A polka dot and flower manicure for spring!
Difficulty rating: 5-6/10
Polish rating: Essie: A; China Glaze: B; Cool Cos: A-; Only: B.
Today’s manicure uses the same principles as this post, just on every nail instead of just one accent nail.
You’ll need a basecoat, a color for your polka dots, an extra color for your flower, a gold or yellow for the center of your flowers, and a gold for any extra dots you might want to add to your thumb.
I used the following colors: Only Nail Polish in #26; (though apparently you can’t buy their polish online)
The formula for Essie’s colors have yet to disappoint me. I’ve done a mani in this pink before and it was fully opaque in two medium coats, and is a flirty pink without being too Barbie-ish. Beyond Cozy is packed with so much glitter it also reaches full opacity after two coats, and in different lights it looks either silver or gold. Love. You can tell it’s a staple in my collection (and how versatile it is in different lights) as I’ve used it in this post, and in this post.
Cool Cos is a small brand I’ve only seen in Denmark, and it has an extensive range of nail colors but the formula varies a lot between colors. And for some odd reason, all the formulas smell a little bit like balloons. Still, this purple is a thick formula and can almost reach full opacity in one thick coat.
China Glaze White on White is probably the best formula I’ve seen yet for a white nail color – but a good white nail polish has been my holy grail forEVER. Like most whites, it still applies a bit streaky, and doesn’t really self level, but full opacity is reached in two thick coats, and a top coat makes it looks smooth.
Only Nail Polish in #26 has a rather thin formula and needs three coats to reach full opacity.
Step One: Choose your base. I chose a white because it really makes the other colors in this mani pop. But you could do a light blue or pink – or anything really that won’t over power the colors you need to dot on top of it.
Once your base is dry, it’s time to start dotting. I use the back of a pad of paper to dab/pour some nail polish on for dotting, but I’ve seen others recommend foil, too.
I decided to have two accent nails, my thumb and my ring finger, so I left those blank to begin with. Like in my Minnie Manicure post, I tessellated the dots to give them a real polka dot effect. Practice makes perfect with dotting, and you have to find a balance between taking your time and not letting your nail polish get too tacky as it dries (otherwise it’ll become stringy & really hard to control). This may mean dabbing less polish on your dotting tray/foil and having to do this more than once, rather than ‘pouring’/dabbing a generous amount and having it turn tacky and stringy while you do your six polka-dotted fingers.
Now it’s time to add your flowers. Using the same dotting tool you used for your polka dots (I used a bobby pin) make two five-petal flowers on opposite ends and sides of your nail. If you have problems keeping your hand steady, try leaning the side of your hand on the table for extra support.
Now choose a gold or a yellow color for the inside of your flower. I went with a rose gold color from ONLY for this mani, but a sunshine yellow would also look really cute.
Now you can choose to wait for your colors to dry and add a top coat. Don’t worry if you can see some of your dots look more raised than your base, as a coat or two of topcoat will fix this right up.
I chose to add a few more gold dots (in Beyond Cozy) to my thumb, in the empty space around the flowers, since they looked quite bare compared to my ring fingers. You could add more flowers or even leaves in a nice green.
Have you tried a full polka dot manicure? Would this be something you might wear?