Poppy art: how to make your nails shine

Image credit: Anna Carruthers

1. Apply a clear base coat to protect your natural nail and prevent staining (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Clear £4.75).

2. Cover the entire nail in a white or very pale pastel shade (Barry M 66 Matt White £2.99) in order to create the background

3. Using a dotting tool (Amazon £3.99 for 4) or the nail polish brush itself, dab a red polish (Kiko Martha Red 238 £3.90) to create the nails. A dabbing method is better in this instance than a smooth application as it provides greater texture and is easier to control when creating small details. Flower petals rarely have smooth edges so allow each petal to be unique in shape. Also, vary the number of petals on each flower, especially those on the same nail.

4. For the centre of the flower use a dotting tool or the polish brush itself to dab a small amount of black at the conjecture of the petals (Nails Inc. Black Taxi £11). A better effect is produced if you leave a small amount of space between the black and the petal, allowing the white background to show through.

5. To make the design more interesting, place the flower in a different place on each nail.

6. In order to create the stems, use a very narrow brush or cuticle stick (Superdrug £0.99 for 10) to drag a green polish across the nail (NYC High Line Green 298 £1.79). Wave the line in order to fill the empty white space and have it diverge to each individual flower.

7. Apply a clear polish over the top to add longevity and gloss (NYC Clear £1.79).

8. If the area around your nail bed has got some nail polish on it, use a cotton bud (Tesco Loves Baby Cotton Buds 100 pack £0.45) dipped in nail polish remover to gentle remove the polish and sharpen the overall look.

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