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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Drip Mani Tutorial with Cult Nails!

Hey there :) Happy Halloween Eve!

Dom & I have been participants in the Go Pink Wednesdays campaign to bring awareness to Breast Cancer through pink manicures on wednesdays during the month of October. It's been a great experience and I've loved coming up with pink themed manicures; however, it's also my favorite time of year! Once I started thinking about how I could incorporate the two, pink BCA & Halloween, I knew I had something I could really enjoy! Well my favorite pink/halloween-ish manicure was my Pink Drip Mani. It seemed several of you really loved it as well so here we are... a tutorial!

Let me preface this tutorial with a few things though...

What you DON'T need:

  • Doubt
  • Nail art abilities
  • Skill/talent
  • any special tools

Never doubt yourself... I am no more talented than you and if I can do it, so can you! Nail art is just that, art. Art is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Never feel like it is an achieveable skill, it is always within you, just believe. Again, no special skills or talent is necessary for this look and many others, just a little patience would help! Lastly, in my opinion there is no real need for any special nail art tools. Do they make life easier? Yes! But truly they are not necessary as long as you look around and get inventive with the tools available to you. 

What you DO need:
  • Two polish colors- preferrably two that are very different
  • General items like acetone/polish remover, cotton balls, paper towel
  • A round tipped item to make dots
    • ball point pen
    • toothpick 
    • pencil eraser 
    • bobby pin
    • or if you have a set- Dotting Tool
  • A thin brush or item to draw a line with
    • toothpick
    • orange stick/cuticle pusher
    • pencil
    • or if you have one- a brush or nail art striper
  • A picture or some sort of visual idea of what you'd like your drips to look like
  • Base/Top Coat

I tried to include as many pictures as possible to cover how you, our lovely reader, might learn best from the tutorial. Below are singular photos. As a side note I had some technical difficulties like my camera battery was acting up, the daylight was fading fast and a demanding toddler LOL... so some of these photos aren't the best quality and some clean up in the final shot was a little lacking, so please forgive me :)


Start with a base color, fully base/top coated and dry. I chose my favorite green, Cult Nails - Deal With It from the summer release, CoCo's Collection. This green is slightly sheer and I am a crazy person with VNL (visible nail line) so I did 3 thin coats in this photo. This polish is a dream to work with, builds nicely and clean up is a breeze. As a side note... this is the perfect Halloween type green. I just love it! Plus the beautiful shimmer is just too much!!


On your base place anywhere from 1 to 3 dots on each nail at varying levels with your contrasting other color. For this mani I chose Cult Nails - Nevermore. I like to refer to Nevermore as the best black ever. It is seriously shiny, beautiful in ONE coat and quick drying. If you never buy another Cult Nails polish- buy Nevermore... I promise you won't be disappointed!!

This step takes a smidge of consideration. The part that makes the drip look so interesting is how different each one looks. I also try to be aware of where my previous dots were so I don't accidentally repeat a dot pattern.


This step is pretty simple in the fact that all you need to do is draw a line from your dot to the edge of your nail. The line does not need to be thick and works better if it isn't as thick as the dot. Don't worry about how thick or clumpy the paint looks... it'll smooth out with top coat.


Ok... first I apologize I did not take a separate step 4 photograph as I got distracted and before I knew it was almost done and onto step 5 before I remembered! SO SORRY! :(

So this step is the one that looks the hardest but is really the easiest in my opinion. What you're ultimately doing is connecting the lines. I do this by drawing a curved line from one line to the next. Almost curved lines like a spider web? Don't go too far down since you'll want room to do the final detail work. That way if you decide to make the tip of your nail look like it has been dipped more then it's just adding.... ****REMEMBER**** less is more in this particular look... the artistry is in the details so work in small amounts. You'll want to keep those lines as curved as possible to achieve that true drip look.


In this step you are simply finishing up the edges, filling in the empty spots where you have curved lines and putting on your final touches. This is the part where you want to really look at your drips and consider how you want them to look and what sort of nuances do you want to show. In the steps 3/4/5 I added partial drip lumps on my middle finger and a couple of separate drips on the pinky & middle fingers. You'll want to go on the sides of your nails lightly with your tool so the drips have the appearance of continuing off your nails. This is the messy and unfortunate part. You'll get paint on your fingers and into the edge/crack of your nail. This is where a good clean up regimen will be needed. The black looks lumpy and clumpy but I promise it all levels out with a good top coat. (side note: the clean up brush I use is a concealer brush made by e.l.f.  and $1, available at Target)


Clean up the edges of your nails and top coat!

3 thin coats of Cult Nails - Deal With It, drips in Cult Nails - Nevermore
base coat Duri - Rejuvacote & top coat of Seche Vite
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and it helps you achieve your desired drip mani :) Let me know if you need any assistance or if there is a step that isn't clear :) Be sure to post your drip manis to the fan page on facebook!

xo & Happy Halloween,


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Essie! Glad you liked the tutorial :) Be sure to post a pic of your mani when you do it!! xo E

  2. Thank you for this fun and easy tutorial!!!

    1. You're so very welcome Iman11!! I hope it helps!! Be sure to post a pic of your drip mani when you try it! xo E

  3. I hope I have time to try this today! Thank you for sharing :-)

    1. You're welcome! I hop you had time to try out the drip mani- if not make some time soon!!! Can't wait to see it Tish! xo E


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