How to Do Random Swirls on Your Nails

Use toothpicks to paint on swirls.
Use toothpicks to paint on swirls. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

Nails can be done up a number of ways to give your hands a little flash of style. Swirl designs can add a funky look to hands and don’t require a trip to a nail professional to achieve. If you want to do random swirls across your nails for a fun new look, learning how to do so with some basic tools at home can help you achieve whirling bursts of color on your fingertips.

Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Soap
  • Clear-base and top-coat polish
  • 2 nail polish colors (your choice)

Remove any nail polish with acetone remover and cotton balls. Trim and file nails to your liking; then wash, rinse and dry hands thoroughly.

Apply a clear base coat to nails and allow it to dry for 5 minutes. Apply the base nail color you want atop your nails and allow the paint to thoroughly dry for 10 minutes.

Dip the end of your toothpick into the nail color you select for swirls, and begin drawing swirls on with the end of your toothpick. Redip the toothpick whenever the color is not coming off of it anymore.

Wait for swirls to dry another 10 minutes, then apply a clear top coat to tips; wait 5 minutes and apply another. Allow all layers to dry and harden for 20 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep in mind that some colors may not show in the swirls if they are opaque or much lighter than the base color you choose. To ensure the color will show, paint your base color on a sheet of paper let it dry, then paint the swirl color over it to see if it shows well.
  • For the more advanced nail painter, you can opt to use a thin-tipped polish brush, but this requires much more control of your hands.
  • Gel craft pens can also be used to draw on swirls; just make sure to apply a good layer of top coat to seal the patterns onto your nails.

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