Valentine's Day manicures you'll love
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Heart of the Mani1 of 18
By Natasha Burton
Regardless of how you feel about Valentine's Day, you'll fall for these heart-filled nail designs.
Heart Deco2 of 18
Nail guru Chelsea King says to use a small brush to paint squares of different sizes onto nails (don't worry about the lines being super straight—they're just guides). Once the squares are totally dry, paint within the boxes with a range of pink and red colors. To finish, King says to apply thin silver striping tape over the lines, then cover with topcoat to complete this artsy, color-blocked mani.
SHOP NOW: Sally Hansen nail pen, $5, amazon.com
Teal The Love3 of 18
For this two-tone design, Whitney Swiedler applied a white base coat, then painted on designs in blue. For the thumb illustration, she made a stripe down the middle of the nail with a thin brush. After drawing a heart around the stripe, she filled in half the heart with teal polish, then filled the area around it with the same hue on the other side.
SHOP NOW: Essie polish in Go Overboard, $5, amazon.com
Silver Lining4 of 18
For an edgier take on V-Day, polish pro Stephanie Berry created this rock-star mani. To start, she suggests shaping nails into a point to get the full effect, then sealing nails with two thick layers of matte topcoat. If you can't find studs (look for them on eBay), try dotting on faux bling with a silver nail pen to achieve a similar look.
SHOP NOW: Sally Hansen silver nail pen, $6, amazon.com
Seeing Spots5 of 18
For these multicolored nails, Swiedler first made the outline of the hearts with a dotting tool and then created the different-size spots by just pressing down a little harder (for bigger ones) or barely touching the tool to the nail (for smaller one). She did the same thing for the colors outside of the hearts. The effect is dizzying…in a good way!
SHOP NOW: DL Pro dotting tool, $5, amazon.com
Candy Girl6 of 18
To wear your conversation hearts on your tips, try this design by Polish Art Addiction blogger Leslie. She used a stainless-steel template to apply the multiple heart shapes, then filled them in with candy colors using a small nail-art brush, brushing on a drying topcoat between every application.
SHOP NOW: Diva Elements nail art template, $10, amazon.com
Sheer Bliss7 of 18
King painted nails a pale pink, let them dry, and then used a nail-art brush to paint a guide: She drew two V's pointing towards the tip of her nail, one near the cuticle, the other on the end. She finished by painting the dotted stripe and kiss designs inside the hearts.
SHOP NOW: OPI polish in Coney Island Cotton Candy, $7, amazon.com
In the Navy8 of 18
For a less girlie-girlie, but still sweet V-Day mani, try this high-contrast blue-and-nude combo by Swiedler. She applied the hearts freehand with a dotting tool. To ensure the hearts are even, she advises starting at the point of the heart and working around from there.
SHOP NOW: Butter polish in London Royal Navy, $15, amazon.com
Sweet Hearts9 of 18
Berry painted her nails different base-coat shades, then used a dotting tool to create the hearts. (New to nail art? Stickers offer a sneaky shortcut.) Berry suggests using a black nail art pen for optimal control when doing lettering such as the "Love" in this design.
SHOP NOW: Miss Nail heart tattoo stickers, $2, amazon.com
Heart Monitor10 of 18
Mani maven Kaitlyn Delano created this unique design using pink, red and black polishes. If you need a little help creating the black lines, try a striper brush to keep things sharp and steady.
SHOP NOW: Nubar nail art striper, $6, amazon.com
In Stitches11 of 18
To create these nails, digit designer Jenny Pasha started with a basecoat, then drew the outline for the patchwork squares and hearts using black acrylic paint and a thin paintbrush. If you're a nail-art newbie, try a polish pen to keep lines smooth and even.
SHOP NOW: Nubar nail pen, $7, amazon.com
Precious Metal12 of 18
This lovely-dovey mani takes a classic approach to Valentine's Day. To create the silver hearts in this design, nail artist Maryam Maquillage used simple Scotch tape and scissors to create stencils. (Check out the full tutorial on how to do it here.)
SHOP NOW: Essie polish in Set in Stones, $6, amazon.com
What a Gem13 of 18
Maquillage created this girlie design—a spin on the chic reverse manicure—using matte polish, which she says is easier to fix if you make mistakes. She used an orange stick to carefully place those gems and pearls in place. Pretty!
SHOP NOW: Pearl rhinestones, $3, amazon.com
Check Mate14 of 18
Maquillage used two different nail appliqués and cut them into corresponding shapes to create this shimmery mani. So, if you're not so confident about hand-painting designs onto your digits, this look is for you.
SHOP NOW: Kiss Nail Dress, $7, drugstore.com
All That Glitters15 of 18
Swiedler created this intricate (and oh-so-sparkly!) mani by starting with a white base (except on the index fingers), then used a striper brush to dot on the designs. For the index fingers, she started with a base of gold glitter and used a dotting tool to make the gradient spots. For the pinkies, she simply used the polish's brush to create a thicker coat toward the tip.
SHOP NOW: Deborah Lippmann polish in Boom Boom Pow, $20, amazon.com
Tag It16 of 18
Using polish and a kitchen sponge to achieve a marbled-effect base, artist Winnie Huang concocted this festive mani. To add the graffiti-style details, she used a very fine brush and black acrylic paint. But, if freehand seems a bit too daunting, try nail stickers to achieve a similar look.
SHOP NOW: Kiss Nail Dress, $7, drugstore.com
Knight Moves17 of 18
This design by Maquillage was inspired by medieval armor—and of course, the chivalrous men who wore it. For the color, she used China Glaze's new "Tranzitions" polish, which switches shades when you apply topcoat, then added shiny studs using a wax pencil and nail glue.
SHOP NOW: China Glaze polish in Champagne Bubbles, $5, amazon.com
Bleeding Love18 of 18
For those who aren't feeling the love this Valentine's Day, try this bleeding-heart motif by nail artist Fleury Rose. She created the look using two coats of white polish, then painted on a red heart. To create the dripping effect, dip a small brush in acetone, then touch it to the point of the heart and drag downward.
SHOP NOW: Illamasqua polish in Throb, $17, sephora.com
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