How to DIY Cute Red Polka Dot Nails

9 Materials
30 Minutes

Do you want to do nail art but find gels difficult to use? Guess what - I have a solution for you.

Today, we are doing some super fun nail art using acrylic paint pens. I wanted something really bright, so I went for a red polka dot nail design.

I also want to show you in this tutorial how acrylic paint can be top coated with clear dip powder and activated, and it won't mess up the acrylic paints or make them bleed.

Tools and materials:

  • Acrylic paint pens
  • Dip powder
  • Builder gel
  • Gel base
  • Gel top coat
  • Peel base
  • Activator
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Toothpick
Preparing nails

1. Prepare nails

First, paint your nails with builder gel, gel base, and gel top and a peel base over that.

Applying dip powder

2. Apply dip powder

Then go in with two layers of dip powder.

This will make your nails really saturated. Make sure the powder goes all the way to the back of your cuticles.

Applying activator

3. Apply activator

Apply the activator and then file and shape your nails.

Wiping nails

4. Wipe nails with isopropyl alcohol

Wipe all of your nails with isopropyl alcohol to make sure you don’t have anything on them.

This is important as you’re going to top your nails with a layer of clear dip powder and dip base.

Drawing on nail art

5. Draw on nail art

Now time for the nail art. I’m drawing flowers with my acrylic pens. If you make any mistakes, you can wipe them off quickly with alcohol, and that won't mess up the dip powder.

You have to make sure not to press on the pens too hard but also not hard enough on them. You can also use a toothpick to help spread the color around and help your design.

After doing the petals, I added little white dots in the middle.

Drawing on nail art

I then made little white dots in the background. Once done, let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Applying powder

6. Apply powder

Now put the dip base and clear dip powder over the design. You don’t want to push down hard with the dip base but rather float it over.

What that means is rather than pushing the brush into your nail as you would when you're doing a layer before your dip powder, you want to gently float it over your nail so that you are barely touching the nail.

Then pour over the dip powder, enough to totally encapsulate the nail.

Activating nails

7. Activate nails

Finally, activate your nails. Then gently buff and finish top coating.

Red polka dot nails

Red polka dot nails

Here are the finished nails. I love the vibrant color, the cute flowers, and the white polka dot design.

If you find the acrylic pens a little tricky the first time you try using them, just remember that practice makes perfect, and no one ever becomes an expert at anything overnight.

Just keep trying, and eventually, you’ll perfect your technique.

For another nail art technique, check out Nail Stamping Tutorial: How to Do Easy Flower Nail Art.

Suggested materials:
  • Acrylic paint pens
  • Dip powder
  • Builder gel
See all materials

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