Velvet Nails Are Actually Easier To DIY Than You Think - Here's How

Velvet Nails

Velvet Nails. You've seen them popping up in various news feeds, adorning the fingers of celebrities, influencers, and stylish civilians. "Velvet nails," with their blurred and textured appearance, are everywhere right now, and their luxurious look is becoming even more extravagant throughout this year. Part of their allure is that, since they're still relatively new on the scene, most people don't know how to create velvet nails or even how they work - you'd be surprised how many people would mistake your new manicure for actual velvet simply placed on the nails. It's all part of the biggest nail art movement this year, and it doesn't require tiny brushes or anything close to a steady hand.

One could argue that the biggest nail trend of 2022 isn't a specific color, but rather the unique finishes that can play with any color. Chrome nails, cat-eye nails, and now velvet nails feel like any other classic manicure but seem to be made of something entirely different. It's an easy way to elevate even the simplest shade, allowing the optical illusion effect to become nail art in itself. However, despite the intricate appearance of velvet nails, they surprisingly turn out to be easy to recreate at home, even without professional assistance. Here, TZR has asked top nail experts for a play-by-play breakdown of how to achieve velvet nails.

Gather Your Materials

According to Juli Russell, DIY Nail Expert for Sally Beauty, velvet nails are a top choice for the colder months. "Velvet is a texture for the holiday season," she says. "It's very rich, luxurious, and classic - so it's no wonder this trend has made its way into the nail world." But before filing, painting, or sticking anything, it's important to ensure you have everything you need for velvet nails beforehand. Russell says there are several different ways to achieve the velvet effect: you can use flocked powder or dip powder without a topcoat, a matte topcoat over metallic polish, or nail polish that creates a blurred effect when it comes into contact with a magnet.

You'll also need all the essential things you would usually use for any manicure: nail polish remover, cuticle pushers, scissors, and a file are not only necessary to ensure the best application but also help extend the lifespan of your manicure (and smooth nails underneath).

Powder and magnet will give you the most realistic look - the powder "won't just look like velvet but will also feel like velvet," Russell adds - but the beauty of the velvet nail trend is that there are so many degrees and styles that it becomes very personal.To create nail art, you'll need several materials. Here's a list of basic items you'll need to gather:

  • Nail polish: Choose a variety of colors to create your desired design. You can opt for traditional polish or consider using gel or acrylic paints.
  • Base coat: Apply this clear polish before applying colored nail polish. It helps protect your nails and provides a smooth surface.
  • Top coat: This clear polish is applied over your nail art to seal and protect the design, as well as add shine.
  • Nail art brushes: Invest in a set of nail art brushes with different sizes and shapes. These brushes are specifically designed for creating intricate designs on your nails.
  • Dotting tools: Dotting tools have various sizes on each end and are used to create different-sized dots or patterns.
  • Nail art stickers or decals: These pre-made designs can be placed on your nails for quick and easy nail art. They come in various shapes, colors, and patterns.
  • Nail tape or striping tape: Thin adhesive tape used to create straight lines or geometric patterns on your nails.
  • Rhinestones, studs, or other embellishments: These add a touch of bling to your nail art. They can be applied using nail glue or a clear top coat.
  • Cotton swabs and nail polish remover: Essential for cleaning up any mistakes or smudges during the nail art process.
  • Nail file and buffer: Use a nail file to shape and smooth your nails before applying polish. A buffer helps to create a smooth surface for your design.
  • Nail polish remover: Needed to remove any existing polish before starting your nail art.

Once you have gathered these materials, you'll be ready to start creating your nail art designs!

Powder Method

Regardless of which method you choose, Russell says to start with thorough basic nail preparation. That means cleaning the nail bed with nail polish remover to remove any leftover dirt and help the new nail polish adhere better, trimming and shaping the nails to your desired shape and length, and trimming the cuticles if desired.

Let's say you're taking the powder route first. After applying a suitable base coat for dipping, apply the powder to wet nails and gently dust off the excess. If you're using communal powder, like at a salon, make sure you or your manicurist pours the powder from the larger container into a personal dipping container (shot glasses work great) to ensure no cross-contamination of bacteria. "Let it completely dry, and you have a velvety soft manicure," says Russell, although she notes that since this look doesn't require a topcoat, it won't last as long as others.The Powder Method in nail art is a technique that involves using acrylic powder or special powders to create unique color and texture effects on the nails. Here are the steps for making nail art with the Powder method:

Materials needed:

  • Colored acrylic powder: Choose from several colors of acrylic powder according to your preference.
  • Clear acrylic powder: Used as a finish.
  • Acrylic fluid: Used to bond acrylic powder and form a coating on nails.
  • Acrylic brush: Use an acrylic brush specifically designed for acrylic powder application.
  • Base coat: Apply a base coat before starting the process.
  • Top coat: Used to protect and give shine to the final design.


  • Clean your nails using a nail polish remover and make sure they are clean before starting.
  • Apply a base coat on your nails and let it dry completely.
  • Prepare acrylic liquid in a small dish or acrylic pallet.
  • Take an acrylic brush and dip it in acrylic liquid. Make sure the brush is not too wet or dry. It should have a bit of liquid on the end.
  • Take the first color acrylic powder by pressing the brush into the powder, ensuring that the powder adheres to the brush evenly.
  • Apply the acrylic powder to your nails using gentle strokes from the base of the nail to the tip. You can adjust the shape or create a pattern to your liking.
  • After applying the acrylic powder, let it dry for a while.
  • Repeat steps 4-7 with the other acrylic powder colors to create the desired color and design effect. You can also use the layering technique to combine multiple colors.
  • When finished with the colored acrylic powder, apply a thin coat of liquid acrylic to coat the surface of the powder. This will help bind the powder and give strength to the design.
  • After the acrylic liquid has dried, use buffer to smooth the surface and correct flaws.
  • Apply a top coat to protect your design and give it a beautiful shine.
  • Once the top coat is dry, you can clean around the nails using a cotton ball moistened with nail polish remover to remove excess acrylic powder or nail polish spills.

By following these steps, you will be able to create nail art using the unique and creative Powder method. Always practice and experiment with different colors and designs to get the desired result.

Magnet Method

You may have seen magnetic nail polish trending earlier this year with the rise of "cat-eye" nails, which required a magnet to be held over the middle part of the nail to create a striped iridescent effect. This works similarly for velvet nails with just a few adjustments. After completing your basic nail preparation, apply a thin and even layer of magnetic nail polish - which is highly popular right now, with tons of colors and all-in-one kits available at almost any drugstore.

"With the provided magnet, hold it on each side of your nail for about three seconds," instructs Russell. "The closer you hold it to your nail, the stronger the effect. But be careful not to touch your wet polish!" Apply a second coat and repeat the process, but don't be afraid to change the angle of the magnet for a less uniform impression. Finish with a topcoat, and you're (almost) out the door.The Magnet method of nail art is a technique that uses special magnetic powder to create interesting lines or patterns on the nails. Here are the steps to make nail art with the Magnet method:

Materials needed:

  • Magnetic nail polish: Get a few bottles of magnetic nail polish in a color you like.
  • Special magnets: You will need magnets designed specifically for use with magnetic nail polish. Usually, these magnets are in the form of bars or have a different pattern.
  • Base coat: Apply a base coat before starting the process.
  • Top coat: Used to protect and give shine to the final design.
  • Cotton swabs and nail polish remover: Used to clean up in case of mistakes or spills.


  • Clean your nails using a nail polish remover and make sure they are clean before starting.
  • Apply a base coat on your nails and let it dry completely.
  • Now, take one of the magnetic nail polish bottles and give it a good shake to ensure that the magnetic particles are evenly distributed.
  • Apply one layer of magnetic nail polish on one nail. Make sure the coating is thick enough to create a good magnetic effect, but not so thick that the polish gets lumpy.
  • As soon as you finish layering, carefully bring the special magnet to the nail. It should be close enough between the magnet and the nail, but don't touch the surface of the nail.
  • Hold the magnet in that position for about 10-15 seconds without moving. This will allow the magnetic patterns to form on the polish.
  • After the set time has elapsed, slowly lift the magnet from the nail in an upward motion. You will see a striped pattern or magnetic design form on the nail.
  • Repeat steps 3-7 with different magnetic polishes and magnets to create different patterns.
  • When done with all nails, let the magnetic nail polish dry completely.
  • Once dry, apply a light coat of top coat to protect and give your design a shine.
  • After the top coat is dry, you can clean around the nails using a cotton swab moistened with nail polish remover to remove excess nail polish or spills.

By following these steps, you will be able to create unique and interesting nail art using the Magnet method. Be sure to practice and experiment with different colors and magnetic patterns to get the desired result.

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