Mermaid Nails Tutorial – 3 Ways


When I was a little girl, I loved to watch The Little Mermaid on repeat. I distinctly remember staying up way past my bedtime with attentive eyes inches from the screen. Mouthing along to every song, I envied Ariel’s flowing red hair and graceful tail. As a landlocked Midwestern girl, how could I not be transfixed by the beautiful, strong-willed sea creature?

Twenty-five years after the film’s release, the allure of mermaids remains strong. From swimmable mermaid tail costumes to mermaid-like hair extensions, there’s no shortage of ways fans attempt to emulate the mysterious beauty of mermaids.

The most achievable (and affordable) mermaid-inspired beauty look are mermaid tail nails, an inclusive category that encompasses manicures that are both sea-inspired and scale-like. Whether you want to bring an example in to show your manicurist or try DIY-ing the look at home, here are some of my favorite Pinterest picks to get you started. Let’s dive in!

Best Look for Beginners
mermaid tail nails beginner

If you just want to dip your toe (or should I say tail) into this trend, try layering a shimmery polish over an ocean-hued base. Find an appealing sea-green or ocean-blue color for your base and then finish it off with a shimmery coat or two of glitter for a subtle, but super-pretty look.

Best Look to Do with a Friend
mermaid tail nails with friends

Stock up on complementary-colored polishes, a dotting tool and a steady-handed pal. Swap and give each other a scale-like, mermaid tail manicure. Whether you do all 10 digits or opt for one scaled accent finger, this playful look is bound to net you compliments.

Best Look to Bring to a Pro
professional mermaid tail nails

For full-on fabulous mermaid tail nails, bring some inspiration to your favorite salon and treat yourself to some pampering. These intricate looks, featuring thin lines of woven scales, glitter polish and ombre tones are best left to the professionals.

Before you shop, check out DIY mermaid tail nails on Pinterest to get inspired!

meghan-mcandrewsEditor by day and the voice of High Plains Thrifter by night, Meghan McAndrews is known for her weekly nacho night get-togethers and ongoing commitment to bringing big hair back. In her free time, she can be found scouring church-basement rummage sales, cooking in her kitchen or daubing it up at the bingo hall.


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