As I've mentioned before, cherry blossom nails are some of my favourites to do, and I've wanted to do a tutorial on them here for ages now. This past Chinese New Year I did one for Sassy Hong Kong that used more traditional CNY colours. I always planned to recreate it here for spring, so when I did this manicure a couple of weeks ago I stopped and took pictures along the way. Thankfully, with several days to go before spring is actually over, I found a couple of free hours this weekend to crop them and write things up, so I can finally post it here!
Please overlook the truly heroic levels of cuticle dryness in the step-by-step pictures, since I didn't moisturize as I worked...and please enjoy the cherry blossom nail art tutorial!
I just love the bright, cheerful look of cherry blossom nails! As soon as I bought my dotting tools, they were one of the first designs I wanted to try, and it's a look I keep coming back to. They may seem a little detailed for beginning nail artists, but once you break them down into the individual steps, they're easier than you might think!
1.) After your base coat, paint your nails in just about any springtime colour you like. Soft teals, aquas, and mints are popular choices--I used Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet for these, but China Glaze For Audrey is another favourite for this design.
Once your nails are dry, you're going to add some black (or brown) branches for the flowers. This step is especially easy if you have a striper polish (I used my trusty Orly Jet Black striper), but you can also use regular polish with a nail art brush or even stipple the lines on with a small dotting tool or toothpick.
Start with your main branch...
2.) Next, add some smaller branches coming off of it. For this design, the branches are mostly concentrated at the base of my nails. I also added branches on the tips of my ring and middle fingers, but you can do these in any configuration you like, with as few or as many as you feel like adding.
Don't worry if the branches don't come out exactly the way you want--they're mostly going to be covered with the flowers anyway, so they don't have to be perfect.
3.) Once those are done and reasonably dry, it's time to start the flowers! These are done with a dotting tool (or if you don't have one, a toothpick, the end of a bobby pin, a dried up ballpoint pen...whatever you have to hand and feel comfortable dotting with). Place a little bit of white or pink polish (I used Nfu Oh 150) on a paper plate or similar. Dip your dotting tool into the polish and make five small dots in a circle, towards the base of your branch.
4.) Continue, switching to 3-dot bunches as the branches get smaller.
5.) The polish will spread a little as it settles, so give those a couple of minutes to dry. Then place some small, pink dots in the centers of the flowers (I added a little of the light pink to some Revlon Colorstay Passionate Pink for mine).
6.) If you like, if you have some room, you can also add a couple of falling petals floating in the breeze.
7.) Once your nails are done and dry, it's time to top coat. Minimize smudging by applying a nice, thick coat, brushing lightly and trying not to brush over the same place more than once, and that's it! Your cherry blossom nails are done!