I love the nail art trend and love finding easy ways to create beutiful designs! I was inspired here to create a pearl manicure that could be done at home for a lot less than going to a salon without comprimising on style. This was easy to do and the manicure turned out beautifully!
Black nail polish (or any other base color you desire), a standard base coat (avoid anything that's quick drying or bonds nailpolish), standard nail prep supplies (i.e. nail clippers, file, buffer, etc.), an orange stick, water, and half pearls (these are a great price and worked well for me)
Step 1: Prep nails for painting by clipping and shaping as neccessary. Paint a thin layer of base coat, let dry, and apply your base color (I used Essie Licorice and needed two coats of polish to reach this opacity).
Step 2: After allowing your base color to dry completely (I let mine dry overnight), paint a thick layer of base coat (I used FingerPaints base coat from Sally's) nail-by-nail. Applying a thicker layer of base coat allows more time for applying the pearls and making adjustments. This is also why it's best to do the next steps one nail at a time.
Step 3: To pick up a pearl, dip the end of the orange stick into water and then tap the rounded top of the pearl; the pearl is now in the perfect orientation to place the flat side onto your nail.
Step 4: Place the pearls at the cuticle line starting with the center of the nail and working outward to each side. It is easy to use the orange stick to push around the pearls and adjust them until you get just the right curve. Then leave plenty of time for the base coat to dry and the pearls to set.
Step 5: Paint a thin topcoat to hold the pearls and prevent chipping. I used my base coat again here. Since it has no polish bonding properties it works as a great top coat too!
Here is the end result!