Posts Tagged ‘nail art’




If there are two things we love around here it’s bright colors and a partially bare mani. Negative space manicures like this one are so fun and give you a chance to play around with multiple colors instead of committing to just one. For this particular pairing, we used the two shades of bougainvillea we usually see. One is an orange-y hot pink and the other one is more of a purple/pink/fuchsia situation. For the hot pink shade we chose DOUBLE BREASTED JACKET and for the more purple shade we worked with BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

Some other favorite options for the perfect pink are…

And for a more purple/fuchsia color, try the one listed above or one of these…

Here’s how it was done…

mani bouganvillia the beauty dept

  1. Grab a roll of WASHI TAPE and cut small strips to go across your nails horizontally.
  2. Make sure you really press them down well so polish doesn’t seep underneath them, messing up your line.
  3. Use your first color (we went with hot pink near the tips and purple at the base) and paint the portion closest to the tip of the nail.
  4. Next use your purple to paint the section closest to your cuticle. We only used one coat of each color and it seemed to be enough but you may need two. NOTE: work quickly as you don’t want the polish to harden to the tape and make it hard to pull up.
  5. Use tweezers to gently pull back the strips of washi tape.

bougainvillea mani the beauty dept 2 socail


And then next we obviously need to discuss big ass braids…


photo/post by Kristin Ess

You will need:

  1. I didn’t do a base coat, I just very very very lightly buffed the surface of my nail.
  2. Use a stripe brush and dip it into the black gel polish.
  3. Create a “v shape” using the diagram below.
  4. Fill in the sides with the black gel polish.
  5. Add your gold triangle charm using either super glue or clear gel polish. If you use clear polish it will obviously be safer but also take a bit more time to dry so be patient! You can also use a gold polish to create a tiny triangle if you don’t have a charm on hand.
  6. I didn’t love the metal finish of the charm because it was a little too yellow for me, so I went over it with a little swipe of the gold polish.
  7. Clean up any polish mess ups with a brush and remover as seen here.
  8. Last, add your clear top coat.

Here’s a quick illustration of the pattern! I suggest making the black outer painted triangle more narrow and long vs. wide. It just looks a bit cooler, in my opinion. A wider triangle just makes it look more like a graphic french manicure.




Didn’t realize it has been forEVER since we did a nail post. Sorry about that! Got all caught up in that hair game. Regardless, let’s get back to it because I’m excited to share this one. My obsession with geodes and stones runs really deep. Not sure if it’s the colors, the textures or the sparkle but I figure all of those things scream nail art. You guys may love or hate this look, but the other day I was sitting at my desk and started painting the picture at the very bottom of this post. As I was doing it, I wondered if I could get this look on a mani. Here was my attempt… (for specific colors used and their links, scroll to the bottom)

  1. Do a fresh coat of white polish on your nails. I guess you could do any color as a base but I chose white for a summery look.
  2. You’ll want to use a paintbrush that has some texture to it. I chose one that was a little stiff and somewhat sparse at the tip so I could get the jagged edges that I wanted.
  3. Use a metal tray (this one holds my water color palette) or even a disposable piece of plastic, or glass you can clean off. Make a tiny puddle of your dark purple.
  4. Dip the brush into the dark purple and create an uneven line of peaks and valleys across 2 or 3 of your finger nails.
  5. Next, dip your brush into a cap of nail polish remover to clean off the dark purle. Then take your lighter purple and follow the previous lines of the dark purple.
  6. Do the same using your dark teal.
  7. Repeat with using light blue. Don’t try to make your lines perfect. Blurred lines are good. In fact, I allow some of the polish remover to stay on the brush because I found that it helps blend the colors even more.
  8. Now take your rose gold color (or gold or silver if you prefer) and hold the brush straight up and down, dabbing the rose gold. This will create teeny tiny dots instead of lines and it will make a good base for your sparkle polish.
  9. Use the glitter polish of your choice over the top of the metallic, also dabbing with the brush straight up and down.
  10. This step is optional. The nail polish remover is now a murky tone with all the colors mixed together. I took my brush, put it in the muddy color and did a quick swipe over each geode section. It blended it even more.
  11. Wait until they’re dry and add your clear coat.

So many ways to get inspired! If you do this, we hope you’ll show us! Tag us @thebeautydept on the gram! xo


photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

While the nail art trend goes on a major hiatus, there will always be a spot in our hearts for layering! The diehard polish princesses around our office still need something fun happening on all ten. This is our new favorite winter combo. So fun, so simple and so pretty! Layering is the best because there are no rules, it’s just all about your favorite color combos.

Here we’ve used two colors and a top coat. A) TENOVERTEN (one of my favorite NYC mani spots) makes the perfect winter blue called “Commerce”. It’s available here. B) The perfect white snowy layer is made by E.L.F. cosmetics called “Enchanted” and it’s available here and at Target!

  1. Always use a good base coat of your choice when doing darker colors to keep your nails from getting stained if they’re porous. Add your base polish color. Here we used “Commerce” mentioned above.
  2. Next, paint on your white snowfall!
  3. Add a clear topcoat and that’s it.

Pretty basic, but very exciting to us in Southern California where this is all the snow we’re going to see this year!  If you do this mani, don’t forget to tag us on insta! @thebeautydept