Vintage floral nails

First off I want to start off by saying how satisfying doing this design was. I’ve been having a ‘poverty of inspiration’ of late, not feeling as though I was capable of doing much at all… but no more!

Admittedly this isn’t my own design, it’s inspired by the wonderful Robin Moses.


I started with Barry M’s ‘Cappuccino’ which was handed to me by someone who didn’t want it. It’s a sort of mauvey-browny-grey. I thought long and hard about what I could do with it.

This combined with a few things; an interest in doing something freehand, to challenge myself, loving rose designs but being a bit with them (having done them lots), wanting to try something new, etc, and fancying perhaps doing a flower-fairy-esque type design (a very old book that was given to me when I was very young that has somehow survived), and for other various, sentimental reasons.


So I searched around for tutorials on how I might achieve such a thing. Obviously most of them were those very easy ‘do a dot of pink and put swirls in it’ type things, which wouldn’t have the right effect. And then I came across from the aforementioned Robin Moses:

Click to watch the video on youtube

Click to watch the video on youtube

She has a lot of gorgeous and intricate, delicate floral designs but this one matched the sort of colour I was after, and the general style.

So I started with my base colour, dabbed on some gold with my finger roughly on the centre so that it basically just added shimmer (didn’t bother with the newspaper effect, as lovely as it is… because I’m lazy) and then went to work with painting on the design, starting with leaves and stems before adding in petals and various other details.


For some reason I chose to use varnishes, mixing up colours as I went, rather than using my acrylic colours. I ended up using two brushes. A super fine brush for the highlights and leaves and stuff, and a slightly thicker brush to dab on petals. I added in some little white daisies because I thought they’d be cute.

I’m really pleased with them – I didn’t even try to do my right hand, not yet anyway, but for now I think they’ve come out really well. I had to be super careful and patient, but otherwise they weren’t all that difficult really.

The only thing I’m not too pleased with is my attempt at the black scrolling – firstly, I was using a fast dry black varnish which is quite viscous so it was quite hard to make it really fine, and secondly I’m just not that good at composition! I never really know where to place things, if it’s too busy and so on. I suppose I could have added a bit more highlighting and shadows etc to add a bit of dimension to the design as well.

My aim is one day to be able to think something in my mind and be able to transfer it on to my nails, without needing the nudge from other, more talented nail artists.


They look sightly better without a flash 😉