Photoshop for Nails: Curved Watermark Tutorial

By | February 19, 2013

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to bring you my first post in my Photoshop tutorials series!

After seeing countless posts about girls asking how to do the highly desired curved cuticle watermark, I’ve taken it upon myself to enlighten everyone. So I must say, welcome to the highly requested and much anticipated curved watermark tutorial!

Now this can be done using the program Adobe Photoshop. I am using CS5 for this tutorial, but it will be the same for CS3 and above. I have also created a video for you all to watch to make things a bit easier.

Watch this in full screen and high quality for best results!
1. Select the Pen tool on the left hand panel and make sure Paths and Pen tool is selected from the top menu.

2. Choose the nail that you want to have the watermark around and decide the shape you would like to have the text follow.

3. Click your starting point to create your first anchor. This is where your text will start.

4. Next choose where you want the end of your curve to end, click, hold, but now drag the cursor away from the anchor point you just made. You will see two handles appear from the anchor point – these are used to adjust the intensity and direction of the curve. Move the handles around until you are happy with the shape of your curve and let go.

5. If you wish to continue the path, repeat step 4 until you have a path you are happy with.

6. Select the text tool and hover your cursor over the beginning of the path you just made. The cursor should change to a ‘T’ with a squiggle line through it like this. When you see that, click on the path and we can now enter our text!

7. Type in your text and voila! Text on a path! If you wish to change your font or the font size, you can do this through the Characters panel as long as your text layer is selected.

8. And done! It can take a bit of practice and fiddling to get used to the Pen tool and how the handles work and how they affect the curve.

 Pro tip: If you want a absolutely perfect curve around your nail, click your starting point, but then click half way of where you want your curve to be, pull the handles to make the first curve, let go, and then click the second point where you want the curve to end. Photoshop automatically makes the second curve an exact replica of the first shape you made to make it even. Cool huh!

 I hope this tutorial has helped you all a lot, if you have any questions about this please ask me in the comments below!

Editor’s note: A free version of Photoshop CS2 is available from the Adobe website here: However, this tutorial has been written for version CS3 and above so the steps may be slightly different. Another great free alternative to Photoshop is GIMP, which can be found here:

Kierra is one of the spooky girls of the group. When she is not dreaming of mountains of kittens and flocks of bats, she is either getting holes poked in herself or obsessing over nails and makeup. She is a working photographer and spends her days huffing photography chemicals in the dark. She is the mastermind behind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.