The Beauty Spot: Polka Dot Nails


While there is still a bit of the holiday left, the summer is slowly coming to an end. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, and we are slowly coaxing ourselves out from beneath the sun and into the open arms of AW13. If, like me, you’re looking for a way to hang on to the summer for a little longer, why not inject some summer loving into your fingertips? Read on for my cheap and chic polka dot nails tutorial – and find out how to smuggle a little bit of summer into the autumnal months ahead!

dots done

I know that some people may be discouraged from going beyond painting their nails one colour, thinking that everything that looks in a least bit fancy is also complicated. I have to admit, I was one of those people using up bottle after bottle of red nail varnish. Then, I discovered a quick and easy way to make my nails look more fun: polka dot nail art. Even if you’re manicure-illiterate, I guarantee that if you follow the steps below your nails will look absolute stunning. And the best part? You don’t need any special tools, just what you have in your drawers and cupboards. Simple!


You will need:

  • At least 2 nail varnishes ( I used Rimmel 60 seconds: 816 Green Eyed Monster; Astor Fashion Studio: 251 Royal Glamorous Pink; OPI Nail Lacquer: Golden Eye)
  • A pencil with a rubber at the end
  • A pin or a dot-making tool (you can purchase whole sets on Amazon for a few pounds)
  • A thick piece of paper
  • A conditioner or a base coat, if you normally use one (optional). I used my favourite Essence conditioner (unavailable in the UK).

To make your own tool, just put the pin in the rubber end of your pencil. It will make using the pin to make dots much easier.

dot thing

1) Apply a base coat of your favourite conditioner. You can skip this step but I always recommend it. Especially if you paint your nails often so their ends do not go yellow. 


2)  Paint your nails with your chosen base colour. This can be any colour you like, either lighter or darker than the one you will do your polka dots with – be creative! (I recommend using two coats so your manicure lasts longer.) 


3) Pour a little bit of nail varnish on the piece of paper. Next, put the end of your tool in the varnish. You’re now ready to make the polka dots! (The amount on the brush when you take it out of the bottle should be enough.)


4) Let’s get dotty… Making your polka dots is really easy. Just lightly dab the end of your tool on the nail and make any pattern you want. In between nails, put your tool in the varnish so that your dots do not come out patchy.


5) Add some extra colours! Once you are done with putting polka dots on all of your nails, you might want to add some more dots in different colours. I felt like making my nails slightly more summery by adding a bit of golden glitter in between my polka dots. You can choose to do the same or just leave your nails as they are. 

Et voilà! Your polka dot nails are done and ready to be shown off to your friends. Be prepared for all the compliments you will get!

 dots done

Some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’

  • Do not do what I did – a fast drying nail varnish (such as Rimmel 60 Seconds) is not the best choice for the polka dots colour. It will make for a frantic battle against time because your dot of varnish will get very sticky very quickly.
  • Do not order a set of tools from Amazon straight away – look around your house for objects that can make polka dots: used up pens, hair pins – you name it.
  • Do experiment with different tools to get different sizes of polka dots.
  • Do play with colours – browns and greys are nice, but a bit of blue and yellow can make you smile when you look at your nails.
  • Do have fun – you still have a few weeks to perfect your polka dot nails before Freshers’ Week!


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