Emoji Nail Art: You Type Them So Much, They Might As Well Be On Your Fingertips

Do you really need an excuse to draw a smiling poop on your thumbnail?
Publish date:
February 13, 2014
nail art, nail polishes, wet n wild, technology, nail art pens, Spoiled, emojis, Sharpies

Hey guys, if you’ve been looking
for a manicure that will take you two hours to do and half an hour to explain to
your parents, then I have just the thing for you: emoji nail art!

OK, maybe I didn’t do a great job
of selling that just now, but the truth of the matter is you either love emojis
or you don’t. It’s actually a lot like nail art in that respect.

I wasn’t actually thinking deeply
about the parallels between emojis and nail art when I came up with this idea.
I was just looking through my most recently used emojis (which is endlessly
entertaining to me--it says SO MUCH about a person) when it occurred to me that
a lot of them would look awesome on my nails. Plus, I already had the Sally
Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pens
just waiting to be useful.

So yeah, that’s how I ended up with
a smiling poop on my thumb nail. Don’t lie--you know that’s in everyone’s
most-recently-used emoji list. It is applicable for all things. Once I had a
dream that the poop emoji was god, but that’s a story for another time.

Don’t worry if you’re not
all that artistically inclined. Most people are capable of making basic
shapes, and you can pick which emojis you feel confident enough to draw.

need a good white nail polish as a base to represent the white background of
your phone's screen. I went with Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild polish in Correction
Tape, and for $2, it was really impressive. It wasn’t streaky or sheer like a
lot of white nail polishes, and two coats was perfect. The brush makes things a
little messy around the edges, but we can’t have everything (at least not for

Then gather some nail art pens in
the colors that you’ll need. I already had the Sally Hansen pens in red, white
and black, and picked up yellow as well. They didn’t have brown so I spent a
whopping 10 bucks for a pack of fine-point colored Sharpies.

After painting my two coats of
white polish, I checked to see the last 10 emojis that I used.

OK, I cheated and added some. I
mostly just use the poop guy because that annoys my boyfriend, and the clappy
hands because that makes my boyfriend happy. He just likes the phrase "clappy
hands." But yeah, for the sake of ease and sanity, I went with emojis I knew I
could actually do with my limited colors and ability. I’m good at painting, but
I have the shakiest hands ever.

I would give you guys a
step-by-step of each emoji, but that would take forever. If anyone wants a
handy guide on how to draw a panda emoji in four steps or whatever, just let me
know in the comments and I’ll be happy to make you a little drawing.

My best
tip, though, is to start a design with tiny dots instead of lines. Then go back
and play connect-the-dots. It’s a lot easier (especially if using your
non-dominant hand) and cuts back on wild mistakes.

Also, the Sally Hansen nail art
pens are great because you can just wipe the design off with a wet cloth if you
mess up without taking off the nail polish base below. The brown sharpie… not
so much. Luckily, it’s hard to mess up a drawing of poop.

Some came out better than others
(doing my right hand was particularly torturous) and I had a few mishaps. The
nail with the cat broke off at the tip, and when I went to apply a top coat
some of them smeared. You have to apply something on top to seal the designs;
they won’t last otherwise. Unfortunately, that can cause them to smear if
you’re not careful.

So here’s your lesson for today:
make sure the designs are 100% dry, and then when you do use a top coat to seal
it, make sure to have a large glob of polish on the brush and sort of dot it on
instead of smearing it over the nail. Alternatively, you could use a nail-art
sealer but I didn’t have one handy. Still, once I figured out how to apply a
top coat without smearing the designs, they lasted a long time.

And there you have it: nail art
that completely confused my parents (“It’s emojis. Like emoticons. Like
emotions. Emotion faces. That I use on my phone. Nothing?”) but had my younger
siblings in awe of me for an entire day.

Will you be giving this a go? Tell me
what your most-used emojis are. For extra credit, TELL ME WITH YOUR NAILS.