Fishtail Manicure Tutorial

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Hello!  I've got another little tutorial for you today!  Recently I have been working Salons Direct to create some nail art and tutorials using China Glaze nail polish and I thought I'd show you how to do a fishtail braid pattern on your nails.  They are really pretty easy but look so effective, I've done quite a few different fishtail manicures in the past, so if you want to take a look, you can see them here.

 So, for this manicure you will need the following:
  • The three colours you are going to use.  For this I am using a white, a peach/pink (Flip Flop Fantasy) and a black (Liquid Leather).  The important part for the fishtail manicure is to pick polishes that are pretty opaque after one coat, otherwise you'll have to keep going over and over, and there's a chance of a gloopy mess going on if you aren't careful.  Also pick colours that are quite contrasting, so you can see the effect better.
  • Top coat
  • Cotton buds/Nail polish remover (for tidying up)
So, start by painting your nails with a base colour, using the lightest colour you are going to use for your fishtail manicure.

Paint a diagonal line in one direction from the base of your nail using your second colour.

Then, a diagonal line opposite this using your third colour.

Take your first colour again, and paint another diagonal line across your nail, slightly lower down from where you put your first line on the same side (so, basically, leave a small gap of colour there).

Repeat this again with the next colour on the other side.  Don't worry too much about how it looks at the moment, as it will start to take shape pretty soon!

Keep repeating the same process, one line each side, rotating the three polishes that you are using.  Try and keep the widths similar sizes so that it will remain symmetrical all the way down.  As you can see, you don't need to paint completely down your nail, just enough so that the strip of polish crosses over to the other side.

Keep going!  See, it's starting to look pretty neat now!

Also, don't worry about making any mess on your fingers, you can tidy this up with a cotton bud and nail polish remover afterwards.

Keep going until you've covered your nails, and once they are dry, apply a top coat.

And there you have it!  See, it's pretty simple, but looks really complicated.  If you fancy a bit more of a challenge, have a look at these rainbow themed fishtail manicures that I did a while ago; here and here.

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*The polishes used in this post were provided to me by Salons Direct


  1. I really must try this some day - on the 'to do' list!

  2. Oooh, thanks for this! I *so* need to try this, it looks awesome!!

  3. WOW I have been looking for a great tutorial for this :) it's offical this is one of my favorite nail bloggs :)

  4. honey, you are fantastic, not only because of the patience required to photograph all the stages to this mani to perfection, but also because this fishtail ROCKS big time! :D
    I love the colours, the execution, the neatness of it all! I really aim at being able to do such a feat on my next fishtail! thank you for the inspiration, sweetie <3

    1. Ah thank you lovely Mina <3 I am sure you will be able to do a lovely fishtail xxx

  5. OH GAWD, dread this mani so much! you make it look so easy! I may hav to try again :P

    1. Hehe! Definitely give it another go, it's pretty easy once you've got the knack!

  6. These look beautiful! I had a go.... :-) x

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