How to use nail art dotting pens

“How To” Dot Nail Art!

Here’s 4 easy steps to making a cute swirl dot nail art design.

Step 1: Tools

How to use nail art dotting pens


  • Dotting Tool
    (If you don’t have a dotting tool a toothpick, pin or tip of a pen will work.)
  • Light Blue Nail Polish Essie Avenue Maintain
  • Dark Blue Nail Polish Essie’s Mesmerize
  • White Nail Polish OPI Alpine Snow
  • Tin Foil or Paper Plate to use as a palette for your polish
  • Topped it all off with your favorite Dry Fast Top Coat.

Step 2: Paint Your Nail Solid Blue

How to use nail art dotting pens

Step 3: Paint Your Dark Blue Dots

How to use nail art dotting pens

  • After your first coat of polish has dried, put a little dark blue polish onto your palette (I used tin foil)
  • Dip your dotting tool into the polish & start your pattern.

Step 4: White Dots

How to use nail art dotting pens

Same as the previous step using your dotting tool create your White Dot Pattern.

Step 5: Top Coat & You’re Done!

How to use nail art dotting pens

Let your nail design set for about 5 minutes and top it all off with your favorite dry fast top coat!

Step 6: Finished Look

How to use nail art dotting pens

Here’s the finished look!

Blue and pink gradient dots

How to use nail art dotting pens

I know this design isn’t very complicated, but I also know that I’m sure some of you would find it helpful to visually see how this is done. So let’s get started!

How to use nail art dotting pens

  1. Start with a dry base color.
  2. Using your first dot color and the large end of your dotting tool, add 3-5 large dots at the tip of your nail.
  3. Make sure some of them go off the edges of the nail.
  4. Flip your dotter over to the small end and add 4-6 small dots going down the nail.
  5. Concentrate them at the tip, and make them more spaced out as you move down the nail.
  6. Clean your dotting tool off and repeat step one with your second dot color.
  7. Make sure to fill in spaces between your first round of dots. Overlapping is encouraged!
  8. Repeat step two with your second color, filling in any spaces that look imbalanced or empty.

How to use nail art dotting pens

10 Simple Tools You Can Use For Nail Art Dotting

How to use nail art dotting pens

1. Hair Pins:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Yes, all you lovely ladies! You got me right. I am talking about the simple black hair pin that finds a small corner in your cupboard. This ignored hair pin can help you customize attractive nail art dotting designs easily.

Dip one end of the hair pin in your favorite nail color and get clean dots in no time.

2. Paint Brush:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Paint brushes can be used to make larger dots. You can use makeup brushes as well to get clean large dots on your nails.

3. Ball Pen:

How to use nail art dotting pens

The tip of a ball pen can be used to get clean, miniature dots on your nails. These dots look tidy even when the design is crowded. Ball pens make one of the best nail art dotting tools that can offer numerable clean small dots very easily.

However, make sure that you use an empty pen to get a cleaner look and seamless finish.

4. Match Sticks:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Match sticks form an interesting nail art dotting tool that offers two sized rounded dots.

You can use both ends of a matchstick to get a desired dot. The black side gives a rounded dot while the plain side produces a square dot that looks really unique.

5. Toothpick:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Toothpicks are a gem in the list of home tools for creating nail art. Both the ends can be used to create dot patterns.

The sharper edge gives very small dots that can be lined in a circle to get a professional nail art design.

You can also create different patterns like floral dots, parallel designs and much more with precision, using the sharper edge of a toothpick.

6. Safety Pins:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Safety pins also make a fantastic nail art dotting tool. Stretch the two ends wide apart to ensure you don’t get hurt. Use the pointed tip of the safety pin to create ultra small dots.

Dip the pointed end in a nail polish tub and create fancy dot designs in a heartbeat.

7. Pencil:

How to use nail art dotting pens

A sharpened pencil is a multipurpose tool for creating different nail art dotting designs. You can keep the tip pointed or you can keep it round and blunt.

The pointed tip gives small dots while the rounded tips create medium sized dots, and the blunt tip gives bigger dots.

8. All Pins:

How to use nail art dotting pens

All pins are a fantastic nail art dotting tool. You can use simple all pins and also the fancy ones to play with different designs. The back end of these pins creates different sized dots.

9. Fancy Ear Rings:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Do I sound funny when I say use an earring to create a dotted nail art design? If so, try it out yourself and see the results!

Small fancy earrings have a pointed end that can be used to get clean dots on nails. Also, a few earrings take the shape of pearls that are very small.

Those small and rounded earrings can also be used to create exceptional dotted nail art designs.

10. Needles:

How to use nail art dotting pens

Sewing needles make a huge impact when it comes to dotted nail art. Both the ends of a needle can be used to create dotted nail art patterns with ease.

I am sure you can dig our few of these tools at home. And once you do, you will be all set for some fancy nail art.

But remember that you would still need to get a manicure done, if you want your nail art design to look clean and attractive.

Also, never forget to clean the tips of all the customized home tools that you use to create your own dotted patterns.

How to Use a Nail Art Pen

If you’re tired of plain old nail polish, nail art pens are a great way to take your nails to the next level. With fine tips that are great for detail, nail art pens let you draw intricate designs and patterns. Plan out a unique design, practice using your pen to sharpen your skills, and get drawing!

Part 1
Choosing a Design

1 Decide if you want a colored background.

Nail polish can provide a colorful background for your nail art, but a clear background looks great, too. It’s your call!

⦁ Choose a color that contrasts with the color of your nail art pen so it really pops! Try white and black or red and yellow.

⦁ Avoid using metallic colors, because your nail pen won’t show up very well.

2 Go for stripes or polka dots if you want to keep your design simple.

If this is your first time using a nail art pen, it’s probably a good idea to go for a simple design. Bright stripes or tiny polka dots are perfect!

⦁ You can do polka dots all over your nail, or make a couple polka dot lines.

⦁ Swirls are fun and simple, too.

3 Use multiple art pens to make a multicolored design.

If you have a whole pack of nail art pens, feel free to combine colors in your design. Multicolored polka dots or rainbow stripes are super cute.

⦁ For a floral design, try using silver for the petals and white for the center. It’ll come out looking beautiful.

4 Try a French manicure with nail art pens.

You can actually use nail art pens to create a French manicure! Just use the nail pen to line the tip of your nail. To create a classic look, tip your nails with white.

For a bold spin on a traditional French manicure, use blue or purple for your tips.

Part 2
Prepping Your Nails

1 Practice using your nail pen.

Nail pens can be a little tricky to use, so practice different strokes and shapes on a piece of paper to get a feel for it.

When you feel comfortable working with the pen, practice drawing out your planned design on one of your nails.

⦁ If you’re using a hard tip nail art pen, you’ll have to squeeze it a bit to get the polish out. If you’re using a marker pen, you’ll have to press.

⦁ Don’t worry–the polish will come off with a little nail polish remover.

2 Apply a base coat to clean nails.

Start with clean, polish-free nails. Buy a clear base coat, and apply a layer onto your nails. This will help the polish bond to your nails and make it last longer. Let it dry completely before moving on.

⦁ If you want a clear background, you can stop here and start drawing with your pen.

3 Apply two coats of a polish of your choice.

Remember to pick a color that will look good with your art pen colors.

Roll the polish bottle between your palms before applying to remove air bubbles. You’ll be rewarded with a super smooth finish.

4 Let the polish dry before moving on.

It’s important that the polish is completely dry before you use the nail art pen. You’ll probably have to wait a full hour.

⦁ To speed up drying time, turn your hair dryer on the cool setting, hold the dryer about six inches from your nails, and blast them for a minute.

Part 3
Drawing Your Design

1 Shake your pen well.

Shake your pen to mix up the paint and prevent air bubbles. Make sure the cap is on to avoid painting your walls, too!

2 Draw your design carefully.

Now that you’ve planned out your design and practiced using your pen, it’s time to transfer it onto your nails. Work slowly and carefully to prevent smudges and other mistakes.

  • If you’re using multiple colors and aren’t trying to blend them together, let the first one dry before adding the second. Otherwise, you could mess up your design.
  • Make sure your hands are as still as possible.
  • Place the hand you want to paint flat on the table.
  • Then, hold the nail art pen in the other hand and rest the wrist of that hand against the edge of the table.

That will give you more control over what you’re doing.

3 Do one hand at a time.

It’s best to wait for your first hand to dry before moving on to your other hand so you don’t accidentally smudge your work. Most people like to paint their non-dominant hand first, since it’s easier.

4 Use a Q-tip and nail polish remover to clean up mistakes.

Don’t get frustrated if you mess up the first few times.

Nail pen ink comes off really easily with a Q-tip and nail polish remover without removing any colored polish underneath.

5 Use appropriate pressure on your nails.

For hard tip pens, you won’t need to apply much pressure at all. For marker pens, you should apply moderate pressure. If you press too hard, the pen could leak, leaving an unsightly blob.

6 Apply more coats for a darker shade.

The more layers you apply, the darker your design will be. Keep applying coats until you achieve the color you want.

Don’t apply too much, though. It could turn out gloppy.

7 Replace the cap after you’re done.

This will prevent your nail art pen from drying out. Make sure you screw on the cap tightly and store your pen in an upright position.

8 Finish off with a top coat.

After the paint has dried completely, apply a layer of clear top coat to seal everything in.

Don’t forget to cover the tips of your nails with top coat to prevent chipping!

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