tutorial: galaxy nails

I know I haven't posted in a while. This will make up for it, right? Right?


 I think so. I mean, just look at these. I could get lost just staring at all the little differences and subtle colors and overall sparkly-ness.

Goddamn. Give me a couple of minutes. I'm just going to stare at that picture.

Okay, I'm done. Let's get to the tutorial.

You'll need a gaggle of colors. Inspired by the stock photo of the galaxy above, I tried to choose colors similar to it that varied in finishes. From left to right: Orly Matte Vinyl, China Glaze Metallic Muse, OPI I'm Indi-a Mood for Love, Color Club Lazer Pink, China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway, Color Club Wild at Heart, Revlon Galaxy, China Glaze Fairy Dust.


You'll also need a base + top coat, plus a [dry] makeup sponge. If you use sponges for other things (like I do, for gradient nails) cut it in half so you don't waste it. The half is enough for these nails, and it's easier to work with. But if you're lazy, leave it whole. What do I care?

Apply your base color. you can really use any almost black polish here, but I'd try to stick with a purple or blue based one. I chose just a plain black matte because it's opaque in 1 coat and dries fast. But use what you want!

Take your base color and dab it in one corner of the sponge. Dab the excess off on a piece of paper. I love how the chrome finish of this polish looks underneath all the finished layers -- it adds an extra dimension and sparkle. Or maybe I'm just delusional.

Take your sponge and randomly sponge blobs on your nails. Re-saturate the sponge after each nail, to ensure the color is consistent on all nails. And try to make each blob look different or place them in different areas of your nails!

Take your next color, and dab it on a different corner of your sponge. Repeat steps 2-3, but try to make these blobs a bit smaller so they are contained within the previous light blue blobs. Make sense? Like, I want the pink color to be in the center of the light blue.

Like this!

With my light pink, I repeat steps 2-5. Once again, make these blobs smaller than the previous ones.

Next, I use my dark blue to make linear blobs (is that a contradiction?) outside of the pink centers.

And then I do the same with my dark holographic purple. Ooh, sparkle!

Apply a thin layer of one of your glitter topcoats. I try to use 2 different kinds -- this one has a variety of glitter shapes. I tried to get a few hexagonal glitter pieces on each nail. 

Then apply the other glitter. Dimension is important, and using multiple types of glitter will help achieve that!

Put on a quick dry topcoat and clean up your nails. Look at these gorgeous specimens! Each one is unique!

Sigh. I feel like I'm in space. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. These look gorgeous! I can't wait to try it! I have tons of unused makeup sponges from years ago that I've never found a use for.. So thank you :) xx

  2. Oh wow I just posted a video on DIY Galaxy Nails yesterday :P Great minds! I love how yours have turned out, very vibrant!

    Amy x

  3. I am sure I will try this one, because yours are looking great and the tutorial is perfectly explained!

  4. gorgeous! I'v been seeing this manicure around the internet and been meaning to try it...your tutorial might have just given me the push to go ahead :)

  5. Great tutorial! Makes creating galaxy nails sound so easy.


  6. These are beyond amazing...Can I say...Out of this world?! lol Amazing tutorial! I can't wait to try this myself. This is the best thing I've seen in a long time.

  7. what a great tutorial! thanks clara. i am bookmarking this!

  8. this is awesome! i'm gonna try it soon :) thanks for making the tutorial

  9. wow your galaxy nails look so funky!! love it. You made it look so easy.

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  13. This is so beautiful! Love that you gave us a great tutorial! I've been seeing galaxy nails everywhere and I have been too scared to try it. You have a great blog, glad I found you. :D

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  18. My friend Megan and I tried out your tutorial, and we love the result! https://twitter.com/jonanamary/status/329258721865768962/photo/1 So much easier than we thought it would be. If anyone reading this is unsure, just go for it!

    We also added small white dots for stars using a nail art pen.

    Thanks for the easy-to-follow tutorial x

  19. Those are so cool! I might wanna try that sometime, and I'm definitely gonna follow your blog.. I just started mine on New Years so I like looking at other's blogs for experience. Keep up the good work!

    ♡Gina from http://ginastephenson.blogspot.com