Three happy young woman showing off their nails

These Insta-inspired Nails Are to Die For

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With all the candy colored manicures out there today, you might say biting one’s nails has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, we’re less likely to engage in the gnawing of the cuticles as a nervous habit then as a case of mistaken M and M identity. Nails may be small canvases, but manicurists do manage to fit quite a lot on them.

Like most things of beauty, however, nails and the art they depict is ephemeral, unless you happen to be one of those Guinness Book of World Records celebrities that haven’t picked their noses for decades. To give carefully manicured nails more longevity, they must be captured on Instagram and shared with many people. There they can be appreciated and even imitated by both amateurs and professionals alike. Whether you fit in either category, or none of the above, here are some Insta inspired nails worth dying for.

Trophy Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvxG5ovnRZ7/

If these nails don’t take the trophy, they sure look like they have. Holy planetary explosion! Rhinestone sitars with sequined necks and star shaped headstocks on a middle finger? Even Jimi Hendrix would think he was hallucinating. Golden stars, glitter and finger bands to complement, this manicure wins the award for psychedelia.

The Rainbow Unicorn Nail

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwjYdxhBa9E/

These nails are worth giving up your nose picking habit for good. Ouch – you definitely wouldn’t want to stick these horned, flower tiara wearing beauties in your nostril. It wouldn’t be a good move for your nose, or for the longevity of your manicure. Gold digging aside, this a manicure that could even warm the heart of a construction worker.

Flame Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwg7moiAsFM/

Stare into your nails.  This mani is so hypnotic, it’s like having ten mini lava lamps on the ends of your fingers – no electricity required.  Pyromaniacal fashionistas rejoice. When you have white flames rising from square tipped nails, playing with fire takes on a whole new meaning.

On the Money Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwgOzowAfi3/

Dollah bills, ya’ll. The green steals the scene on this mani- not just in its realistic depictions of the almighty dollar, but also in its depictions of the almighty marijuana. Hey, that pointer and pinky finger nail look like they have enough shake in them to roll a fat one. Plus, you gotta love the slightly disrespectful use of the “In God We Trust Logo.” When it comes to manicure favorites, you can put your money on this one.

Heavenly Nails: Cherubs in Blue Jelly

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwaivF3AASR/

Talk about nail art. These angel nails would put Raphael to shame. Are these things made using really tiny nail brushes or are they just shrinky dinks? You don’t need a halo over your head to wear angels on your nails. Let’s just hope they don’t get their wings stuck in the blue jelly.

Cowchella Nails 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwh94Xhnw8-/

In a world oversaturated with leopard, zebra and tiger print, it takes a real woman to paint cow print on her nails. These nails were spotted at Coachella (Cowchella for our intents and purposes) and we think they’re udderly fabulous. We’re sure they gave a lot of Coachella attendees another reason to say, “Holy Cow!” This nail model couldn’t choose between the pink or white and neither can we. The sexy cut outs at the bottom are just the cow’s wows.

Happy Tree Friends Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwlconvlaNj/

Hello Kitty, good-bye Godzilla. After the King of Monsters invaded, the biggest thing to hit Japan has been a life-sized cat wearing a tiara. It should come as little shock that Tokyo manicures depict cartoon like animals. But seriously, how cute is this? Little smiling cats wearing eye patches and pirate skullcaps? A teddy bear wearing a propeller hat? A buck toothed bunny? Hey, we’ll save monsters for another manicure, these are just too cute for us to pass up.

Black Glitter Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwknjtMgxCo/

What happens when you put primer on your nails, dump a bunch of black glitter on them and seal it a top coat? Something that’s going to take a lot of heavy-duty nail polish to remove. But that’s not to say it’s not worth it. Just press play and watch this star struck manicure maven watch her nails glitter from every angle while you look on in sheer amazement. Other colors available.

Luminiscious Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmVxf8dlopb/

Talk about finger lickin’ good! These nails look like the product of what happens when the manicure table crashes into the counter at Cold Stone Creamery. Hey, if the cone fits, why not wear it. Cue the creepy ice cream truck music and channel your inner Strawberry Shortcake.

Shoe In

When they say, “She who dies with the most shoes wins, do they count the ones on your fingernails? What Barbie doll wouldn’t die for a pair of those? And dig the fluorescent sparkles on the unshod hand. This manicure wins even if you don’t count the shoes.

Just Do Your Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwl2JV4n0lS/

She may be wearing Nike on her nails, but it’s not likely that she’s going to be twirling too many basketballs on her fingertips with that dragon lady manicure. Why “Just Do It” when you can do your nails? This mani has a little of everything Nike and we likey.

Motley Nails

These are a set of nails that belong in a Motley Crue video. You may be “Too Young to Fall in Love,” and even too young to swig from a bottle of Jack Daniels, but last we checked, there was no age limit on heavy metal nails.  You’ve got badass biker on these tips – the creepy skull, the quintessential chains, the ominous rose and the excess of jewels. Plus, nail polish removal is a lot less painless than tattoo removal.  This way, you can test out the look before you make a major commitment.

MacNails

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtA1pt8g5nd/

This manicure comes with a big Mac, large coke and order of fries. Whoever owns this hand should get unlimited hot fudge sundaes for a year just for the free advertising.

DIY Nails:

So, what happens when your sort of on the broke side and the sight of your bare nails is too depressing to bear? You look longingly at the bejeweled Instagram manis and you can’t even muster enough the positive energy to put likes on them.  That’s when the do or die becomes the DIY. Here are some nail creations that you can do at home:

Fluid Nails

Aren’t we really all just amorphous bodies moving freely past one another, assuming temporary shapes of the containers we inhabit? Look into these nails and see if you don’t discover the continuous flow of spirits in the universe.

Nail art can be pretty superficial, but fluid nails can take some deep contemplation. Most commonly over how you can actually create the looks on your fingers. You can try to spill differently color polishes on your nails, but chances are, your going end up with more a Black Hole that the Aurora Bourealis. No matter how free flowing these nails look, there is some careful crafting behind it. Here is a quick recipe for your making your own liquid acrylic paint.

Materials:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Mixing Jar or can
  • Palette
  • Palette knife or alternative mixing utensil
  • Acrylic medium, matte or gloss, your pick

Directions:

  1. Pick your color combo and mix it on the palette with your palette knife. Two ounces of acrylic will yield 8 oz of nail polish.
  2. Aim to get as close to your desired color as possible. Keep in mind that you can always make adjustments later. The key is to make sure the colors are well blended.
  3. Pour mixture into can or jar.  Add six ounces of water and stir until the paint is dissolved and the consistency is well balanced. If you find the mixture is too watery, add some more of the acrylic paint to lend it a little more body.
  4. Fine tune your paint for desired color, thickness, and opacity. Remember, a little goes a long way with acrylic paint, so it’s better to overestimate than underestimate. If paint is too thin, add more medium. If paint is too thick, add more water. 

Aquarium Nails

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsbmap4A7Tn/

Sometimes it’s not so much what you put on your nails as what you put in them. With aquarium nails, its what’s inside that counts. But how do you fit anything inside a nail tip? The key is to use two nail tips and make a sandwich out of them – magic trick revealed. Here is a more detailed run down on how to create some seriously detailed nails.

Supplies

  • Two nail tips of different sizes (use smaller size for top)
  • Hypodermic needle (we do not recommend looking for one in a dark alley, they can be purchased from a drug store for less than $1).
  • Acrylic Gel
  • Toothpick
  • Tips clippers
  • Embellishments

Procedure:

  1. Glue larger (or base) tip to a toothpick to help you work with it more easily
  2. Use tip clippers to cut the well (bottom part) off the top (smaller) tip
  3. Connect both tips by placing acrylic gel in the small well. Carefully lay it down on the full well tip. Seal side with more acrylic gel and let it dry. Make sure to leave the top part open.
  4. Apply embellishments to open tip. Embellishments may include tiny stars, confetti or glitter (a.k.a: anything that can get sucked up by a vacuum without causing turbulence).
  5. Use tweezers or syringe to fill the nail. Do not fill nail more than halfway.
  6. Fill syringe with distilled water. Insert needle far inside tip opening and push plunger until tip is completely filled with water. Seal with clear acrylic, let dry. File to smooth tip.

To Apply to Nails:

  1. Glue some sequins onto the outer edge of natural nail. This will serve the dual purpose of securing the tip to your finger while blinging it up a notch. It will also help fill that gap at the base of your nails that starts to appear when your roots come in.
  2. Apply tips to natural nails using clear or colored acrylic gel. Apply clear polish if desired.

Ombre Nails

http://www.instagram.com/p/Blcc8EklW5b/

What can you do when one color is not enough? You can paint your nails alternating colors, but while that can create an interesting look, it can also interrupt the continuity of the nail polish. Ombre coloring is the answer to keeping it flowing and interesting at the same time. Here are some pointers on decorating your pointers ombre style.

Classic Ombre: Have sponge, will ombre

  1. Apply base coat.
  2. Apply color coat.
  3. Apply peel off base around nails.
  4. Apply color you will use for hombre coat to the sponge.
  5. Press the sponge over your nail and repeat procedure.
  6. Add top coat, glitter if desired.

Ombre: Have no sponge, will use any other cosmetic applicator available

  1. Apply base coat.
  2. Apply color coat.
  3. Dip a Q-tip into shade for ombre coat and press it on your nails starting at the middle.
  4. Repeat procedure until you are done with the design.
  5. Apply top coat, glitter optional.

Getting It Off

Forget the foils, ditch the cuticle oil, don’t even bother unfoiling your foils, and tell your nail stick to stick it. The nail polish remover has just gotten much less painless. With the revolutionary nail caps, you get the all-in-one. These handy little caps take the place of the aluminum while securing an acetone-soaked cotton ball over your nail, creating a more effective seal that prevents the acetone from dissolving. After ten minutes, unclip and you’re nail beds are free of damage and absolved of layers of sinful nail gel. A bag of ten will run you about $15. 



Victoria Santalesa

About

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Victoria played guitar in a punk band with her twin sister before moving to LA to seek fame and fortune. She now lives in West Hollywood with her husband, tutors children and writes blogs whenever she can.


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