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Friday, October 7, 2011

Eyeball Pattern Nails (+ Tutorial)

Good morning fellow nail fanatics! This morning I have a very special manicure to show you. I wanted to do something eyeball related as a Halloween manicure, but I have seen a lot of eyeball manis lately and I had to make sure that mine was different (you know, because I'm a contrarian). So I came up with this pattern design that has a huge wow factor but really is not very difficult to execute well!

And THEN, I wrote you guys a tutorial cause I LURRRRVE you all! Except, I didn't have any photos of the process to go along with it. What to do? Whitney from We're Making History suggested that I make some diagrams to go along with the tutorial. I thought that was a brilliant idea so I spent some time in Photoshop putting together some graphics for you guys.

First things first, let's see the mani that we will be working towards today!

So graphic!

To recreate this look, you will need:
  • Basecoat of choice (CND Stickey)
  • Burgundy polish for the base (Wet N Wild Buy Me a Drink)
  • White polish with a round brush - read: not OPI (China Glaze White On White)
  • Red jelly polish or similar sheer polish (OPI Do You Think I'm Tex-y)
  • Polishes for eye colors (OPI Ogre the Top Blue, OPI Mermaids Tears, China Glaze Street Chic)
  • Black polish (China Glaze Liquid Leather)
  • Topcoat of choice (Seche Vite)
  • A small nail art brush
  • A large dotting tool, a small dotting tool, and a tiny dotting tool (or a toothpick)
  • Cleanup tools - a makeup brush or Q-Tip, acetone or remover

  1. Apply your basecoat to your nails. Let it dry. Apply the burgundy color or whatever color you want to use for the background to your full nails.

  2. Add big white dots to the nail by dotting them on using the polish's brush. If the polish you are using has a flat brush like OPI's, you may want to apply your white with a large dotting tool or nail art brush. I found that these dots look best if you apply them so that there are white dots partially off the sides of the nail, to keep the pattern looking infinite. It's okay if you get white on your fingers or cuticles, we will clean this up later.

  3. Using a small nail art brush, paint on some eyeball veins with your red jelly or sheer red polish. There is a lot going on in this mani so the sheer-factor keeps the red from being too distracting.

  4. Use the large end of your dotting tool to apply dots of your first eye color in the middle of the white dots. I like to put a few drops of polish on to a piece of wax paper and dip the dotting tool into that. Again, it's fine if you get the colored polish on your fingers or cuticles when you are doing the eyes on the edges of your nails.

  5. Repeat step four with your second eye color.

  6. Repeat step four with your third eye color.

  7. Use the small end of your dotting tool to apply the black pupils of the eyeballs in the middle of the colored dots. Use a light touch when applying so the black doesn't spread too wide and cover your colors.

  8. Use a tiny dotting tool or a toothpick to apply the white highlights to the eyes (optional). Don't center them in the black; instead, place them at the top right of the black and colored dots. See visual for placement clarification.

  9. Clean up the extra polish on your fingers and cuticles. I like to use a makeup brush dipped in pure acetone. Let your nails dry for a bit, and apply your topcoat of choice to seal and protect the look.

See, not too hard, right? It's mostly just applying a bunch of dots! Here are some more pics of my nails with this super cool mani on them.

If you give this look a try, PLEASE come back and show it to me! I love seeing people recreate my tutorials! You could even post the pic to the Chalkboard Nails Facebook wall! :]


  1. OMG I love this! And I was thinking of doing something similar for the polka dots challenge, but you took it to a whole new level. I love your tutorial! Thanks! I will probably do very similar nails! :)

  2. First-what happened to my pretty brown background??? I just happen to love green as much as brown-so I'm adjusting-I love that Connect the Dots polish in your banner!

    Second-these eyeballs are crazy good! And love the step by step tutorial-

  3. eek! i think i'd be frightened to look down and see that many eyes watching me! a very neat idea though!

  4. Oh wow, this is an awesome tutorial! I don't know if I could be this good, but I might try this for Halloween!

  5. I love this! It's like you crawled into my brain and plucked this one out, I totally wanted to do something like this, thanks for the tutorial!

  6. This looks just AWESOME!! One of the coolest Halloween manis!!

  7. Oh my, that's a whole lot of eyeballs! It's amazing though! & Thanks for the tutorial, I'm going to try this for my next mani! :) Hopefully I don't fail, lol.

  8. Awesome job..and that you for the tutorial. These are ones I might actually try!

  9. these look amazzzzzing!!! thanks for the step by step tutorial!!! I love your blog!

  10. wow love your work! and the graphics added a great edge to the post! absolutely love it <3

  11. I love your tutorial!!! It was very easy to follow, thanks!

  12. Very cool mani and wonderful tutorial!!!!

  13. That is all kinds of amazing!
    Love the new banner and background by the way :)

  14. I love this manicure, it's freaky and fantastic! I also love your detailed tutorial, it looks like you spent a ton of time on it! How'd you do the pattern picture?

  15. Awesome and beautiful and weird all at the same time. I tweeted a link! (@tkp42)

  16. Super awesome! Great post! Love the tutorial!

  17. @Mimi - Thanks, I did put some time into it, but it was a labor of love! I made the graphics by hand in Photoshop.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Awesome! Thanks for the tutorial :-)

  20. So creepy I love it! Thanks for the walk-through!

    Got a new subbie :)

  21. I did these for my polka dot challenge! Thanks for the great tutorial, Sarah!

  22. I used your tutorial for an accent on my recent mani. Thanks! :)

  23. @Sonoma Benta, Pauline - both of your manis look fabulous! I like this design as an accent nail a lot!

  24. hey :-) your blog is awesome!!! your pictures are so beautiful, I just love it!

    Can I ask you, with wich program you did this tutorial? I want also to make my nail art tutorials on my pc, but I didn't find a good program, to do this. This would be very nice :-)

    <3 Lily

  25. @Lily - Hello! Thank you, I'm glad you are enjoying my blog! I made the visuals for this tutorial from scratch in Photoshop. I'm not sure I know of a good alternative that is cheap and easy to use, unfortunately. :(

  26. I love your tutorial!! I took a try at it on an alien manicure I did. They're not as perfect as yours but oh well..

  27. @Kirshten - that looks fantastic! I love the way you used them!

  28. Thanks for joining my Link Party!

  29. OHMAHGAH this is so super awesome!!!!!! LOVE this mani! New follower! <3

  30. @I Drink Nail Polish - Thank you!!

  31. Wow, I know I'm really late in commenting, but this looks incredible! I'm definitely gonna try this. Bookmarking this page now!

  32. Hi - long time reader, first time commenter! I just love this look - it's creepy yet cute all at once - and the tutorial is super clear and fun too, so thank you so much for making it!

    Here's my attempt, much admired at a Hallowe'en party:
    and more photos -


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