Nail Art Tutorial: Tuxedo Nails

Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial & PicturesDid you watch the Golden Globe Awards? I only got a chance to catch some of the red-carpet arrivals and then I was on the road.

I was excited when Ryan Seacrest pointed out Zooey Deschanel’s nails, which looked like adorable tuxedos!

It reminded me that for a while now, I’ve been wanting to do a nail art tutorial for how to do easyΒ Tuxedo Nails.

Here’s a different version than hers, but it’ll still get your fingers on the Best Dressed List. πŸ˜‰

You’ll notice that I also opted not to use white, which is traditional for this look.

Hope you’ll also play around with all sorts of untraditional colours. (Consider ditching the black bow tie for something bright and whimsical instead!)

In this post, you’ll also notice that I’ve been playing around with image sizes. Please let me know in the comments if you prefer fewer, but much-larger photos or many, but smaller photos. Also, please let me know if these larger photos make the post much slower to load than my usual posts. I appreciate your feedback!

Tuxedo Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Natural Light Photos
Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures
Natural Light Tuxedo Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures
Natural Light Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial Pictures
Flash Light Photos
Flash Tuxedo Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Pictures
Flash Tuxedo Nail Art Tutorial Pictures & Swatches
Natural Light Photo
Natural Light Nail Art Tutorial Tuxedo Nails Pictures & Swatches
Flash Photo
Flash Tuxedo Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Pics

*~* Tuxedo Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Tuxedo Nail Art Tutorial Supplies & Pictures

What I Used:

  1. Nubar Foundation Base Coat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid
  4. Milani Nail Art Black Sketch
  5. Daniel Stone Art Tool #1
  6. Piece of foil

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Step 2: Paint Your Nails the Background Colour

This will be the colour of the shirt. You could go for a traditional stark white (like China Glaze Snow or OPI Alpine Snow).

Since I wanted something slightly different, I opted for a grayish purple (or a purplish gray), Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid that you’ve seen in my previous Cult Nails Haul of Shame blog post.

Wait about 8 minutes to allow the polish to dry slightly before proceeding to the next step.

Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 2

Natural Light Also with Flash: 2 coats of Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid

Quickie Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid Review

I may post a separate review on this polish, since I wore it for a few days before painting over it with this tuxedo design. But in case any of you are curious now, thought I’d give a brief overview.

This polish is very pigmented, even with a single coat. I used two to achieve complete opacity. It was very easy to control the formula – not too thin and not too thick.

What I really like about this polish is that sometimes it looks like a light purple, and other times, it looks gray. Polishes that seem to morph depending on the light get my attention!

(Edit: Click here to see my Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid swatches & review in a separate post!)

Step 3: Start the Bow Tie & Add the Buttons

Add some black polish onto your piece of foil. (You’ll be using this as a palette.) Then, dip your dotting tool (or even the end of a make-up brush) into the polish. Add 3 dots in a vertical line roughly in the middle of your nails.

As you can see, these dots don’t have to be perfectly aligned. πŸ™‚

Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: Finish the Bow Tie

Using the same dotting tool, add two triangles on either side of the top dot. This will make it look like a bow tie.

To paint with a dotting tool, you just need to use a stippling motion. However, if you have nail-art brush, you could use that instead.

Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: Paint the Tuxedo

While you could tape off the areas to get perfect, crisp lines, I thought it was way easier (and much faster) to just use my striper brush to freehand the lines.

To create the tuxedo, draw a “V”. This will be your guideline. Then, with that same striper brush, fill in the rest of the tuxedo. At this point, if your “V”s don’t look as crisp as you’d like them to be, you can always go over them.

I was satisfied with my “V”s, even though they’re not perfect. Seeing the overall design made me happy, and that’s the main reason why I do nail art at all. πŸ™‚

Please wait about 15-20 minutes to allow all this to dry a bit before proceeding to the next step. If you rush now and slick on a top coat, you risk the chance of smearing your design. After you’ve come all this way, it would be a shame to smear it at this point.

Tuxedo Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 5

Step 6: Apply a Top Coat

Using very light strokes and plenty of polish on your brush, apply your top coat over the design to seal everything.

Would you wear little tuxedos on your nails? Do you prefer fewer, but larger photos like in this post, or do you prefer many, but smaller photos? Did this blog post take a long time to load for you? (Please provide some feedback so that I can continue to improve Swatch And Learn.) πŸ™‚

Edit: YAY! Beautylish tweeted about my Tuxedo Nails!

Beautylish Twitter Swatch And Learn


47 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Tuxedo Nails

  1. maddy

    Your nails are adorable! I watched some part of the Golden Globe Awards. I saw Zoey’s nails and they were amazing. The bigger pictures doesn’t affect the speed of it to load. I don’t mind bigger pictures and less or smaller but many. But if you do a holographic, duochrome or anything like that, many pictures would be better to show all it’s holographic glory and the different colors in the duochrome.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      Good point! I’ll keep that in mind the next time I photograph more complicated kind of polishes. πŸ™‚ I’m glad to hear that the loading time was okay even with these larger-than-normal photos.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Naomi!

      Glad you’re going to try it out. If you take photos of your manicure, please feel free to post them on my Facebook wall so that other readers can enjoy your creativity, too! πŸ™‚

      Do you know what colour bow you’ll have instead? Red? Blue?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carolina!

      You’re welcome – this was really simple to do, but super fun to wear! πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much! Glad that you like the new look. Vivian, one of my regular readers is such a whiz, and if you need help with graphics, I’m happy to refer you to her.

  2. Carmela

    I know you’ll laugh but what I got from this post was that I need me some My Kind of Cool Aid. πŸ˜› I didn’t realize it had that pretty shimmer! I was also surprised to see flakies in Iconic. *swoon*

    This is a great take on it! Choosing a purple/gray base makes it lookd more interesting for me. I’m wondering why you opted to use a dotting tool though and not the brush that came with the nail art polish. Was it too unwieldy?

    PS. Did you see how some fashion blogs were dissing Zooey’s nails? I thought they were quirky and fun; totally showcased her personality (although she could’ve definitely used some cuticle cream)!
    Carmela recently posted: Color Club Shabby Drab reminds us why cremes will always stay in style.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Yes, Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid is all kinds of awesome! Application was a breeze, and the colour’s very easy to wear.

      The brush from the nail-art polish may have worked, but my nails are small, so I used the dotting tool for more control. When you use a dotting tool to “paint with”, it’s easier (for me) to have a bit more precision for tiny details like a bow tie. The nail-art brush is a bit wider, so on small nails, you run the risk of painting on a blob instead of a bow tie. (Less room for error with a dotting tool for this design.)

      No, I didn’t see those fashion blogs. Not everyone will like every design, but I give Zooey kudos for doing something different and for having fun with it. πŸ™‚ (And my cuticles in these photos are dry like the Sahara Dessert, too, but I strongly believe that as long as the nail-polish wearer is happy, that’s all that matters.)

  3. CupK8

    I love these! They’re just perfect for Zooey (and for me – whee!). I’ll probably do these for an opening night at some point.. I’ll make sure you get a picture if I do. πŸ™‚

    The entry loaded just fine for me. I kind of like the bigger pictures of the whole thing – it gave me a chance to see it in detail. The design looks shinier closer up, it seems. Or it’s just me..?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey CupK8!

      YAY – can’t wait to see a photo of it on you when you get the chance to try it out! πŸ™‚

      Okay, thanks for weighing in about the loading time. It’s good to know that the larger photos haven’t slowed down the site.

      Hmm…the vertical photo of the manicure may look shinier because it was taken in natural lighting. I find that’s often the case when I photograph my nails. Sunlight shots are the most accurate in general, and flash photos sometimes make a polish appear flatter, but natural light allows the shininess to show through more.

  4. karen

    I didn’t watch the show, so I googled the images and her nails were cute and matched her personality.

    That said, I think I like your ‘v’ tux shape better. It might not have worked on her shorter nails, but yours are longer so it fits well for an adorable manicure.

    No issues with loading and the big shots work well for tutorials because it shows the details. So maybe big pics for tuts and lots of small pics for reviews? Does that sound weird?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      Good point – her French-tip tuxedo collars are probably better for those with shorter nails. Glad that you still liked my variation. πŸ™‚

      And thank you so much for your feedback. I was also thinking about larger tutorial photos and smaller photos for reviews (just so I can add more photos). Nail-polish minds think alike. πŸ˜‰

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marcia!

      Aww…thank you! You showered me with such high praise, and I’m simply beaming now! πŸ˜€ So happy that you liked my interpretation so much!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey mellinail!

      Thanks! πŸ˜€ Glad that you enjoyed this quick little tutorial. I have a lot of fun trying out different designs.

  5. Melissa

    I loved Zooey’s nails! They were super cute and you did a great job with yours! You’re super good at doing nail art. I would definitely wear tuxedo nails. And your post loaded just fine for me! So big or small pictures, I think it’s fine.
    Melissa recently posted: Zoya Harley

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Thanks! πŸ™‚ I think that everyone is capable of doing lots of nail art. The hardest part is starting and trying something, even if you’re unsure about the outcome.

      And thank you also for the feedback on the photos! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad that the post didn’t load up slower with the larger pictures.

  6. Raychul

    So cute! This wold be perfect for a formal event and its something different. I like that you used a different color for the shirt. My Kind of Cool Aid looks nice against black and it’s not such of hard contrast.

    I didn’t detect a difference in the load time with this post. I liked Karen’s idea of big pictures for tutorials and smaller pictures for reviews. By the way, the new layout looks great!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Raychul!

      YES, I could definitely see someone rocking it for a formal event. πŸ™‚ It would surely get a lot of attention.

      Okay, thanks for letting me know your thoughts on the photo issue. πŸ™‚ Your feedback helps!

  7. Michelle

    Adorable! Great step by step tutorial. And the new layout looks very cute. I like the cartoon version of you. LoL~

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Michelle!

      Hehe, I’ve always wanted a cartoon version of myself…and here it is! πŸ™‚ Vivian did a wonderful job creating that graphic for me – she’s so talented, and I think she captured my personality really well.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Frosso!

      Haha, now THAT would be a fun manicure – penguins in tuxedos! Awww…cute! Somebody should try that.

      I don’t follow Zooey Deschanel on Twitter, but that ugly Christmas sweater nail art sounds awesome! I love people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

  8. Maria Saldana

    Love it but I’ll like to ask do you always use Daniel Stone art tool for all of your nails? Just wanted to know if it worth buying.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Maria!

      No, I don’t always use the Daniel Stone dotting tools for all my nail art. It really depends on the design. However, when I need to make dots or paint things that are small, I do prefer using them. Other than one wooden-handled dotting tool, all my other ones are by Daniel Stone. (I bought a set of 5.)

      They’re pretty good, and I like how the handles are plastic instead of wood. They just feel more comfortable, and if I get polish on the handles, it’s easy to clean up.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Mara!

      I see what you mean. I think that I’ll make the width of the photos slightly smaller to make it easier for readers to see the whole manicure without scrolling. Thanks for your feedback! πŸ™‚

      Oh, and if you do end up trying out this design, please feel free to post a photo of the finished look on my Facebook wall. I’d love to see it, and I’m sure that my readers would also love to drool over your creativity!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Candace!

      Glad you liked these tuxedo nails. πŸ™‚ You should try them out with different colours – it’s such an easy design to customize and have fun with.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marisa!

      Thanks! It was really quick and easy to do. I may wear this again, but with crazy colours for a funky tuxedo effect.

  9. Katie

    Very cute tutorial, I have to try it sometime! Photos loaded fine for me. Oh, and by the way I love the background and banner for your new layout. Too cute!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Katie!

      Thanks for the feedback on the loading time. It’s good to know that I can now include larger photos without worrying about increasing the page-loading time.

      That background and banner are the gorgeous creations from the talented, Vivian. (She’s a regular visitor to my blog, and since she knew I wanted a new design, she offered me her services!)

  10. Marta

    WOW! How did I miss these!?!
    I didn’t watch the Golden Globes (last year we cancelled TV and opted for Netflix πŸ™ )
    This is absolutely lovely and I like how you used this cultNails shade rather than the typical “white”.
    Mary, I bow down and take my top hat off to you!
    Marta recently posted: Pelican Gray

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      How are you liking Netflix? I don’t have it or know anyone else who has it here in Canada. So far, are you enjoying it, or do you miss TV?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nail Art@Nail Art!

      Yes, it’s very easy to do, and I do hope that you’ll try it out for yourself. It’s so much fun to wear. πŸ™‚

  11. Tammi Carter

    I am so addicted to nail art design these days, I dream of nail designs at night. I have learned alot from tutorials, and they have given me inspiration. The hardest part for me is keeping clean lines, and using the opposite hand I normally use. Keep up the good work with your blogs & designs.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Tammi Carter!

      Hehe, wow, I can’t remember ever dreaming about nail designs. When you wake up, do you sketch your designs so that you remember to try them out?

      Thanks so much for your encouragement!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ann!

      Cool manicure! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing. You know, if you ever want to share your manicures, feel free to post them on my Facebook page so all my readers can enjoy and comment on them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge