Just in time for Valentine’s Day, love letters inspire a set fit for a queen of hearts.

Step 1: Apply gel base coat. Then, apply one coat of sheer pale pink gel polish. It’s OK to apply it somewhat unevenly.

Step 2: Drop a small amount of olive green gel polish on the nail. Then, use a clean gel brush to dry-brush the color vertically down the nail. Repeat with white and black gel polish. Use a plastic glove and your index finger to smudge the white and black gel polish, or use a sponge to create a mottled effect. Note: The application can be messy for the finished effect.

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Step 3: Paint white graffitilike designs on the entire nail— hearts, the word “love” and tally marks.

Step 4: Add accents with black gel polish for a scribbled effect, for example, paint lines inside the hearts, paint hearts of different weights and add the letters “xoxo.” Apply gel top coat to create a smooth finish, then add matte gel top coat.

Step 1: Apply gel base coat. Then, apply one coat of sheer pale pink gel polish.

Step 2: Drop a small amount of olive green gel polish on the nail. Then, use a clean gel brush to dry-brush the color vertically down the nail. Repeat with light pink, white and black gel polish. Use a plastic glove and your index finger to smudge the white and black gel polish, or use a sponge for an aged effect.

Step 3: Paint the word “love” in cursive on the nail with white gel polish or paint. Continue painting white lines and tally marks across the nail for a grunge look

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Step 4: Use black gel polish or paint to add additional details, like hearts, paint splotches/drips and the word “love.” Apply gel top coat to create a smooth finish, and then add matte gel top coat.

Step 1: Apply gel base coat. Then, apply one coat of sheer pale pink gel polish.

Step 2: Create a mottled effect by dry-brushing olive green, pale pink, white and black gel polish down the nail. Use a piece of plastic and your finger or a sponge to dapple the white and black gel polishes. Get creative with each look; not every nail needs to look exactly the same.

Step 3: Paint words in block letters across the nail with white gel polish or paint. Use thinner and thicker fonts to create dimension.

Step 4: Paint black accent hearts randomly on the nail. Then, add imperfect white lines through them. Apply gel top coat to create a smooth finish, and then add matte gel top coat.

 Guest Artist: Tacarra “Spifster” Sutton is a Chicago-based nail artist.

“When creating this set, I pictured images of old high school love notes from a past flame during the honeymoon phase,” says Spifster.

 

This story first appeared in the February issue of Nailpro magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

[Images: Brooks Ayola; Getty Images]

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