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How to Create Our “Maximal” Portofino Chic Nail Art!

How to Create Our “Maximal” Portofino Chic Nail Art!

03.26.13

By Elma

No matter if you like a little bit of nail art or a lot, we have you covered with our “Less + More” column in every issue of Nail It!. For the March/April 2013 issue, we tasked A-list manicurist Pattie Yankee (who paints Katy Perry’s digits, natch!) with creating both subtle and all-out nail art designs based on this “Portofino Chic” Temperley London dress from the spring 2013 runway. You may have already tried out her easier “Minimal” spin, but now we invite you to really dig in with these step-by-steps for Yankee’s “Maximal” take on this fashion nailspiration!

  • Step 1

    Step 1: File the nail to a long almond shape. Polish it with two coats of a chalk-white polish.

    SLIDE 1 OF 8
  • Step 2


    Step 2: Using the short edge of a triangle makeup sponge, dab warm yellow nail polish onto the nail in a “v” shape. The apex of the “v” should meet in the middle of the nail.

    SLIDE 2 OF 8
  • Step 3

    Step 3: Using a striper brush and bright blue nail polish, draw two sweeping arcs that meet in the middle of the nail.

    SLIDE 3 OF 8
  • Step 4

    Step 4: With your striper brush and bright blue polish, create two curled arcs that intersect in the middle of the nail. Tip: Yankee suggests starting your loop first and then interesting in the center.

    SLIDE 4 OF 8
  • Step 5

    Step 5: Select a small nail art brush. Using red nail polish, paint three floral designs (one on each side, one near the tip of the nail) using a dabbing and fanning motion. Tip: Yankee says to keep the edges rough and imperfect, which allows this element to appear more like real flowers.

    SLIDE 5 OF 8
  • Step 6

    Step 6: Using a dotting tool and the same bright blue, create a row of dots along the arcs and near the moon. Add dots to the centers of and around the outside of the side flowers.

    SLIDE 6 OF 8
  • Step 7

    Step 7: Create dots of blue on the inner section the main blue flower. Add a yellow dot in the very middle.

    SLIDE 7 OF 8
  • Step 8

    Step 8: With your small nail art brush, draw blue scroll marks around the main flower as well as above the two red flowers on the sides of the nail. Allow the design to dry and apply top coat. Tip: If you feel uneasy drawing scroll accents, use your dotting tool to create a few dots. Then, with a nail art brush, connect the dots. —Karie L. Frost

    [Image credits: Ian Gavin/Getty Images; nails: Armando Sanchez]

    SLIDE 8 OF 8
  • Step 1

    Step 1: File the nail to a long almond shape. Polish it with two coats of a chalk-white polish.

  • Step 2


    Step 2: Using the short edge of a triangle makeup sponge, dab warm yellow nail polish onto the nail in a “v” shape. The apex of the “v” should meet in the middle of the nail.

  • Step 3

    Step 3: Using a striper brush and bright blue nail polish, draw two sweeping arcs that meet in the middle of the nail.

  • Step 4

    Step 4: With your striper brush and bright blue polish, create two curled arcs that intersect in the middle of the nail. Tip: Yankee suggests starting your loop first and then interesting in the center.

  • Step 5

    Step 5: Select a small nail art brush. Using red nail polish, paint three floral designs (one on each side, one near the tip of the nail) using a dabbing and fanning motion. Tip: Yankee says to keep the edges rough and imperfect, which allows this element to appear more like real flowers.

  • Step 6

    Step 6: Using a dotting tool and the same bright blue, create a row of dots along the arcs and near the moon. Add dots to the centers of and around the outside of the side flowers.

  • Step 7

    Step 7: Create dots of blue on the inner section the main blue flower. Add a yellow dot in the very middle.

  • Step 8

    Step 8: With your small nail art brush, draw blue scroll marks around the main flower as well as above the two red flowers on the sides of the nail. Allow the design to dry and apply top coat. Tip: If you feel uneasy drawing scroll accents, use your dotting tool to create a few dots. Then, with a nail art brush, connect the dots. —Karie L. Frost

    [Image credits: Ian Gavin/Getty Images; nails: Armando Sanchez]

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