Nail Art Tutorial: Rainbow & Cloud Nails

Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Tutorial & SwatchesDo you remember the last time you were on Cloud 9?

I was on Cloud 10 with these Rainbow & Cloud Nails. Did them many weeks ago, but I’m only posting it now. It’s been a few days since my last nail post, so it’s about time!

You may remember me sharing my Dotty Nails that I did when I was just playing around with my new dotting tools. This manicure was done perhaps a few days after that one.

I always wanted to try my hand at rainbow nails, but i thought my hands would be too shaky to draw smooth arcs for each colour.

Using a dotting tool is very easy and the way the dots come out in various sizes depending on the tip and how much pressure you apply makes the end result more interesting to me than perfect arcs anyway.

Plus using a dotting tool is as much fun as popping bubble wrap! (I swear there must be some sort of gaseous substance in each bubble that makes the popping act seem so addictive! :P)

Hope you try this and share with me any of your dotty manicures! It’s cool when you can design a picture using just dots. I’d love to see what you can come up with!

Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight Cloud & Rainbow Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight Rainbow & Cloud Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Step-by-Step Photos

Direct Sunlight

Flash Clouds & Rainbow Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures


Flash Nail Art Rainbow Nails How to Tutorial & Pictures


Flash Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Flash Rainbow Nails Nail-Art Tutorial


Natural Light Cloud & Rainbow Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pics

Natural Light

Natural Light Nail Art Rainbow Nails How to Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch

Natural Light

Natural Light Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch

Natural Light

Natural Light Rainbow Nails

Natural Light

Sunlight Rainbow Clouds Nail Art Tutorial & Photos

Direct Sunlight

Flash Cloud Rainbow Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Picture


Natural Light Rainbow and Cloud Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light


*~* Rainbow & Cloud Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Rainbow Cloud Nail Art Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. OPI Alpine Snow
  4. OPI What’s with the Cattitude?
  5. Orly Spark
  6. Nubar Forest
  7. China Glaze Aqua Baby
  8. China Glaze Phat Santa
  9. Daniel Stone Art Tool #3
  10. Piece of foil


Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Step 2: Paint Your Nails a Light Blue

I went with OPI What’s with the Cattitude? because it’s such a fresh, bright sky blue. Looks so cheery on my nails, and it’s easy to work with.

Wait about 8 minutes or so to let it dry a bit before continuing.

Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial Step 1

To see more swatches & a review of this polish, click the above link.

Step 3: Add Fluffy Clouds

Add some white polish to your piece of foil. (I used OPI Alpine Snow, which is a standard white creme.) Then, dip your dotting tool into it and dot on your clouds.

I started painting on a dotted slanted line, which became the rounded edges of the clouds. Then I just kept dotting to fill in the rest of my nail. I suppose you could just use the polish brush and fill in the rest, but I was having fun using my new dotting tool. 🙂

You want to make your clouds as fluffy as possible. I think it gives it that cute cartoonish feel.

I decided to put the clouds on an angle near the tips of my nails, but you can put them anywhere you think looks best. Maybe put the clouds near the cuticles? Then you can make the rainbow like an upside-down U near the tips of your nails! There are so many possibilities.

Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial Step 2

Step 4: Add the First Colour of the Rainbow

Add a bit of polish for your first coloured arc to your piece of foil and then dip your dotting tool in it.

Dot a curved line onto each nail. Don’t worry about having exact spacing between the dots. Nail art doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to make you happy! Besides, when you’ve added all of the arcs, it’ll even out and you won’t really pay attention to any goof-ups.

Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 5: Repeat the Previous Step with Your Next Colour

Don’t worry about overlapping or any sloppiness.

Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 6: Repeat the Step Again with All Your Remaining Colours

You’ll find that it gets trickier as you get closer to your cuticle since there’s less space there. Just do your best. 🙂

When you’re done applying all the colours you want, make sure to wait a good 10-15 minutes before continuing or you may risk streaking your design.

Cloud & Rainbow Nail Art Tutorial Step 5

Step 7: Add a Top Coat

Step 8: Ponder the Existence of Pots of Gold at the End of Rainbows

Some Variation Ideas:

  • Pot of Gold: If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might want to paint on a large pot of gold on your thumb nail. All you’d need is a black polish and a gold polish. Paint on a large circle for the pot and then put a heaping pile of yellow dots on top. Then go over the yellow dots and highlight them with gold polish to make the treasure come alive!
  • Mr. Golden Sun: Instead of a rainbow and cloud, you could paint a sun with all its rays shining down on your ring finger or your thumbnail. I think that would be cute. You could even give him sunglasses.

And a few weeks ago, it rained and there was a rainbow after. I snapped several shots of it, but the colour in my photos didn’t do it justice. I still want to share one with you, though. 🙂

Real Rainbow Picture

Have you ever tried rainbow nail art? What’s your favourite colour? Did you used to watch Rainbow Brite when you were a kid?


22 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Rainbow & Cloud Nails

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey LimitedAddictionNails!

      It’s cool that you tried rainbow nail art. Did you paint on an actual rainbow or did you use rainbow colours?

  1. Carmela

    Very cute! I’m almost expecting to see a leprechaun with a pot of gold in those clouds. 😉

    I’ve failed mostly in my attempts at dotted nail art, newbie that I am. But this makes me wanna give it another go. 🙂
    Carmela recently posted: Revlon Carbonite

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      If only I could paint things on my nails and make them turn into real objects. Hmm…aside from that pot of gold, I’d probably also paint the leprechaun and ask him if he’d want me to do his nails. I have a lot of green lacquers… 😛

      Definitely you should try it again! 🙂 I’m pretty new to using so many dots for a design. The thing that’s good about this rainbow design is that precision isn’t as important, so you can really just have fun with it.

      Hope you try this. I’d love to see it on your nails. You have such nice nails!

      1. Carmela

        Now wouldn’t that be just awesome! I’d paint a unicorn. I’ve always wanted one as a pet. And no, a white pony with a fake horn does not a unicorn make. 😛

        Hahaha, I’m sure Mr. Leprechaun would oblige! He’d be the snazziest leprechaun for miles! Or he would probably want to sport gold nails. You know hos fixated they are with gold..

        Aww, thanks! I’ll see what I can do. 😉
        Carmela recently posted: Revlon Carbonite

        1. Mary Post author

          I’d want a unicorn with a rainbow mane (like the kind Starlite from Rainbow Brite had).

          Hehe, yeah, he might want gold and not just in colour, but 24 carats.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Emily!

      Haha, I’ve wanted that blue for a looooong time. Funny thing is that when I decided to get it, it was sold out everywhere I went, so I had to resort to eBay. Thankfully, I basically paid around the retail price, so I didn’t feel like my wallet was burned. If you’re able to get your hands on it, I highly recommend you do! 🙂 If you can’t, China Glaze Bahamian Escape may be the next best thing. It might not be a dead-on dupe, but it’s close enough.

  2. Jessica

    So awesome!!! What’s With the Cat-titude is the perfect sky blue for this manicure. I also love how you did dots instead of just solid arcs. It’s cute!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jessica!

      That’s what I thought – it really is a clean-looking light cartoony-sky blue. 🙂

      Glad you liked the dotted arcs. They were much easier to do, so that was a bonus!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Helene!

      You’re so welcome! 🙂 You raised a good point about “McDonald’s Fashion”. I’m surprised that more people haven’t commented on it, actually.

      Oh, you can totally replicate this nail art! 🙂 If I can do it, you can. I’m not a professional, just a person who’s obsessed with nail polish and nail art…hehe! As long as you can use a dotting tool (or even if you can’t, but just try your best), it’ll come out well. This design is meant to have imperfections, but they blend together and make ‘mistakes’ less obvious. I hope you’ll challenge yourself to try it. You’ll surprise yourself with how great it turns out! 😀

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey imfeelingnail-venturous!

      You should definitely try this out! 🙂 Dotting on the rainbow is waaaay easier and waaaay faster than drawing on the stripes.

  3. Kate

    I wish i know how to color my nails like that. I have always been spending money on parlors everytime there is party. I am never good with art but i want to learn and design my nails myself.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kate!

      You can definitely save a lot of money doing it yourself. 🙂 Oftentimes you just need to try it and you’ll be amazed that you can do it.

      I’ve never had my nails done professionally, and to be honest, I don’t think I’d enjoy that. Doing it myself is relaxing, plus the instant gratification I get when I polish my nails puts me in a super mood. 🙂

  4. Ruthe

    This design is SO cute!! Looking at it just makes me happy! And it somehow reminds me of Rainbow Connection from the Muppets collection, lol. 😉

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ruthe!

      Hehe, I’m glad that this design makes you happy. It made me happy, too. Every time I’d look down at my nails, I’d see blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and a rainbow! It would be nice if I saw that more often when I look outside my window.

      Haha, you’ve made the rainbow connection between this and Rainbow Connection. 😛


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