the perfect accessories! 

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

1. Start with 2-3 coats of your base colors.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

2. Dip your striping brush in white polish, about halfway up the brush. Place the point of the brush at the center of the base of your nail, and slowly drag the brush up toward your free edge. Make sure to use one movement and use some follow through. The key to a good stripe is having an even amount of white on your brush throughout, i.e. no blob at the tip! You can practice on a piece of paper first if you want. Paint three vertical stripes on each of your red nails.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

3. This is where we break out our inner Monet. With your detail brush and green polish two shades darker than the base polish, paint quick, upward dashes on your pinky nail. We’re giving the illusion of grass from a distance, so it doesn’t need to be exact.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

4. Now put on your Bob Ross hat, so we can paint some happy little clouds. Or rather, dot. Grab your dotting tool and load the tip with a blob of white polish. Make sure the polish  isn't about to fall before pulling away from the bottle. Now dot your blue nail in a cloud pattern. 

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

5. I hope you cleaned your brush off after the last striping! Dip your brush in Essie’s Bottle Service (hot pink), and paint horizontal lines over the vertical white lines. The white will make the pink polish appear to be lighter, just like gingham, Dorothy!

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

6. Now that your pinky nail has dried, you can go in with a third green color darker than the first two colors, and paint bigger stems of grass with your detail brush. Use the same motion you used for the white lines, but bring the end of the grass line to a narrow tip.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

7. Ants are the worst, but a painted ant with a googly eye is the best! Using the brown polish, paint a large circle for the head, an oval for the abdomen, and another oval for the thorax. Then add six legs so that thing can walk!

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

8. Dip your detail brush in clear polish and cover part of your ant’s face with it. Then, with the same brush, pick up your googly eye and place it on your nail, flat side down. Next, paint the shape of a grape in the ant’s hands with light green polish. No, it’s not to scale, but it sure is adorable.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

9. With your detail brush and the white polish, paint the ant’s right eye and mouth. Use a darker shade of green to give the grape some shading.

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

Now, tell me your BBQ pals aren’t going to freak out when you show up with these nails! 

Photo: Glennis McCarthy

Next slideshow starts in 10s

A Look Back: See Our Shoot With It-Girl Sky Ferreira

A Look Back: See Our Shoot
With It-Girl Sky Ferreira