Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5 Easy Manicure Ideas for the Best Graduation Nails Ever!

5 Easy Manicure Ideas for the Best Graduation Nails Ever
*Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

If you're graduating from high school, college, university, or anywhere, congrats! Soon you'll be busy shaking hands, accepting a diploma, and the proudly taking tons of pictures holding it, so there's no better day to wear your school's colors on your nails. If you're going to support a loved one graduating, you too could wear their colors on your nails to celebrate!

Here are 5 easy manicures to inspire you to create the best graduation manicure ever. Each manicure uses just two nail polishes so you'll easily be able to customize the colors for your own school to create a fabulous graduation day manicure.


The Glitter Gradient (shown in Columbia University's colors)


Why not accept your diploma with some sparkle? The glitter gradient is one of my go-to looks when I want to have an impressive looking manicure but am short on time. To create this look, take an (unused!) eye shadow applicator - you know, the one that comes in most drugstore eye shadows with two triangular-ish spongy ends? Tap the sponge tip against your nail polish brush so that the sponge tip picks up some glitter. Don't drench your sponge in polish. Starting at the tip of your nail, dab the glitter on and move back toward your cuticle. You can go as far as you want - the glitter should thin out as you go. If you didn't get enough glitter on your sponge the first time, go back and add some more to your tips. Keep playing around until you're happy with how it looks!

graduation manicure glitter gradient
Cream: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Mousseline | Periwinkle Blue Glitter: Cirque Ophelia*


The Funky French (shown in Ohio State University's colors)


Use a pigmented polish to free-hand a wide French tip. Rest your arm on a flat surface (like a table) as you paint to steady your hand. Slightly roll the finger (the one that's being painted) as the brush moves across it to create a natural curve.

graduation manicure funky french
Red: Zoya Rekha* | Silver: Zoya Trixie*

Keep reading to see three more graduation manicure ideas...


Polka Dots (shown in Syracuse University's colors)


OK, I embellished this manicure and used a 3rd color... but it would still look great with two colors ;) Using a dotting tool (I used the end of a bobby pin), add dots in various shapes and sizes. If you're feeling daring, add a third color ;) If you've never tried a dotted manicure before, test out your dotting skills on paper first to get the feel for how much polish to use.

graduation manicure polka dots
Navy: China Glaze First Mate | Orange: Zoya Thandie* | White: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps White Tip


The Accent Nail (shown in Notre Dame's colors)


It doesn't get much easier than this! Paint one or two nails on each hand a different colors than the rest. This is such an easy way to wear two different polishes and I predict you will get many compliments on this accent nail manicure on graduation day!

graduation manicure accent nail
Navy: Zoya Natty* | Gold: Zoya Ziv*


The Rhinestone Manicure (shown in NYU's colors)


Rhinestones are powerful little tools! They take seconds to apply yet really take your manicure to another (sparkly) level. Add rhinestones on all nails or just a couple. Add one on each nail or cover your nails in them! I applied these little stones with a drop of Seche Vite Top Coat.

graduation manicure rhinestone manicure
White: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps White Tip | Rhinestones: Bundle Monster*

I'd love to hear what you're planning to wear on your nails for graduation! Don't forget to practice that critical hand shake/diploma grab ;)

*Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

16 comments:

  1. LOVE the glitter gradient! And the color combo!

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  2. I'm actually graduating from university but haven't given it any thought at all.. We don't really have school colors but I liked the last mani. Simple and pretty :)

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    1. Congratulations, Helga! I'd love to hear what you end up wearing on your nails!

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  3. Such cute ideas! I especially love the polka dot mani!

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    1. Thanks! Now if only I could dot my other hand lol...

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  4. That's such a cute idea, I'd probably just get a french when I graduate never from college, I'll never leave hahaha!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Deborah! Cirque Ophelia is magical for a gradient :)

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  6. wow i love this since i got three friends who are graduating and they want me to do their names so ill have to bring these up for them!

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  7. the glitter gradient is truly awesome. I had doubts about Cirque Ophelia, but it's no going on my birthday list :) school colors aren't really a thing here, so one thing less to think about when you're graduating :)

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    1. Ophelia is sooo pretty, I think you will love it! Didn't know school colors weren't a thing everywhere!

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  8. great ideas!!! love them, especially the natty/ziv combo.

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    1. The Notre Dame football helmets look a lot like Ziv so that's how this whole thing kind of started ;)

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