Nail Art Know How: Modern Graffiti
Welcome to #ManiMonday, a video series in which we show you how to create original nail art designs from a new pro every month.
When Alexander Wang gave models custom graffitied t-shirts to wear backstage before his Spring 2017 show, we had a sudden urge to grab a can of spray paint and tag our entire wardrobe. Now, thanks to manicurist Tracylee, there’s a less-permanent way to get our fix: This variegated design gives off the same fresh vibe by meshing bright colors in different linear markings and textures.
To get the look, apply clear base before painting on two coats of Essie’s milky-pink “Marshmallow” polish ($8; essie.com). Then, dip the skinny edge of a makeup sponge in a drop of OPI's mellow yellow hue “Need Sunglasses?" ($8; walmart.com); use the sponge like a stamp to dab vertical lines of color onto nails. Take pains to vary the placement on each nail—if the end result looks too uniform, you’ll lose the spray paint-like appeal.
Next, dip a thin paintbrush in Sally Hansen’s teal “Jungle Gem” polish ($9; walmart.com). Wipe the brush on a paper towel to remove any excess—you only need enough polish to add faint wisps of color up and down the nails. (Again, you'll want to vary the placement for cooler end-results.) With a clean brush, repeat the process with Morgan Taylor’s baby blue “Take Me to Your Tribe" ($9; loxabeauty.com).
Then, dip a striper brush into a drop of Dior’s true-red “Rouge 999” polish ($27; dior.com) and add a vertical line to each nail. According to Tracylee, this serves as a visual starting point at which the eye can then begin to navigate the design as a whole.
Your final move: Use a fresh striper brush dipped in Zoya’s pitch-black “Raven" polish ($10; zoya.com) to create small sections of cross-hatching. (For extra interest, Tracylee varied both the size of the sections as well as the placement on the nail.) Finish with top coat, you’ve bought yourself a piece of portable art.