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Nail design tutorial: The watercolor effect

Kara Endres is a graphic designer, illustrator and fashion blogger based in south Florida. She showcases her DIY skills on her blog, Sprinkles in Springs, as well as shopping guides, trends, fashion inspiration, illustrations, and nail a...

Swirl some color on your nails!

Use a few colors and nail polish remover to create the watercolor paint effect on your nails.

Watercolor manicure

Swirl some color on your nails!


  • Medium paint brush
  • Nail polish remover
  • Essie's Lovie Dovie
  • SquareHue's Collins Avenue
  • SquareHue's Ocean Drive

Swirl some color on your nails!



Swatch & swirl

Swirl some color on your nails!

Swirl some color on your nails!

Working one nail at a time, apply all three colors in various swatches. Dip the paint brush in nail polish remover (not too much), and swirl the colors together. Add more color or nail polish remover as needed. (Note: Using too much remover will make your design have air bubbles.)


Clean up

Swirl some color on your nails!

Swirl some color on your nails!

Clean up any excess polish around the nail with the acetone-soaked brush. Let the design dry and finish with a top coat.

Check out our nail design photo gallery here >>

Swirl some color on your nails!

Fashion-inspired nail art

Click here >>

More nail art

Sophisticated Halloween nails: Onyx feline
Chunky glitter and furry nails inspired by Rachel Zoe
Fashion-inspired nail design: Black and textured blue nails

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