Nail Art Tutorial: Martini Nails (New Year’s Eve Nails)

Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial & PicturesIf you’re underage and shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, at least you can give my Martini Nails a try – they’re a fun way to ring in the New Year!

I’ll never forget the first time I had a classic, dry martini – it was at a German restaurant. I was so excited to try it and see what all the fuss was about because you always see classy people in movies elegantly sipping martinis. (Of course, in movies, the glasses are really just filled with water…at least I hope so!)

Not sure why, but I thought it was going to be sweet or delicious like the fruity or dessert martinis and cocktails. Haha, so the second I took my first sip, my whole face crinkled up in disgust! My then-boyfriend burst into hysterical laughter and asked me, “That good, huh?” 😛 He wished that he had brought his camera.

I had no idea if it was a ‘good martini’ or not because I had no reference to compare it to. All I remember was that it tasted like the way nail-polish remover smells. (I finished it, but that was my first and last classic, dry martini.) The best part about it was the olive…

Martini Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures


Sunlight New Years Eve Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Pictures


Sunlight New Years Eve Nail Art Tutorial Martini Nails


Sunlight Martini Nails Easy Nail Art Tutorial New Years Manicure


Sunlight Martini Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Swatches


Natural Light Martini Wine Glass Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Photos

Natural Light

Natural Light New Year's Eve Manicure Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light New Years Manicure How-to Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light New Year's Manicure How-to Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Flash Alcoholic Beverage Nail Art Tutorial


Flash Martini Nail Tutorial & Swatch


Flash Martini Nails Tutorial & Swatches


Sunlight New Year's Eve Nail Art Tutorial Martini Nails

Sunlight – Sorry, I only had this blurry photo in sunlight!

Natural Light Beverage Nails Nail-Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Flash New Years Nails Tutorial


*~* Martini Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Nubar Foundation Base Coat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. Milani Glosse Top Coat
  4. China Glaze Twinkle Lights
  5. Milani Nail Art (Black Sketch)
  6. BB Couture Frontier Woman
  7. Piece of foil
  8. Daniel Stone Art Tool #3

Step 1: Apply Your Base Coat

Step 2: Paint on a Base Colour

I highly recommend using a glittery polish for this because the martini glass may look too flat over a creme polish. Plus it’s the glittery polish that will make the overall look more festive.

Since I was already wearing China Glaze Twinkle Lights, that’s what my base colour is. Feel free to use a colour you already have.

Wait a few minutes for the glitter to dry a bit before proceeding to the next step. (I was painting over my existing manicure, so I just went to the next step.)

Also, just in case you were wondering why I used 2 top coats: I applied the Milani Glosse Top Coat first over the glitter and then the Seche one afterwards to make Twinkle Lights less gritty. This is because I was wearing that polish solo first. If you’re doing this nail-art design from scratch, you may want to just use one top coat and only at the last step.

Idea: You can easily create a completely different look if you opt for a dark glitter polish and then use a silver or white nail-art striper polish.

Note: Normally I use my camera’s flash to take photos of each step in a nail-art tutorial, but this time I painted my nails in the daytime (rare for me!), so I didn’t use the flash. All of the below tutorial photos are taken in natural light.

Natural Light Twinkle Lights China Glaze Let It Snow Collection 2011 Swatches & Review

2 coats of China Glaze Twinkle Lights

Step 3: Start the Martini Glass

Using a black nail-art striper polish, create triangles closer to your cuticles. These will be the tops.

(If you don’t have a nail-art striper polish, you can use a striper brush dipped in black polish. Just make sure the bristles are long – that makes it way easier to paint straight lines.)

You’ll notice that I made all my triangles different. I did that so the final outcome would look more fun and less like just a straight line of martini glasses.

Idea: You could easily make these wine or champagne glasses instead of martini glasses. Rather than triangles, simply draw “U”s on your nails with a horizontal line covering the top.

Easy Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: Create the Stems

At the bottom of the triangle, add a long line.

Easy Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: Paint the Base

At the end of the line, paint a short one that’s perpendicular to it.

Easy Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 5

Step 6: Fill in the Glass

I filled in the entire glass – there’s no half-full or half-empty debate! 😉

You could leave just an outline, but I feel like with my colour scheme, solid black is more dramatic.

Idea: Consider using another-coloured polish to paint in the ‘liquid’ in this glass.

Easy Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 6

Step 7: Add a Green Olive

Put a drop of green nail polish onto your piece of foil. Then, dip a small dotting tool into the polish. Add one ‘olive’ per glass…unless you’d like more than one, of course!

Be patient, and wait a good 15 minutes or longer before proceeding to the next step. You want the thick layers of polish to dry and not smear when you add a top coat.

(I often like to watch some TV while waiting for it to dry. When you’re watching crappy brain-rotting reality shows, it just makes the time fly by. :P)

Idea: You could add a long thin line coming out of the olive for a toothpick. Also, consider painting on streamers and other festive decorations around your nail with a nail-art striper – just draw long, loopy lines!

Easy Martini Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 7

Step 8: Add a Top Coat

If you’re of the legal drinking age, what is your favourite alcoholic beverage? (Mine’s tequila!) If you’re under-age, what is your favourite non-alcoholic beverage? What are your New Year’s Eve plans?

Edit: I was extremely flattered when I found out that someone was inspired to do a YouTube video featuring my martini nail-art design! 😀 Awesome! Hers turned out so well!


29 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Martini Nails (New Year’s Eve Nails)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      Hahaha…gin tasting like pine trees? Hehe, that’s a funny description that I haven’t heard before!

      Vodka’s great for mixing – the ingredient for so many great shots.

  1. frosso

    Cute idea! I especially love the addition of the olive, can’t skip the best part. I have never tried a dry martini because I always imagined it to taste the way you described it… nail polish remover smell. My hard drink of choice is usually a whiskey sour, mostly because theres always a cherry on the bottom that I see as my goal/reward 🙂
    frosso recently posted: New Sephora by OPI!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey mellinail!

      Happy New Year to you, too! 😀 Glad you enjoy the tutorials. It makes me feel good not only to try out new nail art, but to share each step with everyone.

  2. maddy

    Great nails Mary! The steps are easy to follow and I think I can handle this. The story at the beginnig was funny. I’m underaged. If you think a martini tastes that bad, then I think I’ll pass and stick to bubble tea when I’m older.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      Haha, bubble tea is a heck of a lot tastier than a dry, classic martini! If you never drink a dry martini, I don’t think you’d be missing anything…except for maybe a terrible experience…haha!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marisa!

      It always amazes me when people can just sip hard liquor and seem to enjoy it. In shots, that makes more sense because it ‘goes down the hatch’ fast. But when you sip something, you taste it more…and just…ew! 😛

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Chantel!

      Aww…thank you so much for saying that. Really, though, this design is realllly easy. 🙂 I hope that someone will try it out. The hardest part about nail art is just trying your hand at it. 🙂 It’s fun pushing yourself to try new designs.

  3. karen

    lol!! sorry, still giggling over the thought of the look on your face when you tried that martini….hehehe

    Cute design! You’re so talented with freehand. How on earth do you manage it? I do okay with my writing hand, but the other one never seems to want to cooperate.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      Hahaha, that’s okay. I kind of wish that he DID bring a camera. I would want to see how my face looked. He tried to imitate it, and it looked terrible. Haha, I wonder what the other people in the restaurant thought. (To finish it, I literally had to pinch my nose so I wouldn’t smell it. And, sure, I didn’t have to finish it, but I felt like if I didn’t, it would be a waste…)

      Thank you! *Blush* For painting my dominant hand with my uh less coordinated hand, I just take everything a lot slower and it seems to turn out okay. The funny thing is that a lot of times, what I paint with my non-dominant hand usually turns out better than the one you see on my blog (which is 99.9% my left hand). I think it’s BECAUSE with my non-dominant hand, I spend more time and concentrate more.

  4. Melissa

    These are so cute, Mary! They’re perfect for New Year’s Eve. I’ve never had a martini before, but I had a Kamikaze about two weeks ago when I was eating out with my family and it also had the same polish remover taste to it. Mine wasn’t as strong as your drink though haha! I made a few faces here and there but luckily the lime taste it had made it bearable.
    Melissa recently posted: Christmas Day Manicure!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Lime does a super job at masking that nasty nail-polish-remover smell of straight-up alcohol. Sometimes I like mojitos – really refreshing and bright.

  5. Sarah at Starlight Radiance

    These are cute, although I’ve never had a classic martini. I hate gin, and I mostly dislike tequila as well, aside from in a margarita! My favorite alcohol is flavored vodka – good for shots! I also had something awesome recently, called Rum Chata – it tastes like gingerbread cookies. So good! 😀

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sarah!

      I’ve never tried Rum Chata, but just based on your description, I may have to scout that one out because it sounds delicious!

  6. Marta

    I’d drink them all, and munch on the olives buuuut after one Martini I’m a little tipsy so all five (or ten) would definitely do me in… but, how could I pick just one? lol

    I have not yet touched the regular martini and always opt for a fruity martini. My favourite is the Lychee martini… oh so divine (one shot vodka, 1 1/5 shot Soho Lychee Liqueur and one shot Lychee juice… = yum)
    yeah… yum 😀

    These turned out so lovely… oh wait, I said that already! Well, good things are worth repeating!
    Marta recently posted: Holographic & Geometric

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Yikes – back in the day when I first had ONE dry martini, I found that hard to swallow. And you’re going to try 10? Hahahhaha…good luck! 😛 Seriously…good call on not drinking a regular martini. If people drank it on TV the way it actually tastes, I can imagine a lot of cameras getting wet from when the people spit it out and spray it all over the lens.

      Your lychee martini, however, sounds way tastier! I need to try it sometimes – doesn’t look complicated! (Thanks for sharing the recipe.)

  7. Maria Saldana

    California girls katy perry martinies bikinies, sad she’s getting a divorce upside you make great nail art

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Maria!

      Yes, their divorce makes me sad because they did look happy together. But, who knows with celebrities? I feel like a lot of times they have to put on a front with the cameras so that their dirty laundry isn’t aired. They were a strange couple, but I liked the way they looked together. Hopefully they’ll both find happiness elsewhere, even if it means having to be single.


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