Our beauty director Amy Synnott D’Annibale got into the patriotic spirit a little early with her festive red white and blue nail art! Scroll down to get step-by-step instructions on how she created the look, then snap a picture of your Fourth of July manicure and share it with us on Instagram with the hashtag #4thofJulyMani.

For the Fourth of July, I wanted to create something festive that would impress my kids (no small task) but wouldn’t embarrass me at work (another tall order). The solution? I painted all of my fingers opaque white (the color of the season), and kept the fireworks focused on my thumbs. I deliberately did two different but complementary patterns because I think it looks more modern. The trend in nail art is skewing more toward random designs that don’t look so matchy-matchy. I kept the look cohesive by staying within the red, white and blue color scheme. 

A word of warning: When you’re doing nail art as a grownup, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re always just one rhinestone away from a seriously tacky manicure. A good rule of thumb? Don’t over-indulge. Choose just a few fingers to focus on and assiduously avoid any kind of add-ons you might find on a Hello Kitty fan website (large white bows, I’m looking at you).

The How-To:

The Firecracker 1. Choose an opaque white hue (I love the shade they used at Rag & Bone’s spring show, Revlon’s Spirit, $5;  drugstore.com) and give yourself a full manicure (base coat, 2 coats polish, top coat). 2. Scroll carefully through your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook feed for at least 15 minutes until nails are completely dry.  3. Apply two chevron tip guide stickers (you can buy a 5-part sticker set on amazon.com for $6) with the points up, leaving space between each sticker. 4. Paint the top and bottom red (try OPI in Big Apple Red, $8.50; opi.com). 5. Paint the small area between the two white stickers blue (try Jin Soon Blue Iris, $18, jinsoon.com) 6. Allow to dry. 7. Carefully remove stickers and apply topcoat. 8. While topcoat is still wet, use a toothpick dipped in clear polish to pick up rhinestones and place them along the blue chevron strip (I used the sparklers in the Red Carpet Gems & Jewels nail art kit but you could probably find them cheaper at a crafts store if you bought them separately). 9. Once dry, apply another topcoat for insurance (if you want this to last until the last firework explodes, do what I did and seal the whole thing with a GEL top coat).

The Roman Candle 1. Apply a topcoat to the top half of your dry, freshly painted white nail. 2. Dip that bad boy into a canister of blue glitter (I used Red Carpet Sparkling Glitter in Starlet, part of the Gems and Jewels set). 3. Press the particles gently it into your thumb and allow to dry. 4. Seal with a topcoat. 5. Pat yourself on the back, take a picture, and tag it on Instagram with #4thofJulyMani — your nails are now trending.

—Amy Synnott D’Annibale