Spring is here, which means it’s time to flaunt florals. This detailed, easier-than-it-looks design by nail artist extraordinaire Miss Pop is made using real (!) dried flowers, perfect for sprucing up your hand sitch while keeping a little plant magic at your fingertips. You’ll need a few specialized items, including a bonding top coat, a wax pencil for petal placement, and, of course, teeny-tiny dried flowers specifically purposed for nail art, which can be found on Amazon (just search “nail art dried flowers”) or at any beauty supply store. Read on for the how-to!
1. Gently file your nails into a tapered oval.
2. Use an exfoliating cuticle treatment (such as Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover, $20, sephora.com) to remove dry, dead skin. Use a cuticle pusher to remove the loosened cuticle.
3. Apply cuticle oil (such as CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner, $12.59, target.com) and paint a base coat of your preferred color. We used Zoya Naked Manicure Pink Perfector ($10, zoya.com) because it picks up natural nail bed tones and gives a nice pink glow. For more control and less fuzz, use a small flat brush (instead of a cotton ball) dipped in nail polish remover to fix mistakes and remove rogue polish.
4. After the base coat dries, it’s time to prep your flowers. Hold the pressed flowers in one hand and use needle-nose tweezers to pluck the buds from the stems. Collect your buds on a surface that is not paper, so they’re easier to pick up later. It is crucial to pluck the buds completely off of the stems—the fewer brittle, pokey stem pieces you have, the easier the application process will be and the better the final result.
5. Daub a rhinestone top coat (like Cina Top Coat & Bonder, $4.99, sallybeauty.com) any place you want to add flowers. This type of top coat is a very thin adhesive that takes a long time to dry, which makes it easier to move the flowers around once you’ve placed them on your nail.
6. With a wax pencil, pick up and press the flower buds onto your nails in a design and color scheme that speaks to you. We created a cascading French tip design with pastel pink, yellow, and purple flowers.
7. Seal your design with a coat of thick, fast-drying Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($9.95, ulta.com).
By Allie Lawrence Photographed by Jessica Bloom Nail Artist Miss Pop Model Idriss Tirado This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine.Subscribe today!