Mermaid Nails Tutorial

Today I’m going to show you how to do my Mermaid Manicure. There are a ton of Mermaid Nail designs out there, so I decided to come up with my own take on it. Hope you enjoy!I feel like this is a really versatile design because you can make alot of little changes to suit your mood or compliment your outfit. It’s a cute and simple look for summer, and I’ll be explaining a few ways you can alter it as well.

You’ll need:

  • Blue or green polish for the tips
  • White or silver polish
  • Clear polish with glitter or shimmer
  • Orange polish for starfish (optional)
  • Pink or neutral polish for background (optional)
  • Toothpick/orange stick, small paintbrush, or dotting tool
  • Something plastic to use as a palette

You can use any colors or brands of polish that you’d like, here is what I used. Zoya: Ginger, Zoya: Snow White, Zoya: Charla, Zoya: Maisie, Qtica: Top Coat

Start with clean, dry nails. A base coat is optional, but generally a good idea. I meant to use my Qtica base coat but accidentally grabbed Qtica top coat instead, but it’s not a big deal. Once you have your base coat dry, take a good look at your nails and see if they look discolored from your previous polish. If they do, you can choose to do a coat of neutral/pink polish to give you a nice background (think french manicure pink). We’re using Maisie flake effect polish for the lower part of the nail, so while it will hide some yellow and discoloration of your nail it won’t totally cover it. Just keep that in mind and decide if you feel the need for a color base. I skipped that step, but next time I would definitely do it. Let everything dry before moving on.

Next take Zoya Charla to do your french tips. Tips are often done vertically, and then cleaned up afterward with nail polish remover and a brush. That’s not necessary here; the edge doesn’t need to be perfect, so freehand the tips in slow and careful horizontal strokes. One coat of Charla will do fine, if you’re using another brand or color you might need two. Don’t worry about mistakes, just make it as neat as you can.

When your tips are dry, you’ll be ready to add a coat of Zoya Maisie. This is a flake effect polish, so it gives a nice touch to the mermaid look and adds alot of shimmer. Paint all the way up to the tips, but don’t go over them. You can choose to use two coats of Maisie if you want a ton of sparkle, I only did one and I think it looks really nice.

Now we’re going to do our accent nails. If you happen to have a Konad or other stamping plate with an ocean theme, you can use that. If not, just get your toothpick or brush and paint designs by hand. You can add seashells, seaweed, fish, a seahorse, bubbles or anything you can dream up. For this look, I went a bit minimalistic and painted one tiny starfish on each middle finger, and one more on the lower right hand corner of one thumb. Be creative and fearless, it’s only nail polish, you can always change it later! For my design, put two drops of Zoya Ginger on your palette and dip into it with your toothpick. Outline a little star right at the line where your tip color meets your base color. Go over it a couple of times if needed. Don’t make the points of your starfish too perfect or sharp, or it will just look like a star, go with more rounded ends and you can even make the ‘arms’ slightly bent upward. You can shade the starfish, add tiny dots around the edge of it with a pin, or add some golden glitter on it if you’d like. I’m just leaving them simple.

Let your starfish dry for a few minutes, and then it’s time to start on your dots. We’re using white to make them look like pearls, but you could use silver or gold if you prefer. Put a few drops of white polish on your palette, and dip into it with your toothpick. Don’t put too much polish on your palette at once, or it will start to dry and get stringy while you’re working. You want to make your dots right on the line where your tips meet your base color, this will cover up any mistakes you made painting the tips. The best way to place your dots is not to go straight across from left to right. Instead, place one dot on the far left of your nail, one on the far right, and one in the exact center between those two dots. (See the red arrows in the picture). Then place a dot exactly in between each of those three dots (see blue arrows). If there’s room, then continue on putting dots in the center between two others. This method will help you to get your dots perfectly spaced, rather than just a messy line of dots. If you go in a continuous line there is also more of a chance that your line of dots will end up crooked. Since we want the white dots to look like pearls, go over each one a second time, very carefully, so that they will be slightly raised. If you’re having trouble painting the dots on you dominant hand, here’s a tip: while holding the toothpick, press the palm of your non-dominant hand against the edge of your desk to help steady it while you paint  Finish all of your dots, and you’re done! You can add a top coat if you like, but I generally skip it on designs like this. If you use one, brush it on very lightly to make sure you don’t smear your work. Let me know what you think of this manicure, and if you try it please share pictures! If you post your pictures of your Mermaid manicure on your own site, please link back to this tutorial, thanks!

Get your own Zoya polish here.


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