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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TUTORIAL: Distressed Nail Art (Punk/Grungy Effect)


Sometimes you want to do awesome nail art but you just don't have the time to sit down and do something complicated. Or maybe you're just starting out in the world of nail art and feel a little intimidated by all the techniques and tools (understandably!). Perhaps you just like edgy nail art that can be swiped on in seconds. No matter what your situation, I hope this nail art tutorial speaks to you.

You don't need any special tools, and imperfections are totally encouraged. Pick a few colors, grab a black polish, throw caution to the wind, and let's get started!

I originally debuted this effect during the 31 Day Challenge and later did another version in neons. Today, I'm tackling the style in bright, girly shades, and this is my favorite version yet!

As I mentioned, you don't need any special nail art tools for this effect. You will, however, need a few colors of polish. For this particular manicure, I'm using:

OPI Alpine Snow
China Glaze Rose Among Thorns
China Glaze Too Yacht to Handle
China Glaze That's Shore Bright
American Apparel Hassid


The gist of this technique is that you wipe almost all of the polish off of the brush and then use the almost-dry brush to apply uneven swipes of polish. Be sure to watch the video tutorial to see it in action!


I really like this style. It's so fast to do, creates really eye-catching results, and looks great in all sorts of color combinations.

I've had a couple people mention that it creates a look that is similar to the effect you achieve with a shatter polish. I totally agree, but I think this technique has the upper hand! Doing this distressed effect by hand lets you control how much black polish goes on top and where it ends up. Shatter can be inconsistent and will oftentimes cover up all the beautiful color work that you put underneath it! Think of this as shatter for a more refined audience.


So what do you think? Will you be giving this beginner nail art technique a try? Come share your results on my Facebook page or by hashtagging #hellochalkboardnails on Instagram/Twitter!

57 comments:

  1. Great tutorial! I will definitely be giving this a try very soon :)

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  2. Ah I admire your photo skills greatly! They're so bright and clear! Loved the tutorial. Simple but so so cool.

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  3. Great tutorial! This is my favorite one of these you've done yet!

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  4. WOW Gorgeous! I am so going to try this! :) Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  5. Absolutely love this! Looks easier than I anticipated! I haven't done much (read any) nail art since the 31 Day Challenge ended... this is perfect! Thank you for the tutorial!

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  6. Sarah, this tutorial is amazing! I am so making these distressed nails :D Thank you so much. Great video!

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  7. Super, super adorable!

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  8. Shatter for a more refined audience...I love it!! This is such a cool technique; thank you so much for sharing it!

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  9. Tutorial masterrrr!!!

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  10. So cool I have to try it really soon. Thanks!

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  11. Es muy lindo, como el efecto craquelado, pero con pincel!

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  12. I'm going to see MS MR during the weekend and I wanted to do some distressed nails to match their album cover and this tutorial might just be what I use to achieve the look, couldn't have been posted with better timing :-)

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  13. This is so cool! Great tutorial looks super easy! <3

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  14. Nails of the UnexpectedNovember 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Love this! It seems to give a much smoother and flawless finish than the shatter polishes, will definitely have to try it some time, great tutorial :)

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  15. Gillian from PlumeriaPaintedNovember 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Love the grunge combined with the girly colours, thanks for the tutorial. I want to try this soon!! :)

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  16. I LOVE this technique. I never really liked the shatter polish "look". I've done this type of manicure now a few times now. I've always combined it with gradient and then the distressed on top though. Great job

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  17. FantasticTutorial!! looks a lot like Crackle/Shatter nail polish on top, but it's NOT :D

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  18. amazing!! When I saw your mani I just love it. I'm gonna try it!! Thanks for sharing! :D

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  19. The next time I'm throwing caution to the wind I am going to try out this manicure! :) Thank you for another great tutorial!

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  20. I think I tried something similar to this once, but after seeing this I'm gonna have to give it another try. Cause yours is fabulous.

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  21. Oh this would look SO good matte :)

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  22. They look amazing! I'll definitely have to try this out.

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  23. Amazing, will definitely try this out!

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  24. Hi! Just wanna ask, how long did you wait for the colours to dry before applying the top coat? Mine always smudges...

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  25. great tutorial, i love this look!

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  26. Hi Rachel! Not all top coats are created equal! You can see that some of them smudge while others don't here: http://www.topcoatit.com/2012/01/battle-of-the-top-coats/


    The key, with any topcoat, is to get a good bead on the end of the brush, and then float it over the nail. Try not to touch the actual nail art with the bristles!

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  27. Where's the video tutorial?

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  28. It's embedded in the post, but you can also check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhPtqoq8INs

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  29. I did a similar design.. a lil different technique http://thetrendynail.com/clover-canyon-nail-art/

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  30. Your lightwork makes it look amazing! And so much more pro than what it already is

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  31. I had a shirt in these exact colour tones when i was about four. Great tutorial

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  32. love it! ill try it sometime soon! thanks for the tutorial! :]

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  33. GREAT tutorial, and I love your voice, it's comforting to listen to :).

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  34. You should make a YouTube acc for these videos

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  35. Great nail art, it looks amazing x

    ofbeautyandnothingness.blogspot.co.uk

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  36. Love this look. I was worried it wouldn't turn out, but the top coat helps to bring it all together. Like you said, you can do this with a lot of different colors. I just did 2 purples and a neon green and love it ^_^

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  37. i like this , so beautiful

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  38. Seriously one of my favorite nail arts of all time. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  39. Omg pure georgeous. Will be trying this out

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  40. Amazing nails! So gorgeous, definitely want to give this a try!!

    <3
    Harlynn
    mindyourmadness.blogspot.com

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  41. I'm so glad to hear you have been enjoying it! I agree -- the end results are totally misleading because they look so complicated! Holo distressed nails sounds fun, I will have to try that sometime!

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  42. I have to try this!

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  43. I'm really going to try this out... but I don't have white polish... do you have any suggestions with that? :)

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  44. Lately I have been using Essie Blanc but almost all white polishes are finicky regardless. Many people like OPI's Alpine Snow.

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  45. do polishes other than white polish work out? like a very light polish? Co's I'm in a sticky situation here :)

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  46. Thanks for letting me know :) .... I'm thinking of doing a recreation of this and posting it in my blog and letting others know that there's an awesome nail artist in here... :D

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  47. Thanks for the tutorial !!!, I did and this was the result

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  48. Thanks for the tutorial !!!, I did and this is my result

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  49. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
    He was once entirely right. This publish truly made my
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  50. Thanks for posting the link to this tutorial yesterday in the Polish-aholics Anonymous group. It's right up my alley, as in, it's simple and easy.

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  51. It's the first time that I watch this technique. I've never made this but now I want to try it!!! Im going to make this nailart and share with you :)

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  52. Love the look... Gave it a try tonight and this was my result... A little too heavy on the black, but still think it's pretty good for a first try. I like it :)

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  53. Love the look!!! Gave it a try tonight and this was my result... A little too heavy on the black, but still think it's pretty good for a first try. I like it :)

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