Cropped image of a group of young girl's hands and their colourful nails

Festival fashion is a great excuse for adults to play dress-up, not to mention a fun way of letting your hair down and getting creative with bright accessories.

That’s not to say that clothes should get all the fun though – it’s also the perfect opportunity to experiment with your nails using nail art, gems and vibrant colours – adding the final touch to your festival look. See our recommended tips on how to create fun festival nails below.

Cropped image of a group of young girl's hands and their colourful nails

Nail Prep

To get fun festival nails that will last for a while, the first thing you need to do is prep your nails before any nail polish attempts to touch them.

  • Cuticles: Dead skin attached to the base of a nail is your cuticle. It needs to be pushed back and removed so that your nails look in good condition.

    More importantly, it will keep your nail polish from lifting up around the edges. Use an oil-free cuticle softener to soften your cuticles before gently pushing each cuticle off the nail. Do this in small, circular motions. 

    Once your cuticles are off the nail, you can carefully snip the dead skin off. This will create the initial base for your festival nails.
  • Buffing: After taking care of your cuticles, buff your nails with a nail buffer to help loosen any leftover skin from the nail. Buff the entire nail, including the edges.
  • Cleanse and Prime: After buffing your nails, you’ll need to remove all of the debris from your nails. A good nail cleanser will prep your nails for your base coat. It is essential for removing any invisible impurities, leaving your nails perfectly cleaned and primed, ready for your fun festival nail art to begin.

Nail Art

Festival-goers are often creative and fun-loving, so turning up with wild nail art is definitely encouraged. It’s the perfect time to experiment with nail art or nail gems, so prepare to bring your most vibrant, crazy, and confident nail game with you.

Nail art tattoos: Customise your manicure with nail art tattoos. From tribal designs to boho flowers, anything goes as long as it’s fun.

Here’s how to apply them to your nails:

  1. Paint nails with your favourite colour and allow to dry. The brighter the better.
  2. Cut the design of the nail tattoo you want to use using scissors.
  3. Apply tattoo to the nail with the design facing down onto your nail.
  4. Use a wet cloth and apply to the back of the tattoo until the backing paper is soaked.
  5. Gently peel the backing paper off and smooth the tattoo down with a small wet pad, especially as the edges.
  6. Once dry, apply a coat of clear nail polish to nails.

Nail Art Pens: Nail Art Pens allow you to design your fun festival nail patterns with ease. You’ll be able to create fine lines and swirls with these pens, from zebra stripes to paw prints, so you’re sure to have fun creating your key nail looks.

Here’s how to create festival love heart nails:

  1. Paint your nails with the colour of your choice. Two coats are recommended to ensure your nail polish lasts longer.
  2. Once dry, shake your nail art pen well to allow an even application to the nails.
  3. Paint four mini love hearts on each nail, one below the other, to form a slight curve.
  4. Finish off with a clear top coat and allow to dry.
Manicure

Nail Glitter: Glitter at festivals is all the rage, so go mad with it on your nails. The more sparkle, the better. There are so many looks you can achieve with glitter nails:

  • All over glitter: This is extremely easy. First apply a clear coat of nail polish to your nails and allow to semi dry. Then using a glitter pot of your choice, dip each nail fully into the pot until the entire nail is coated with glitter. Shake off any excess glitter and using a makeup wipe, remove any glitter that has stuck to your skin.
  • Ombre glitter nails: Combine two different shades of glitter to create an ombre effect. Start by painting the entire nail with clear nail polish. Once dry, apply your first choice of glitter polish a third down the nail. Next, apply another colour of glitter polish two thirds down your nail to create an ombre effect.
Beautiful manicured woman's nails with glitter purple gel nail polish on soft white towel.

Nail Gems: If you’re not satisfied with glitter, why not consider sparkling up your mitts with some nail gems too? Here’s a few top tips about how to apply nail gems.

  • Apply manually: This can be tricky, but it’s easy when you know how. First, cover your nail with nail glue or nail resin.

    Use tweezers to pick up each gem and place carefully onto your nail. Repeat this until you’ve achieved the desired effect – you could go all out and cover your entire nail or just decorate the tips. Once the glue has dried, cover your nail with a top coat of clear nail varnish to help secure the gems even more.
  • Pre-designed gems: If all that sounds like a lot of hard work, you can always go for the easy option. These are fun, sparkly stickers that you simply peel off and apply to your nails.