We should first take into consideration the differences between fingernail art and toenail art. One major difference would be that one of the most desired style of fingernails – the gel manicure- is not so common for toenails, but it can be used for the reconstruction of a missing part of a toenail. As a consequence, there is obviously a difference in the tools needed, because we can exclude the ones used for gel nails. This fact doesn’t imply that we aren’t allowed to be as creative with the toenail art designs as with our fingernails, because there are plenty of wonderful ideas to play with.
There are no other notable differences in these two types of designs, but there can be some differences in terms of the preparation of the nail, the steps we have to do prior to the actual toenail art design. One such difference is that, in order to maintain the health of our toenails, we have to cut them straight across, so that we prevent ingrown nails- but this rule doesn’t apply for fingernails, we can shape them with our file as we want.
As we said before, it is crucial to take care of our toenails before we start applying nail polish and make any design. Firstly, you should prepare the nail by removing your old nail polish, using preferably some cotton pads and nail polish remover. This next step is optional, but it is highly advisable for the relaxation of your feet and for the proper cleaning of your toenails. You can create your own “feet bath” by putting warm water in whatever basin you have in your house and then add your favorite shower gel and some aromatic bath salt – then rest your feet in the mixture for a few minutes.
This will be a kind of a “at home” spa treatment for your feet and nails. After that, you have to gently clean your nails and cut them straight across, as mentioned before, and then file them with a short nail file. For a beautiful pedicure, you must also take care of your cuticles and for that you need to moisten them, using some cuticle cream and then push them with a cuticle pusher or an orange stick. In order to continue and apply nail polish, you must first remove any cream left and wash your feet again.
After you are done with the preparation of your nails, you can start designing your dream toenail art. Of course, for a basic design all you will need is a good base coat, the desired nail polish/es and a top coat. Although some may not know, applying a base coat and a top coat is crucial for a lasting result and a beautiful finish, it is the best way to ensure that your future design and nail polish will be easy to apply and it will stay in place longer. If you are more creative and you would like to play around with multiple colors, shades and types of designs, then the process is more elaborated and it also requires more tools and accessories- but the ending result will be definitely a work of art.
Therefore, as for the basic nail design, you should also start by applying a base coat. After that, you can apply one coat of the desired nail polish , or even a few different coats of different colors layered one on top of the other, to create a special effect. From this moment your imagination should take over and you should create the design you want.
For more intricate designs, we should mention different types of tools you may need to create whatever print or pattern you want. There are, first of all, different types of brushes to use for nail art. You can choose an angled french brush, for a beautiful classic french pedicure or you can use it to create sharp corners of a pattern you desire. Also, for more detail, there is the brush with the same name, the detail brush, or for sharp detailed lines, there is the famous striper brush- if you choose one with long bristles you cannot fail in making crisp and even lines.
A very fun and creative type of brush is the fan brush, which allows you to create feathered like designs, by choosing your favorite nail polish, and then dipping the tips of the brush in it and gently putting it on your toenails for a wispy print. A very trendy and also classic toenail art design is done by using the famous dotting tool, which is perfect to create polka dots or even inventive designs made out of dots. If you want to take your creation even further and make your toenails your personal work of art, you should buy some loose glitter and spread it all over your favorite nail polish or even on the base coat, remembering to move fast and put the glitter before the nail polish dries- so that the glitter can stick to it, or you can choose to add it only to a part of your nail for an ombre effect.
For a glamorous look, you can play with some studs or beads that you can place immediately after you applied your nail polish. For this type of nail art you need the studs you like, and advisably some that are small enough for your toenails, and some tweezers to help with the actual application. For the ones that don’t want to work so much to create a toenail design, there are alternative methods such as nails stampers or stampling plates, which are very easy to use and you can find some unique designs out there.
We have mentioned several times before how one can achieve a beautiful ombre effect on their toenails: using a fan brush or adding some glitter on a single part of the nail. A very trendy and unique type of toenail art design, which is very popular now, is the ombre effect using a sponge. This method will take your design to the next level, because it will create a very impressive print. You will need a simple makeup sponge and on it you must apply two or even three colors positioned next to each other, horizontally.
This type of design is better achieved using different tints or different shades of the same color, for example some lilac and a mauve color. A very important trick is to first moisten the sponge, in order to make sure it doesn’t soak up too much nail polish and after that all you have to do is to press the sponge unto your toenail until you get the desired effect. To help clean up the edges or even parts of your toes, you can use a nail polish correcting pen, which gives you the precision you need.
These are some important guidelines to help you achieve a perfect pedicure and to create innovative toenail art designs. Don’t forget to apply a base coat and a top coat, to assure a beautiful finish, and of course to come up with different ideas and different colors, because there are many designs you can experiment, using only the tools mentioned before. Be bold and stay true to your personal style, because your toenails should always complement your overall look.