Everyone Will Know You Did This Nail Art in Two Minutes, But That's OK Because It's Adorable

Sometimes minimal effort makes a maximum impact.
Publish date:
January 18, 2016
nail art, Sally Hansen, maincures, Morgan Taylor

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of nail art. Maybe I’m just tired in general and it’s extending to my fingertips.

I can still appreciate intricate designs, of course — just not on my own hands. Not only do I not want to spend a long time doing nail art, I also don’t want it to look like I spent a long time doing nail art, y’know? I just want a minimal effort all around.

Here are a few ideas that fit that MO, using only two nail polishes: I decided on a transparent colour for my base, so I used Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Smooth & Strong Base Coat just to give my nails a bit of shine, and Morgan Taylor No Way Rosé for the accents. You can use a stronger colour for your base, but I wanted to go as minimal as possible. These all took about five minutes.

Low-Key French Mani

This isn’t a new idea, but we’re going to do this without stickers or tape, to get that “undone” shabby-chic, ceramic-bowl look. No fuss, more muss. Little mistakes are fine.

I had to file my nails quite short for this because my nail beds are short (I know — why even bother going on, right?). Just paint your base colour and, using either a little paintbrush or the brush of your nail polish, paint a thin stripe at the top of your nail to create a French manicure effect.

Seal with a top coat once it’s all dry and you’re good to go.


For some reason, it is perfectly acceptable to walk around with one dot near the cuticle of your nail. It’s a cool riff on the 1920s half moon manicure and it’s 1920 times easier (who have I become?), obviously.

All you do is start with your base colour and then, using a dotting tool or the bottom of your nail polish brush, drop a dot near your cuticle.

Paint with a top coat when it’s all dry and enjoy how minimal and chic you are with the least effort I’ve ever put into a nail art look.

Centered Stripe

When I think “minimal,” I think “line,” because I don’t have a great imagination, but maybe you do and maybe you can “think outside the box” as motivational speakers from the 1980s would say. Either way, doing a small line down your nails is pretty cool.

I’m also doing this freehand to give the same aesthetic, but if you prefer your lines more uniform, grab that magic tape. You can do the line near the side of your nail or you can use the line as negative space for a different look. Think outside the box, remember?

Start with your base colour, then paint a thin line down your nail. You can use the side of your brush or a thin paintbrush.

Allow to dry fully and seal.

  • What do you think? Are you ready to go minimal?
  • Are you also sort of over intricate nail art?
  • What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “minimal”?