Yeah, I know: it's the pretend-y Hallmark holiday we all love to hate. But just in case you're a bit of a secret romantic at, er, heart, here's how to snazzy up your talons for Valentine's Day!
1. Polka dot hearts
I'm not going to fib to you, ladies: these lovely staggered rows of weeny vertical hearts that cover the nail are fiddly little buggers. If you're determined to have a go at them, try limiting them to an accent nail on your thumbs or ring fingers so that you don't crack up completely. You could also just run a single row of hearts down the centre of the nail, or even randomly place one heart on its tod.
I employed a Nails Supreme nail art pen here, but have used a ballpoint pen in the past to do the job - remember I mentioned before that it makes an ace dotting tool for polka dots? Well, it works for polka dot hearts too, but remember to clean the nib with a little nail varnish remover between hearts.
- Create two small dots side by side - but not so close that they join up - on the nail.
- Join the dots by making a little "V" shape beneath them.
- Fill in any empty space with a light touch - use too much nail polish here and it will be difficult to control and get a nice clean line. (In my haste I ignored my own advice, as you can see, which is why my hearts look a bit like misshapen Mickey Mouse heads.)
2. The whole shebang
Full-size hearts can look a bit less cutesy - and are easier to do - than their pint-sized polka dot counterparts, although I'd still be inclined to save them for an accent nail. You really don't need any specialist products or tools for these.
- If you happen to have a nail art pen, use it to draw the outline of a large heart that almost covers your nail, and fill it in.
- If you don't, just use the brush of your chosen nail polish. Don't overload the brush - this will help to keep the edges crisp - and again, do the outline first. Start with one side of the top of the heart, then that side of the heart, tapering to a point. The idea is that by the time you come to the point, where you need the least polish, you'll only have a small amount left on the brush anyway.
- Repeat for the other side of the heart and fill in the centre.
Nail polishes used as base colour, from top: Andrea Fullerton Mischa, Barry M Shocking Pink, Barry M Grey