When I was younger I dreamed of being a mermaid. Mum had made me a Little Mermaid-esque tail (fashioned from an old skirt and some foam), and I’d sing Part of This World over and over again while flapping around the kitchen floor. These days, I’m still chasing the dream, except it’s now all about the nails. Cue my mermaid nails tutorial.
With tiny scales and a glitter gradient inspired by the sea, this mermaid nails tutorial is a pretty nod to my mermaid fascination.
What you’ll need:
– Base & Top Coat
– Light Green Polish
– Purple Glitter Polish
– Blue Glitter Polish
– Silver Glitter Polish
– Nail art pen or small dotting tool & small piece of foil
– White Polish
While you don’t need all of these colours or the hint of purple to fully embrace this look, I love how the purple dimension helps create a totally blended, pretty nail effect. The best thing about this tutorial is you can be pretty haphazzard when blending the colours – and i’ve got some tips on making the scales extra easy too…
Mermaid Nails Tutorial
Base coat. As simple as it sounds; apply a thin base coat to all nails.
Apply your chosen base colour. As my mermaid nails are inspired by the sea, i use a light green (OPI’s That’s Hula-rious).
With a light touch and not too much polish dab your first sparkly colour at the top of your nail (near the cuticle). I like All That Jazz’s Aaliyah’s Emeralds Are A Girls Best Friend as it’s the perfect semi-pigmented colour with just one coat (meaning it’s not going to look too stark against the base shade and will be easy to blend.) Drag the brush down the nail around half way. Try and work really lightly here, you want it to look relatively natural. And don’t worry if your nails don’t turn out all exactly the same, imperfection creates a more realistic ombre effect!
Apply a coat of glitter over the whole nail. Make sure your glitter isn’t too pigmented – you don’t want to just cover the undercoats, you want this layer to help melt them all together creating a more blended mermaid nail look.
See how it’s all coming together?! I now day my purple glitter polish (Morgan Taylor’s Let Them Eat Cake) at the top of the nail near my cuticle again. You could go for pink, deep blue or even yellow here – just make sure it’s a glitter! With a light touch (much like before) start dragging the polish down the nail around half way. I like to imagine mine like little icicles – some bits i’ll pull down longer while other bits i’ll keep shorter! Allow to dry.
Now here’s where we add the details. I add my mermaid tail scales on my ring fingers and three little dots on the other fingers. On a piece of foil, add a few generous dobs of white polish (OPI Alpine Snow). Take your brush and create a semi circle at the top of your nail. This will be your first scale. Now, work downwards, creating semi-circles. Each semi-circle should sit either side of the semi-cirlce above it.
Tip: If you’re not confident with a brush, a dotting tool is a good alternative for creating the mermaid scales. You’ll feel more in control, just make sure you keep loading your dotting tool with polish.
Tip: Take it slow! Thinking about where you’re next semi-circle needs to go before starting really helps. For the most professional finish; concentrate on making all your semi-circles the same width apart.
Now you’re scales are complete, add three dots on each finger. I like to make the top dot biggest and going down in size as I work down the nail. Allow to dry fully before adding a Top coat!
Tip: Your white polish will begin to get gloopy after a few minutes so keep adding fresh dots of white to your foil. Clean off your brush and dotting tool between too!
Finished! Give this mermaid nails tutorial a go – it’s easier than it looks and perfect for summer!
What mermaid colour combination would you use?
Until next time,