Nail Art 101

Fatima Faheem tells you how to get bright and beautiful nails

Photos: Protik Rahman

Gorgeous dress – check!
Gorgeous eye makeup – check!

We are missing out on something, right? Oh yes, nails. How to make your nails stand out? Paint them. Even a few years ago, painted nails were a symbol of classic elegance. But recently, the meaning has been transformed. It is a symbol of a woman’s individuality, their fashion, creativity and sometimes, even their humour.
Nail art and design has rapidly become a favourite of female celebrities from the worlds of music, fashion and sports. Last year, Katy Perry attended the MTV awards with a custom-painted manicure in which singles from her most recent album were represented on different nails. At the 2012 Olympics, patriotic nail art was the trend, with Rebecca Adlington’s Union flag nails competing for attention with the US swimmer Missy Franklin’s stars and stripes. Now that you have the inspiration, what are you waiting for? Go grab your manicure set and nail paints to try out something for yourself. And in case you don’t know what to start with, try this:


Step 1
Nail 1-01   nail 2-01

Pick two colours – one with a dark shade and the other one with a lighter shade for contrast.

Step 2
Nail 3-01

Apply the lighter nail polish first, vertically filling half of your nail. Apply the darker nail polish next to other lighter one, before the light one dries out. Even if it does, just add the lighter one in its defined area.

Step 3
Nail 4-01

Take a toothpick or even a pen that is out of ink and place it at the center. Gently make circles while the stick moves from the light area to the dark one forming a spiral pattern combining the two colours. 


Step 1
Nail 5-01

Apply a light base colour to your nails first.

Step 2
Nail 6-01

Select a few shades of the colour you want to apply. Don’t go for contrast in this case!

Step 3
Nail 7-01

Apply the selected colours on a piece of sponge. Make sure you do it in the proper order of shades. That is, either from light to dark or vice versa.

Step 4:
Nail 8-01

Before the paint dries off, gently brush it over your nails.

Step 5:

In case the paint appears faded, repeat step 3 and 4 to brighten up your nails.


1. Don’t worry if the nail polish somehow gets in contact with your skin. Apply aica (synthetic adhesive glue) before or after painting your nails. After the aica dries off, peel it off. The nail polish will come out automatically.

2. Painting and designing nails occasionally is not enough. You must take care of them on a regular basis.