Splatter Nails Tutorial!

Splatter nails is something I have seen all over tumblr for a while now. Basically, splatter nails look like paint splatter on a wall.  The idea is taking polish and just messily splattering it against another color.  Now you guys know I hate nail art and am not a fan of the crackle, but for some weird reason the splatter nails don’t bother me.  I actually like the way some of the color combinations turn out.  I really like the look of some splatter combinations but I have never tried it myself … obviously until now!  I saw a picture of a girl who did “Dexter” nails, and being a HUGE fan of the show Dexter I knew I had to recreate this look for Halloween.  Although I did blood splatter nails, splatter nails can be done all year round with any colors you want.   Tomorrow is Halloween and I thought it would be perfect for my zombie costume and also the haunted house I’m going to tonight.  Splatter nails are a lot easier than water marbling in my opinion, but a lot messier.  So I made a video of this process so it is easier to see, but I also included a step by step below and some of my thoughts on the whole process, so keep on reading and watching to find out how to get this awesome effect.

Products Needed:

– paper towel

– vaseline or scotch tape

– nail polish, you definitely need 2 colors but you can use as many as you want

– top coat

– base coat

– a straw

How to:

Step 1. Paint your nails a base color.  You can choose whatever base color you want.  If you want glitter, knock yourself out, if you want black, have fun.  Pick whatever base color you want

Step 2.  Either apply tape or Vaseline around your nails.  This is to prevent getting nail polish on your skin all around your nails.  This is extremely messy, you will get polish everywhere, so make sure you apply tape or Vaseline+ all around your fingers and have a paper towel down below where you are splattering.

Step 3. Open the bottle of your first color.  Whatever color you want as your first color, this is also going to be the color you see the least of, unless you do another layer of this color or you are only this color.  I did two colors in my manicure pictured above and I did two layers of the bright red because I felt like the second coat of the dark red took over the manicure.  So I would suggest doing the color you only want shown a little first.

Step 4. Take your straw and dip it directly into the bottle.  I have seen some people use this method where they first put a drop on a piece of paper or foil, but that didn’t work at all for me so I suggest just dipping it straight into the bottle.  You only need to dip it in far enough for the hole at the bottom of the straw to be covered by the nail polish.  You don’t need to put the straw down to the bottom of the bottle.

Step 5.  Place the end of the straw with the polish over the hole directly above your nail.  The closer you put the straw to the nail the more color you’re going to get, the farther away, the less color you’re going to get.  So have fun with it and experiment with different distances with each nail.

Step 6. Blow into the clean end of the straw.  Blow hard!  And have fun with all the jokes that can come from the previous sentence.

Step 7. Repeat step 4-6 for every nail, and if you want to use other colors, just wipe the straw off on the paper towel you have your hands over.

Step 8.  Add a top coat and you are good to go!


After you’re done with all that, there is a ton of clean up to do.  I’m not gonna lie, this process is messy and you can tell from my cuticles that I wasn’t able to clean all of it up.  I had to take a break from clean up after a while, because I tend to make a much bigger mess than the average person.  Lucky for me, the table I was working on wasn’t real wood or else I would have cried trying to get all the polish off the surface.   I really have an issue with the fact that my cuticles are all sorts of messy in this picture since I like a clean manicure, but the whole point of this manicure is a messy nail look so I have to just get over it.

Although there are a lot of steps, this is a really easy technique and in my opinion much easier than gradient nails, galaxy nails or water marbling.  If you are a master at water marbling then you will be able to tackle this manicure with the greatest of ease.  Its really messy, so don’t be scared of the clean up process even though I gave up half way through because I was getting frustrated.  Of course I picked red which always seems to the color that stains my nails and skin the most.

One thing I do have to say is that because you are using drops of polish, the larger drops took forever to dry.  That might seem like an obvious statement to make, that big dollops would take longer to dry than thin coats, but trust me I was getting frustrated as I was waiting for certain fingers to dry.  On my thumb there is a really big dot that extends further out on the nail, and when I run my finger across it there is a definite bump there.  If you look at the picture above with my thumb you can see the deep dot and that one look about 30 minutes to dry enough to put a top coat on.

But as you can see, each finger is different and creates a completely different look.  Every person who saw this manicure in person each liked a different finger!  How odd is that?  My best friend loved my middle finger  where you can’t see the base color as much and its more of a splash of the colors.  But my boyfriend loved the index finger where it is like minimal splatter and the color particles are much smaller.  Personally, I love the way my ring finger turned out.  Its like the perfect medium splatter where you can still see the base color and the 2 main colors but they are medium sized splatter.

Hopefully this video and this step by step written review is helpful!

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