Friday, November 11, 2011

new technique - watercolor nails! + tutorial

Hi guys! Today I have a super exciting and really cute new technique to show you!
You'll be surprised when I tell you how this is done. Take a look!

Watercolor nails! Aren't they pretty? I'm totally in love with this watery, overlapping look. I love the way the colors blend.

So, how do you think I did this?
It takes one secret ingredient... Acetone.

A little cap full of acetone and a big, soft paint brush.

When I say "big" - I don't mean really big. Just bigger than you would use for nail art.

This is my watercolor brush vs. my nail art brush. That should give you an idea.

I got the idea for these nails from this post from beautygeeks. They did them a bit differently and I'm not such a fan of the final result, but I knew I could turn it into something really pretty!

Here's what you've gotta do to get this look.

Paint your nails white, and add a coat of a thick topcoat and let it dry. I use Seche Vite.
Topcoat is important - it creates a protective layer so the acetone won't ruin your white base color.

Choose the colors you want to be in your watercolor. Keep in mind that they will be watered down and runny - it might take a few tries before you find polishes that work exactly like you want them to.

I chose these four Kleancolor minis. Neon Yellow, Neon Aqua, Neon Amethyst, Neon Pink.

Add a few tiny drops of color to your nail.
(This picture is awkward but I had to quickly take it while the polish was wet!)
Then, you dip your brush in the acetone, blot off a little so it isn't soaking wet, and then start spreading the blobs of color!

You should end up with something like this.
If you can't seem to understand how this works - watch the video in the link I posted. it will show you the basic technique but I like to spread it out more instead of just making blobs.

If you end up getting too much acetone on your nail and it is wet - don't worry. Blow on your nail and the acetone will quickly dry.

It looks sort of funny at this step, but keep going!
(However, I bet you could just do a 2-tone one with different colors! I don't think it works with the white but you cold definitely try other colors.)

Add your second color and spread it around the same way you did the first, but don't cover up all of the first color. That's what creates the blended watercolor look!

See how it looks orange over the pink, but yellow over the white?

Adding blue brings many other colors into the look! You get blue, green, and purple!
You likely only want to use one small drop of blue because it will take over the others easier.

I finish off the look with the purple shade.

With the final color, you should try to lightly cover any remaining white.
Add topcoat and you're done!

I'm in love! It's so simple and takes basically no skill. You're just blobbing and smearing! Just like painting with watercolors in kindergarten.

I left the above picture fairly large so you can click it to see how cool it looks close up!

Loving it! Let me know if you guys try this. I hope you can have as much success as I did!
I can't wait to try this with more colors - I'm envisioning watery blues and greens... So many possibilities!


  1. Love it!! I am obsessed with watercolor patterns!

  2. So cool!
    Thank you for this tutorial!!

  3. wow thanks for sharing it ,, very helpful post !!

  4. Looks amazing...I can't wait to try this.

  5. They look awesome Rebecca! And Thank you for taking time out of your super busy schedule to share the steps with us. :)

  6. That is absolutely fantastic and so incredibly simple! I've got to give this a try! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  7. I love this, I'm going to have to try it sometime. I've also never seen Kleancolor mini's, so adorable.

  8. I heard about this new technique a couple of weeks ago from a nail tech. Thanks for showing this. Looks pretty easy.

  9. Blobbing and smearing sounds like a technique I can manage! These look awesome :)

  10. This looks great :)
    I might have to borrow my sister for practice :P

  11. Do you think it would work with thinner? Mixing the polish with thinner in a paint pallet, dishy thing then smearing it around on the nail with the brush.

  12. @denisefh - most likely you could achieve a similar effect that way!

    and thank you everyone! good luck trying it yourselves :)

  13. This look so cool!Thank you very much for sharing.
    I will try it!

  14. wow, such cool new technique ;) thank you!!! I'll definitely try this out!!!!!

  15. This is so fun! I want to try this out :) Thanks for the inspiration

  16. :/ not really sure if i like this..maybe its the colors? pretty inventive technique though ..

  17. great idea! thank you for sharing!

  18. Gorgeous! I'll have to give this a try some time soon. ^_^

  19. Great idea :) love it. Will have to try it myself. Xxx

  20. i really want to try these! does the polish remover with acetone work here? or should it be just acetone?

  21. @rips - i don't think polish remover will work quite as well because of the other stuff in it like colorant and fillers and stuff, sometimes even scents. it also doesn't evaporate as fast! you could try it though!

  22. Im gonna try this! It looks so much fun! But I don't have acetone... :(

  23. Really cure- reminds me of easter eggs!

  24. Awesome technique! I'm gonna try it!

  25. Yup! I gotta try!

  26. That's a really cool technique! I need to try this in the future!

  27. Love it and thq for sharing it !

  28. oooh i want to try this! though honestly, i thought you were gonna use clear top coat instead of acetone! looks great :)

  29. well i showed to my friend these nails and she fell in love right away! and said we have to buy a bottle of acetone.. ;)

  30. omg this is absolutely amazing!!! will definitely need to try this!!

  31. great design. I'll have to try it I've been wanting to do watercolor nail art :)

  32. I tried this last night! :) Mentioned you in the post of course!

  33. Love it, and gonna go try it out! :]

  34. Am I daft? I cannot see any link here to a video you created on how to do this. My nails are suffering from a really long illness I have had showing them up always short, thin, pealing. Cannot wait to get my nails back (and my healthy too of course) so that I can try this. I need more nail 'real estate' than what I have to try this.

    1. i didn't make a video - the link to the beautygeeks site has the video :)

  35. Hi Rebecca, I really like this technique and I´ll try it for sure! I invite you to visit my blog and leave me your comments :) thx

  36. Hey, just to say I referred to this tutorial to create this look myself and I linked you here: as an inspiration so thank you! I love your blog xxx

  37. Hello, I am doing a 28 day nail art challenge in February, to help demonstrate a style I linked this post to mine. Thank you for being awesome!! Jilltastic

  38. wow! this is really stunning! Do you use pure acetone or can I use nailpolish remover that contains acetone?

  39. I love this post, i couldnt help but try it
    hope you like it

    Cessa I used normal nail polish remover xx

  40. Oh, how beautiful it looks =) In the future i will try this, and i hope it´s okey if i link back to this post =)

  41. How fabulous! I'll most certainly be trying this out in the near future!

  42. This is SO stunning yet SO simple! Love the final look

  43. Butuh Bandar Online terpercaya ?
    Yuk join aja menjadi member Di TogelPelangi

    Menyediakan permainan ;
    Live dd48red blue

    serta memberikan prediksi terakurat

    DISKON Pemasangan :
    4D ; 66%
    3D : 59%
    2D : 29%

    Support 4 Bank terbaik :

    Hot Promosi Jackpot Super Lucky
    Promo New Member
    Komisi Referal 1%

    Daftar sekarang bos :

    Info dan contact :

    BBM D8E23B5C
    LINE togelpelangi
    No telp.dan W.a +85581569708

    Silahkan bos