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Master Mani Tutorial: Chic Color-Blocking

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Summer came and went faster than we would have liked, but the one thing getting us pumped for fall? This laidback-cool take on a color-blocked mani from nail maestro Chelsea King. The neutral base with pops of rich green and metallic silver is the perfect way to welcome the new season. Chelsea breaks down how to do it below.

Chic Color-Blocking with Chelsea King

Level: Intermediate | Time: 50 minutes

The inspiration: Chelsea has done a similar design on her own nails, and really likes how it feels at once classy and fun. Since we’re just a few days into fall, she wanted to keep the color palette on point with the time of year: an edgy combo of beigedeep, almost-black green, and silver. We’re not complaining!

The polishes

1: RGB Nail Polish in Faded  | shop it
2: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Blackboard | shop it
3: RGB Nail Polish in Factory | shop it

Other supplies

• base coat: RGB Base Coat | shop it
• top coat: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat | shop it
• fine nail art brush
• nail palette
• nail polish remover

1: Start with clean nails, and do your base coat.

2: Paint a base layer of the beige polish on every nail, then do a second coat. From here, the designs differ from nail to nail. Note, you’ll follow along to complete one hand, then go back and repeat steps 3 through 13 to do the other hand.

3: INDEX NAIL: Paint a thick horizontal stripe of green polish near the tip, and fill in to the tip as pictured.

4: RING NAIL: Use the same green polish to paint a diagonal stripe across the nail and fill in half as pictured. “Don’t worry if some polish gets on your skin. You can always go back and fix up the edges with a brush dipped in nail polish remover,” says Chelsea. 

5: MIDDLE NAIL: Paint a vertical stripe of silver polish down the center of the nail, and fill in half as pictured.

6: PINKY NAIL: Paint a horizontal silver stripe halfway down the nail, and fill in from the midpoint to the cuticle. If you get some silver on your skin or cuticles, again, dip your brush in nail polish remover and carefully use it where needed.

7: THUMBNAIL: Paint a diagonal silver stripe across, and fill in half of the nail as pictured.

8: INDEX NAIL: Next, dab some silver polish onto your palette and dip the brush in it. Paint a thin horizontal line below the green tip, leaving a little space between them as pictured.

9: RING NAIL: Paint a thin silver diagonal stripe, next to the green half, leaving a little space between them.

10: MIDDLE NAIL: Dab some green polish onto the palette and dip the brush in. Paint a thin vertical line down the center, next to the silver half, leaving a little space between them.

11: PINKY NAIL: Paint a thin green horizontal line, above the silver half, leaving a little space between them.

12: THUMBNAIL: Paint a thin green diagonal line, next to the silver half, leaving a little space between them.

13: Finish with top coat.

14: Once one hand is complete, repeat steps 3 to 13 on the other hand. 

Chelsea King (aka Chelsea Queen) is a nail artist based in Southern California. She fell in love with painting and fashion early on, and started painting her nails as a hobby. After sharing her work on her blog and Instagram, her following took off and she was tapped to create tutorials and designs for Huffington Post, MTV.com, and other sites. Chelsea was featured in the 2012 documentary NAILgasm, about the rising popularity of nail art all over the world, and her work has appeared in Nail It! magazine and People StyleWatch among others. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @chelseaqueen.