CHRISTMAS NAIL ART: Red, Green & Gold Holiday Pop Art Nails

by - December 05, 2022

With pop art nail designs having such a moment right now, I had an inkling that I wanted to put together some Christmasy ones this month, but it wasn't until I had the Uberchic Beauty Merry & Bright Stamping Plate in hand and saw these images that just felt like the absolute perfect choice for this mani that I decided officially to do it. Since most of the pop art mani's I've seen thus far have been done in gel polish, I wasn't entirely sure how this technique would turn out using regular polish, but I was in for the experiment and I only had to do it twice to get it right. 

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For my color story, I knew that I wanted to mostly use colors that were traditionally Christmasy - red, green and gold - but I wanted them to be very warm, yellow toned versions of those colors. I ended up spending a LOT of time digging though my polish drawers to find just the right polishes to use and you'll notice from the list below that the number of nail polishes I used in this design is actually somewhat ridiculous - but I knew what I wanted and also what was required for this style of design. Along with the base polishes, for this technique you also need a darker version of that base color along with black for the outline and white for the highlight. I also wanted a little bit of variation when it came to the reverse stamped images, so it really did end up being a lot. 

NOW. To start, I applied my base polishes in a pattern. For the photos, I knew I wanted two red bases, so I did my first and pinkie fingers red. For the rest of my hand, I wanted to lean into the Christmas-y vibe, so I did my thumb and ring finger green (more green = more Christmasy, said my brain) and then this golden yellow on my middle finger.

Now for the nail art. I used a combination of a dotting tool and a couple of nail art brushes to fill in my images right on the stamper head and I let those dry down while I moved on to the pop art aspects of the base. Honestly, this is the part where gel polish would have been very, very much easier, but I think I managed to do alright considering I used regular polish. I started by outlining each nail in black and then I went in with my high and lowlight polishes, adding swipes of each in opposing directions on opposite sides of the nail. I also added a white dot at the fine tip of the highlight swipe.

Once that was dry enough to handle the stamper, I applied a thin swipe of sticky base coat at the center of the nail between those two lights to give my decals something to stick to. Normally I would cover everywhere I would be placing the decal, but I really didn't want to disrupt the nail art underneath, so I just did that swipe. After letting that sticky base coat dry down for about a minute until it was tacky, I just slapped the images on - doing my best to keep them at the center of the nail.

Now, finally, once I was happy with the design, I sealed everything in with a nail art top coat and then followed with a matte top coat to bring down that shine and really drive home the pop art vibe. And voila!

All Products Used
OPI - Viva OPI!
OPI - Alpine Snow
Starrily - Vantablack**
Starrily - Gaia
Starrily - Forest Of The Night
Dimension Nails - Vitamin D**
BioSculpture - Golden Fall* 
Color Club - Catwalk
Color Club - Beaches
Whats Up Nails - Neither Noir
Orly Bonder Base Coat
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
Anchor & Heart Sea Glass Matte Top Coat
Uberchic Beauty Merry & Bright Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper
Uberchic Beauty The Rocker Tall Rectangular Clear Stamper Dotting Tool** Nail Art Brushes**

* = PR Sample // ** = PR Sample/ Affiliate code TRYSH for 10% first order.

I suspect that the struggle I had with this mani definitely comes through in how I talk about it, but I do think it was worth the work in the end. That said - there is a reason that people generally do this technique with gel polish (or, I suppose, more hand painting skill than I personally possess) and if I decide to try it again I will definitely bust out my gel polishes for it. 

If you're interested in seeing a tutorial for this design - or any of the other holiday designs I've put together, head over to @pblnails on Instagram and follow me there to keep up on all of my nail art designs! Also, be sure to head over to Cosmetic Proof and See The World In PINK for more holiday themed nails for this week's #CBBxManiMonday!

Thanks for reading!

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