Portrait Nail Art Tutorial by Vu Nguyen

Artist: Vu Nguyen @vudoonails
For more complex designs, such as a portrait nail, Nguyen recommends painting a grid with gel paint to serve as a reference point. “Paint a light grid on the nail, then use a cotton swab dipped in nail cleanser to clean up the lines once you’re done painting,” says Nguyen. Make sure that you wait until after you’ve perfected the design before curing.



Step 1:

1. Apply gel base coat, then two coats of black gel polish, curing after each.

Step 2:

2. Mix together black and white gel polish to create gray, then apply it to the nail.

Step 3:

3. Use an ultra-fine tip detail brush to paint a thin horizontal line across the center of the nail with dark
gray gel paint. Then, paint a thin vertical line down the center of the line. This will serve as a grid for the portrait.

Step 4:

4. Use a detail brush to paint a face, hand and neck with black gel paint, using the grid as a reference point. Do not cure.

Step 5:

5. Use a cotton swab dipped in nail cleanser to remove the grid lines. Cure. Next, use dark gray gel paint to add shading to the face. Then, use white gel paint to highlight the cheekbones, hair, chin, forehead and neck. Paint the tips of the nails with red gel paint and cure. To finish, apply gel top coat and cure.

Step 6:

Here, a grid Nguyen created for the portrait.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6