Monday, April 02, 2012

TUTORIAL: Fishtail Nails

Hi! So April has commenced which means a month of misery for me. I can already see that this month will result in absolute mayhem for my life so please bare with me with lack of posting and commenting. I'm really sorry that I can't return the favour and comment on your blog posts at the moment. I read all of them via Google Reader on my phone when I get the chance but there's no quick way to comment (that I know of). Blogger also doesn't work on my mobile browser, the page always resets. If you know a way to comment via Google Reader, please tell me! :)

So on to the good stuff. You may be getting tired of this design so I promise that this will be the last one for a little bit. The reason for doing this look yet again was to make a quick photo tutorial. Keep reading for the instructions. In regards to the actual manicure, I changed it up a bit with a triangular halfmoon. I think this is my favourite version yet :) 

I used American Apparel California Trooper as a base on my thumb and ring finger and OPI San Tan-Tonio on the rest. The blue parts are a blue striping polish by Art Club. For the triangular halfmoons I mapped out the shape with the striping polish, filled in the triangle with American Apparel California Trooper and then freehanded the design. For the fishtail, see below!

  1. Paint the nail with a light coloured polish.
  2. Use a striping brush to map out the fishtail with an opaque polish. Use light strokes starting from the top free edge of the nail to the opposite side on a diagonal. Repeat this process, alternating direction, to the cuticle.
  3. Use a contrasting opaque polish to fill in one of the sections. From there, fill in the very next section that doesn't touch the first filled-in section. Repeat this down the nail and see the photo if you need clarification. You can use a nail art brush for this but I just used the brush from the polish. It doesn't have to be super neat because you'll thicken up the outlines in the next step.
  4. Go over all of the lines you mapped out with your striping brush, making all of them equally thick.
  5. Use the same polish to fill in certain section like you did in Step 3.
  6. In the sections that still have the base colour showing through create thin diagonal lines down the middle, parallel to the direction of the section.
  7. Create small diagonal lines on each side of the line from Step 6 for a leaf-life pattern.
And that's it! It's a lot simpler than one might think and doesn't really require a lot of layering upon layering.

As an extra tip, try to choose two neutral colours and one accent colour to let the design stand out but not look too crazy. Unless you like that, then go right ahead! :)

So here's the end of a super long post- thanks for sticking around! Hope this helped you out or inspired you. If you try it out, I'd love to see some pictures: comment with a link below or tweet it to me (@preciouspolish)! :)


  1. Bethany Taylor3 April 2012 at 00:44

    Great tutorial!

  2. Aw good luck with this month! <3
    I don't think I'll get tired of seeing this nail design! I think this design is amazing and I love your step by step tutorial! It's a lot simpler than I imagined lol. I also wonder if I have Google Reader available for my phone...I use the browser but it's slow when I want to look at posts...

  3. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I will defo try it out. I'll leave you a link once I get around to doing it ;)

  4. Jacquelyn Giardina3 April 2012 at 21:39

    omg thank you so much for doing that tutorial! I definitely feel like I can recreate it now

    xo Jackie
    Enter to win a Rebecca Minkoff mark. Delight Bag!!

  5. no, thank -you-! i hope you try it out! (:

  6. no problem, sonja, and thank you! good luck and looking forward to seeing the results! xo

  7. thank you so much <3
    haha yeah it looks a lot more difficult than it actually is. it takes such little effort for a great result (:
    oooh i use my internet browser on my phone and go to it has a mobile interface that works very nicely and it's very convenient (:

  8. Do you have an iphone? you should definitely get an app called Snapguide to share your tutorial and designs.


  9. Aaah, I wish! I'm trying to get one so thank you for sharing that app with me! I'll definitely check it out in the future! :D

  10. this tutorial made it so easy! i used a reddish orange as the main color, white as the base color, and then gold as the stripes. i think it looks pretty good considering i used a toothpick instead of a striping polish. i was too lazy to do the same design on my other nails so i just kinda made something up.

  11. yay, they look awesome! the variation you did is actually really cool, it goes well with the original design (: that red is really nice too!