It seems like everyone’s doing Reindeer Nails (Rudolph Nails) lately, and since it’s a design I’ve never tried before, I thought there’s no time like the present!
Although I liked the way it turned out, I strongly suggest that if you replicate it, that you opt for a light-coloured background instead of a bronze shimmer like I did. (It’s better to have more contrast between the background and the antlers.)
Also, I used red heart sequins for the noses because I wanted to do something different than just dots. This proved to be both a good and bad choice. I’ll explain later on in my step-by-step tutorial featuring written instructions and photos.
Reindeer Nail Art (Rudolph Nail Art) Swatches
All swatches have:
- Nubar Foundation Base Coat
- 3 coats of OPI Warm & Fozzie
- Antlers & Face: OPI Espresso Your Style!
- Eyes: China Glaze Snow & OPI Black Onyx
- Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
*~* Reindeer / Rudolph Nail Art Tutorial *~*
What I Used:
Step 1: Apply a Base Coat
Step 2: Paint Your Nails the Base Colour
I chose OPI Warm & Fozzie from The Muppets Collection, which I went completely gaga for. However, as I mentioned in my introduction to this post, it’s better if you choose a much lighter polish so that there’ll be more contrast between it and your reindeer.
Wait about 10-15 minutes to allow this to dry a little. (It doesn’t have to be fully dry, just not super wet.)
Step 3: Add the Antlers
Add a few drops of brown polish onto your piece of foil. (I used OPI Espresso Your Style!) Dip your nail-art brush into it and create two slightly curves lines. Then just add shorter lines on either side. (They’ll look like tree branches.)
I know it’s hard to see in my below photo. (Choosing a lighter or creme polish is much better.)
Step 4: Add the Reindeer’s Face
Using the brush right from your nail-polish bottle, cover slightly less than half of your nail. You may have to cover up the bottom of the antlers you just did, but that’s okay. Just be sure to leave the top ‘twig-like’ parts visible.
Wait about 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step. You want this to dry a little.
Step 5: Start the Eyes
Add some white polish to your piece of foil and dip your dotting tool (or the end of a make-up brush handle, etc.) into it and carefully add two white dots on each nail.
Step 6: Add Rudolph’s Famous Red Nose
You could make these just regular reindeer, but I wanted to be festive, so I just had to add a red nose. And instead of using a dotting tool and putting on a red circle, I decided to bust out some nail sequins I had lying around. They’re red hearts.
I placed them on by dipping the orange stick (it came in the sequin kit) into a bit of clear top coat and using it as the ‘glue’ to hold and pick up the sequins.
Step 7: Add the Pupils
Add some black polish to your piece of foil. Dip your dotting tool in it and create small pupils over the white dots. Feel free to play with the pupil placement – you can make them look at each other or be reindeer caught in headlights like mine!
Wait a generous 20 minutes or more to allow all of this to dry more thoroughly. If you hurry now and put a top coat on, most likely, the pupils will smear badly, and we don’t want Rudolph to cry…unless he’s crying happy tears!
Step 8: Add a Top Coat
In this final step, the top coat will flatten the design and pull the whole look together. It’ll also smooth out the sequins a little bit so they’re not as bumpy.
Note about using sequins: One thing to note about using hard, inflexible sequins like I did is that on curved nails, they won’t lie flat. Also, the light will catch them all very differently depending on the angle. Keep this in mind. If you’re looking for a more uniform appearance, I suggest just using a red polish with a dotting tool. Plus, then you won’t have to be concerned about texture.
Is Rudolph your favourite reindeer from Santa’s sleigh, or do you feel that another pulls your heartstrings? Do you prefer the look of these bumpy heart sequins for noses, or will you opt for a red dot?