Super Easy Halftone Nails

Love the idea of nail art but lack the patience or tools for really fiddly manicures? This one’s for you! It’s INSANELY easy, and you only need one thing, which you likely already have. AWESOME.

First tho, if you’re not familiar with design/printing terminology, “WTF is halftone?” It’s a common printing technique wherein a photo or graphic is created using tiny dots of ink or toner, on a grid, in varying sizes to create different gradations of color or darkness. If you’ve ever seen a super blown-up newspaper photo that looks speckled and kinda dotty? Halftone.

“THAT LOOKS EXTREMELY TIME-CONSUMING.” And yet, it is not! All you need is a solid mid-to-dark base color, plain opaque white cream polish, and a pretty opaque metallic or glitter polish. You’ll also need…a silicone face-scrubber thingamajig. Yep, really.

I used Butter London bright teal “Slapper,” Wet’n’Wild French White cream with the label peeled off because I fidget when I’m on the phone sometimes, and the little $6 silicone scrubby pad from Sephora. There’s also a seemingly identical thing on Amazon, and you can get a two-pack for $2.37! Oh, and you’ll also need a scrap of cardboard or tinfoil or something you don’t mind pouring nail polish onto.

HOW ^2 : 

First, paint your nails with your base color, however many coats it takes to get opacity. (This Butter needs the usual two.) Let dry completely before continuing.

NEXT, pour out a little white polish in a small puddle. This here blorp of white is smaller than a quarter, and even that is WAY too much. Oh well, this shit is 99 cents a bottle, whatever.

THEN, gently tap the end of your silicone pad thing in the polish. You don’t want to flood the whole pad, you only want little dots of color on the tips of its nubs, like so :

If you hold the pad at an angle where its tip end is closer to your polish-puddle, you’ll get more polish on the nubs toward the edge, and less on the nubs toward the center of the pad. See, you’ve got your “halftone effect” right there!

Gently press the pad onto your nails. Yes, it’s very smooshy, and yes, there’s a good chance it’ll slide around and smear a little bit. You can even increase that effect by pressing twice instead of once. We’re going for Punk Rock here, not precision polka dots, so don’t worry about geometric perfection. Dip your pad back into the polish before doing each nail.

Obviously this is going to get little blots of polish on your fingers/cuticles, so while you wait for it to dry, do cleanup with a teeny brush or orange stick dipped in remover. You can stop here and top coat it now if you like! Or, continue on to …

When your white is dry, do the exact same routine with another color. I used a glittery copper metallic, but anything that contrasts well with both your base and dot color will work great. Just make sure to use something that’s not too sheer, and if it has glitter it should be SMALL glitter. Note that using a glitter polish might make your second-level dots more sparse/speckly.

Do your top coat(s) and you’re done! SEE HOW EASY THAT WAS? And it looks so cool! And best of all, you used ONE tool and you don’t even have to clean it. Just let the polish dry completely on your silicone scrubby thing, and you can flick/scritch it right off of there!

Ever tried something like this? Got any other weird little tools that work well for nail art? Share!