How-To: Zipper Nails


Are you a fan of the exposed zipper look? Jeans, dresses, and now even high heels feature the edgy metal fastener! Beauties, we know how much you love incorporating fashion into your manicure designs, so we thought a funky, fresh version of the trend would be perfect for your nails. Check out our easy step-by-step tutorial with celebrity manicurist Miwa, of the Sally Hershberger salon in L.A.

  • 1. White nail polish
  • 1. Blue nail polish
  • 1. Orange nail polish
  • 1. Silver nail polish
  • 1. Black nail polish
  • 1. Paint brush in size 0

Apply two coats of a dark navy polish (we chose OPI Nail Lacquer in Road House Blues) on each finger and repeat on your other hand. If you want a textured leather effect instead of denim, use a shiny black polish as your base.

Dip your tiny paint brush into the silver polish or silver acrylic paint (which we opted for because it dries faster and can be diluted with water, if needed), and create a wishbone shape or peace-sign design down the middle of each nail. Create one accent nail with just a straight line down the middle, no V-shape. The thicker your silver line the more space you will have for a detailed zipper.

To contrast your bright polish against the blue base, first fill in the V-shape at the edge of your nails with white polish, then layer on a hot hue of your choice. We chose Essie Nail Polish in Clambake.

Start with the simple accent nail, and draw a white line down the center of the silver. Use the paint brush to draw small, alternating dashes on each side of the white line. These tiny teeth make up your closed zipper.

Add a white line down the center of the silver line. Continue in the V-shape at the border in between the orange and silver polish. To create the zipper pull, first draw a small rectangle shape where the silver line splits into two. Then add small half circles on the side of the rectangle. Use black polish to outline the shape and add details on the inside.

Mimic the alternating dash effect on the straight white area just before the line splits into two. To create the unzipped look, only add teeth on one side (closest to the base of the nail). Be sure to apply a top coat to protect your fashion-forward fingertips!

Since moving to Los Angeles from Japan over 5 years ago, Miwa has quickly established a reputation as the go-to nail artist on the west coast. Sought after for her unique and holistic approach to nails, Miwa specializes in everything from basic nail painting to airbrush techniques and 3D nail designs. Miwa has garnered an impressive roster of celebrity clients including Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, and Mandy Moore. Her unique creations have even landed her backstage at huge Hollywood events such as the Academy Awards and the Grammy’s.

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