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how to: studded nail art

September 19, 2012

[Cross-posted from Birchbox Magazine. Check them out here!]

As much as I love stripes, gradients, and polka dots, to really going to kick our nail art up a notch, it’s time to bring out the studs. A 3D manicure is an edgy, fashion forward way to take the trends and textures from the runway onto your nails, and you don’t need to go to a pricey salon to get the look. Sounds like a trip to the craft store is in order!


You’ll need two shades of polish and about 25 small metallic studs for this two-toned mani. You can find studs or flat beads at your local jewelry or craft store, or from a variety of online shops. Begin by painting each nail with the lighter of your two polishes. After it dries, split the nail diagonally, filling in half of each nail with a darker polish. You’ll be covering the horizontal line with studs, so don’t worry if your line is a little shaky. While the polish is still tacky, pick up each stud with tweezers and apply them in a diagonal row. Top your manicure (studs and all!) with a thick layer of top coat for shine and protection.

Colors used: OPI My Very First Knockwurst, a soft, creamy pink, and tenoverten Church, a rich, high-gloss deep red.


Candy-colored nailheads add a burst of color and visual interest to a regular ol’ mani in just a few minutes. After painting each nail with the polish of your choice, carefully place the nailheads down the center of each nail, pushing them gently into the wet polish to make sure they adhere firmly. A layer of glossy top coat will ensure that your 3D mani stays intact for at least 2-3 days.

Colors used: Tenoverten Commerce, a saturated cobalt blue with a rich, full-coverage formula.


To add a little pizzazz to the classic half moon mani, head to the craft store for small beads or rhinestones (hint: look in the scrapbooking section!) You’re likely to smudge your freshly-painted nails if you use your fingers, so grab a pair of tweezers to carefully apply the beads to the base of each nail in a half moon pattern. While a mani with this much texture isn’t the most practical for everyday wear, it’s an edgy, conversation-starting look fit for a party or special night out.

Colors used: Tenoverten Worth, a shimmery metallic foil. For a similar look, try Color Club Disco Nap.

What do you think of 3D nail art? Let me know in the comments!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tanya permalink
    September 23, 2012 12:42 PM

    I really love the “Studs in a Row” look! I feel like the studs might get caught on my hair if I run my fingers through it or something.

    I also love your blog because you don’t update multiple times everyday. With other blogs, I feel like I get very behind. I think it adds to the quality of your posts!

  2. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast permalink
    September 25, 2012 2:25 PM

    Wow, you are talented!! So glad I got to connect with you at Fitbloggin… wish we would have had more time to chat. Hopefully our paths will cross again sometime! :)

    • September 25, 2012 2:30 PM

      Thanks Laura! So glad we met, too. I actually checked out your blog last night, and I love it. Lets stay in touch!! Off to go eat some pop chips… ;)

  3. October 10, 2012 3:01 PM

    such cool mani ideas – thanks for sharing!
    xx theflossylife

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