Nail Art Tutorial: Candy Cane Nails

Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial & SwatchesToday I bring you more festive nail art – Candy Cane Nails! I love the way candy canes look hanging on a tree. And, although I think all the fun-flavoured ones are delicious, my favourite is the simple, classic peppermint candy cane.

When my brother and I were kids, we weren’t supposed to eat any of the candy canes from the Christmas tree until December 25th. At least, that’s what my parents would always remind us of every year.

But kids don’t always do what they’re supposed to do. We conveniently ‘forgot’. And we were naughty.

When my brother and I thought nobody was looking, we’d snatch one off the tree, make a beeline to our bedrooms, and devour them in secrecy. The whole time, we thought ourselves to be very clever.

It was always a few days before Christmas when my parents would mention how there were fewer and fewer candy canes on the tree. Counting them proved that they were right.

(They knew all along that we had been snatching them off the boughs, but always had a soft spot and let it go. Unfortunately, their readiness to forgive made it easier for us to justify snatching the candy canes off the tree when the little angel and little devil would appear on either shoulder. ;))

These days, I have way more self-restraint when it comes to eating candy canes. I can wait until Christmas. Perhaps I have all those years as a candy-cane thief to thank for that…

Candy Cane Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Flash Candy Cane Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Step by Step Instructions & Pics


Flash Candy Cane Nails Christmas Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch


Flash Christmas Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Flash Christmas Nails Candy Cane Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures


Natural Light Candy Cane Nail Art Nails Tutorial & Pics

Natural Light – It was so dim & cloudy out when I wore these. That made it really hard to capture this manicure. Looks like I’ll need to work out a light set-up soon before the gloomy winter days hit us more often.

Natural Light Candycane Nail-Art Tutorial & Swatch

Natural Light

Natural Light China Glaze Branding Iron Swatch Candy Cane Nails Nail-Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light Christmas Candy Cane Nail Art Nails Tutorial

Natural Light

Flash Christmas Nail Art Candy Cane Nails Tutorial & Photos


Natural Light Candycane Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Swatch

Natural Light

*~* Candy Cane Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Candy Cane Nail-Art Tutorial Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Nubar Foundation Base Coat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. China Glaze Branding Iron
  4. L.A. Colors Art Deco Nail Art Lacquer (red)
  5. L.A. Colors Art Deco Nail Art Lacquer (white)

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Step 2: Paint Your Nails with a Dark Polish

I was already wearing the gorgeous, vampy China Glaze Branding Iron. (Click on the link to read my review on it and to see more swatches.)

After painting your nails, wait a good 10 minutes to allow it to dry a bit before continuing to the next step. This is just to help avoid any potential colour bleeding. (You’ll be working with white next.)

Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 2 China Glaze Branding Iron Swatch

Step 3: Start the Candy Canes

Using your white striper, carefully (and slowly), draw a rough guideline for your candy canes. At this point, don’t worry about the thickness – just concentrate on getting the shape you like.

Tip: For the top of the candy cane, I just followed the curve of my cuticle to help me out. Of course, you can curve them as much or as little as you want. It’s up to you! 🙂 I just found this the easiest way to do it.

Once you get the shape you like, then go over it with more polish and thicken the lines. (You may need to add a second coat to make the white more opaque.)

Another Tip: When you go over your candy-cane lines, paint it in the opposite direction. E.g. If you painted them starting from the curve to the bottom, then on your second go, paint them from the bottom up to the curve. I found that this method produces cleaner lines.

Make sure that you wait 5-8 minutes before proceeding to the next step. Chances are that your white lines are going to be be thick with polish, so you’ll want to let that set a bit first.

Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: Add the Red Stripes

Using your red striper, carefully paint little stripes along your white lines.

Idea: I just used red to keep it simple, but you can go all out with gold glitter, silver glitter, and green, too! Or you could do a funky candy cane using colours from your favourite sports team! It’s all up to you.

Wait 15 minutes before advancing to the next step. You want to avoid any smearing because you put in all that hard work – it’d be a shame if it smeared at this point.

Candy Cane Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: Slick on Your Favourite Top Coat

Do you prefer traditional or other-flavoured candy canes? Do you like peppermint better than spearmint? Where will you be spending the holidays this year?


22 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Candy Cane Nails

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      It’s very simple, and even if it were complicated, I’m sure you could pull it off. It really takes patience more than skill. 🙂 You should try it!

      1. maddy

        I am so excited for the New Year’s giveaway you talked about. You also said nail polish lovers would love it. You got me so excited for New Year and I can’t wait now! Too bad Sam didn’t respond to the e-mail regarding the giveaway.

        1. Mary Post author

          Hey maddy!

          I think it’s going to be a great giveaway to start off the New Year. 🙂 A lot of people should be able to use these, too.

          Yeah, it’s too bad that Sam didn’t respond. Now I’m waiting for Candy to reply, as she’s the new winner. Hope I hear from her.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Rainbowify Me!

      One of my favourite vampy reds, and it applies so effortlessly. It’s true love!

      Hehe, you’re welcome. 😉 Glad you got a kick out of my brother and my childish ways…hehe!

  1. Carmela

    I love me some candy canes myself! 😀 The peppermint kind is always awesome. Altho I tried a salted caramel one and it’s not bad but it doesn’t feel as Christmas-y. I can never want till Christmas either. My sweet tooth (teeth, more like) always gets the better of me. That scenario where you sneak one off the tree with your brother was eerily similar to my own childhood. Only, I was sneaking them off with my Dad, and mostly because I catch him in the act when I’m about to get one myself! 😛 Also, peppermint >>> spearmint. I know they’re both minty but spearmint is a bit too strong for my tastes. Great when you have a cold tho!

    As fun and easy as this would be to recreate, I fear I won’t be able to wear them for long without going crazy with candy cane cravings (alliteration!
    Carmela recently posted: Nubar Reclaim helps you reclaim the (holographic) magic of the holidays

  2. Lawren

    I love these tutorials! You are super creative and awesome for coming up with such amazing nail art.

    I’ve always wondered though, which brand of nail polish remover do you usually use?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lawren!

      Thanks – there will be more designs to come. I’m wearing another design right now that I’m excited to show off next week!

      I’ve used all different kinds of nail-polish remover, but right now, I’m using Beauty Secrets – the one from Sally Beauty Supply. Check out my review on it tomorrow. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Naomi!

      Glad you liked it and are considering trying it out. 🙂 Simplicity sometimes makes a big statement. (Let me know how yours turn out when you try it.)

  3. Marta

    Holy reindeer-hooves !!! How behind in comments am I on your blog!!!?
    Please know that I check and read your posts daily… but with three little ones tugging at me… forming a coherent thought is sometimes a bit much (just now I had to dress a polly pocket (they make them palm sized now… she’s no longer the real really-tiny-I-actually-fit-in-your-pocket-and-so-does-my-cozy-home size)… anywhooo.
    Love the background colour CG… adding it to my wish list 😉
    And these candy-canes are mint! (as in awesome… and minty) 😉

    Again, your nail shape is perfect for this design
    ! xxx
    Marta recently posted: Day 8 – Glitter Nails

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      So Polly Pocket is more like Polly Palm! Yeah, I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it. 😉

      “these candy-canes are mint”


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