How To: The James Bond Tuxedo Accent Nail

james bond mani

It wasn't just the concept of Blackberry Bling that got the thumbs up last week: there were also a couple of requests for a "how to" on my tuxedo thumbnails. Your wish is my command, ladies, so here's my cut out 'n' keep step-by-step guide to readying your nails for any black tie Evint.

Goldfinger, eat your heart out...

I used:

nail products

  • Base coat, top coat
  • Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish in 080 Black Cab, €4.53
  • Essence Tip Painter, €1.99

1. First things first: prep your nails by removing any old nail varnish, filing them into your desired shape, pushing back cuticles if required, and swiping a cotton paid bearing some nail varnish remover across the nail plate to degrease it.

james bond mani

2. Apply one thin, even layer of basecoat. And no, you should not skip this step. If you decide to give it a miss, don't flipping come crying to me about how your paint job didn't last jig time and your nails were all stained when you took the polish off!

3. Apply two-to-three thin, even coats of your chosen base colour – you’re after an opaque finish and a couple of thin layers will dry more quickly and be less prone to smudging than one thick layer.

james bond manicure

4. It’s time to make a start on the white shirt. Begin in the centre of the nail, about 2/3 of the way down its length, and draw two lines out towards the outer corners of the free edge of the nail to form the outline of a "V" shape. Don’t take it right out to the corners, though – you need to leave a little space at either side of the "V" for your lapels.


james bond mani

5. Fill in the centre of the "V" shape with your white polish. Again, go for two thin coats rather than one thick lumpy layer if your white polish looks a bit sheer when first applied.

james bond mani

6. Now for the lapels! Draw a short line out at about a 45º angle from at the free edge beside the corner of your white "V" towards the side of the nail...

... and then draw a second short line back at a 90º-ish angle from that first one towards the centre of the nail to create the triangular top of the lapel. Don't take it the whole way in to meet your white "V", however – it'll look better if you leave a little gap between them.

james bond mani

7. Make another 90º-ish angle and draw another short line out towards the side of the nail. This one should be a little shorter than that first line you drew.

8. Join the end of that line with the base of your white "V" to create the bottom part of the lapel.

9. Repeat on the other side of the "V".

james bond manicure

10. Time for the finishing touches: black buttons and bow ties. Lay down a few drops of black nail varnish on a piece of scrap paper or plastic. Remove all nail varnish from your brush by swirling its stem against the neck of the bottle as you pull it out, and then wiping both sides of the brush on the neck of the bottle. Keep the tip of the brush as flat as possible, and dip the absolute edge of one corner of the brush into your black nail varnish reservoir to pick up a small amount of colour before gently dipping it onto the white "V" to create your buttons.


11. For the bow tie, keep the tip of the brush nice and flat, and dip the very bottom of it into that black nail varnish reservoir. Use this flat edge to create two intersecting diagonal lines to form the basis of your bow tie - they should look like a slightly skewed "X" - and the flat outer sides of the bow tie. Fill in the outline with your black nail varnish.

12. Finish with a top coat.

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