Skip the Salon: How to Execute 5 Beautiful Nail-Art Ideas at Home

Once in a while, I like to treat myself to an especially fancy manicure that I justify because it involves a complicated design that I'm convinced only someone who's a nail-art pro is able to do. Olive & June in Beverly Hills is my go-to for nail art and where I've gotten manicures involving negative space and pops of color. But like so many of my beauty routines, I've started venturing into the DIY territory to make up for all the salon visits I've skipped.

Here's the thing, though: Doing a basic manicure at home is one thing, and attempting a nail-art design is another. So in an effort to try my hand at the latter (and pick up another quarantine hobby), I tapped fellow fashion girl Evelynn Escobar-Thomas (or @evemeetswest, as she's known on the 'gram). Her nail-art looks, which she shares to @evemeetsnails, are definitely impressive but still easy enough that she's able to do them at home with just a few bottles of polish and some household items—aka easy enough that this beginner is officially inspired to re-create them.

"I always tell people to start slow," Escobar-Thomas shared. "You can always fix it as you go. In the beginning, it would take me hours to nail (pun intended) the designs I was attempting." Ahead, get inspired by five of her at-home designs like yin-yang nails and negative space, and shop the nail essentials you'll need to get started.

What you'll need:

"A good clean-up brush is essential, and so are decent nail-art brushes," Escobar-Thomas shared. "I use a lot of Winstonia brushes, but there is also so much you can do with the brush straight out of the bottle."

This little rubbed cap holder ensures you apply the polish with hyper-precision—yes, even on your non-dominant hand.

It's a good idea to have a stock of polish remover nearby when doing nail art, especially when attempting those negative-space designs.

Though Escobar-Thomas says you don't necessarily need a professional nail-art brush, this kit is useful, as it has different-size brushes, each with a dotting tool on the end.

There are a couple of household items you can use in place of professional tools, according to Escobar-Thomas. She advises using a rounded push pin in place of a large dotting tool (a tip she got from queen Natalie Pavloski).

A toothpick can be used in place of certain brushes.

Lastly, a square of aluminum foil makes a great canvas for your polishes.

And now for the design ideas:

"Daisy nails are the easiest nails to begin with. For this look, I used a dotting tool to frame five dots or petals around one central dot. After completing the petals, I re-dot the center to make sure the daisies are defined."

"For this look, I created it without using any special tools. I used the brush from the nail polish bottle and natural curve of my free edge as a guide."

"For this look, I created tiny shard-like specks of paint using a toothpick and four different swatches (video tutorial available on @evemeetsnails) to create a terrazzo look. For the yin and yang nails, I drew an S-like shape over my base color using the nail brush and used the rounded part of a push pin to stamp the circles."

"For these color-blocked nails, I used a nail-art brush to get a precise curve. They're created similarly to the yin and yang nails except the shape is a bit different. They're much thinner at the top and more robust at the base or vice versa."

"Most people do their ombrés with sponges, but thanks to a tip by nail queen Steph Stone, I create my ombré looks by thinning out my polish with a base coat and layering it piece by piece on top of a base color."