Before you don your outfit for that fireworks show or start mixing cocktails for your Fourth of July party, consider lacquering up in a patriotic manicure! In celebration of all things red, white, and blue, we painted up three fun nail art designs that don’t require you to be a pro. You can deck out all 10 digits in the punchy designs, or add an edgy twist to an otherwise tame hue by opting for a sole statement nail. Whether you want to keep it traditional with a flag-inspired pattern, go bold with a glittery firework motif, or get into the picnic spirit with a gingham and cherry design, we’ve broken down each manicure into user-friendly steps to help you nail each look. Keep reading to get the full breakdown!
Old Glory Nails
1. Begin with two even coats of an opaque bright red like Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Lola ($18; sephora.com).
2. With a white striping polish like Sally Hansen’s I Heart Nail Art ($4; ulta.com), paint horizontal stripes from the top to bottom of your nail.
3. Once dry, use Nails Inc.’s Baker Street ($10; sephora.com) or an equally bold cobalt across the tip of your nail.
4. While the blue nail polish is still wet, press a trio of rhinestones side by side onto your tip. We had flower-shaped crystals in our nail art kit ($3 for a 12-color wheel; amazon.com), but for a more literal take, opt for stars ($4 for a 12-color wheel; amazon.com). Finish with a layer of clear top coat.
Cherry and Gingham Print Nails
1. Apply two coats of Burberry’s Optic White Nail Color ($21; burberry.com) as the base.
2. Begin painting on the gingham pattern with Orly’s Instant Artist in True Blue ($7; orlybeauty.com). We went for the water-based formula to create a sheer, layered effect, and started first with the vertical lines, followed by the horizontal lines on top.
3. With a dotter tool like Shany Cosmetics’s ($1 for a set of five; shanycosmetics.com), pick up YSL’s La Laque Couture in Rouge Pop Art ($27; yslbeautyus.com) with the larger end, and dab two cherry-esque spots into place.
4. Use a lime green striping polish like Lechat CM Nail Art in Electric Green ($3; lechatnails.com for locations) to draw on the cherry stems and leaves. Allow the pattern to dry completely before finishing with a top coat to avoid any messy smudges.
1. Start with either an inky black lacquer, or a shimmer-flecked version like Ciaté’s Velvet Tuxedo ($15; nordstrom.com), and layer one coat of Deborah Lippmann’s Let’s Go Crazy ($20; deborahlippmann.com) on top.
2. Paint two firework-shaped bursts with the L.A. Colors Art Deco polish in Silver Glitter ($2; drugstore.com) on either corner of the nail.
3. Cut a small corner off of a makeup sponge, and dab bold-colored glitters like Deborah Lippmann’s Across the Universe and Flash Dance ($20 each; deborahlippmann.com) onto the firework shapes. Go back and re-define any areas as needed with the silver glitter striping polish.
4. Top off with a layer of Butter London’s Stratford Honey ($15; butterlondon.com) to give the look extra shimmer.