Stars and Stripes Forever
It wouldn’t be Independence Day without a little flag-inspired nail art. Start by painting four nails on each hand with red polish—we love Ruffian’s classic shade. After it dries, use a nail art pen in white like this one from Color Club to paint horizontal stripes across your nails. Dip a fine brush in nail polish remover to clean up around the edges. Next, paint the remaining finger with Ruffian’s Blue Lagoon. Use a toothpick or a paperclip to drop dots of white polish onto your nail, then drag the white polish from the center outwards until you’ve created several points on each star. Once your nails have dried completely, add a glossy top coat for extra shine and protection.
Seeing Patriotic Spots
Embrace the classic American colors in a more abstract way with this gradient dotted design that you can wear throughout the summer. Start by painting your nails with a pearlescent white polish like Color Club Heirloom Pearls. Next, use a toothpick, a paperclip, or even the end of the brush to apply small dots of polish to your nails, concentrating them at the tips. Apply one color at a time, starting with Ruffian red, then the a deep blue like OPI’s Eurso Euro, and then a lighter blue like Color Club’s Aquamarine Azulino, also part of the Gala’s Gems collection. Let your nails dry completely so the dots don’t smear, then finish the look with a shiny top coat.
To recreate that sparkly firework effect, start by painting your nails a satiny black like Ruffian Cire Noir. Then, using the glitteriest shades you can find (we love Ruffian Relic and Deborah Lippmann’s Fake it Til You Make it), paint thin lines shooting out from a single point. Start the design from a different place on each nail (the bottom right corner of your thumb, the top center of your pointer finger, and so on). Clean up any stray polish with a Q-tip dipped in polish remover, then seal with a high-gloss top coat.