Nail Art Tutorial: Pigment Nails

By | May 9, 2013

“Pigment nails??” I hear you say – yes you heard right. When I say ‘pigment’, I am referring to the same loose eyeshadow pigments you use for your eye makeup. Well the buck doesn’t just stop there, it can also be used on your nails to create a very unique one-off look.

You can pick up loose eyeshadow pigment just about anywhere now, you will however find some absolutely stunning ones over at Femme Fatale Cosmetics.

What you’ll need:

– Loose Eyeshadow Pigments (however many you like – I used 2 in this tutorial)

– Nail Polish (for your base colour)

– Quick Dry Topcoat (preferably a thin consistency one)

– Brush (to pick up pigment with)

– Fan Brush (to brush excess pigment off the nail)


This is a VERY messy type of nail art and you may prefer to tape your fingers around the nail area to minimise the amount of clean up needed at the end.

Step 1. Choose the pigments of your choice. I think it looks best when using two or more colours, but you can keep it simple and just use one.

For my pictorial I have chosen Femme Fatale The Nightmare and Femme Fatale Jewel Scarab.

Step 2. Paint your nails with your chosen base colour. I have used OPI Alpine Snow for mine.

Step 3. Paint one nail with quick dry top coat, then pick up a little bit of pigment using your brush. Hold the brush just a little above your nail and tap lightly on the brush to let the pigment fall onto your nail. Repeat the tapping until you have the desired amount of pigment on your nail. You will need to work quickly as the topcoat will dry and won’t hold the pigment if you work too slowly. 

Step 4. Repeat step 3 for each nail at a time.

Step 5. Once all the nails are dry, brush off the excess pigment off each nail. If you do this over a piece of paper, you can then scoop up the leftovers and pour it back into your pigment jar.

Step 6. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with your second colour.

Step 7. Apply your final coat of topcoat, let it dry. Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and pat dry.

Step 8. You’re done!

You may need some extra clean up with some acetone and a small clean up brush around the cuticles, as the pigment really likes to settle in there.

Step 9. Ok, now you’re really done! Step back, admire and show them off with pride!

Here is another version I have done over a black base colour using more Femme Fatale Cosmetics pigments, but this time I used 3 colours.

Bec loves getting creative, and always likes to keep herself busy. She always has something on the go, whether it’s painting her nails, craft, abstract painting, or creating her brand new indie polish line Arcane. Her swatches are well known to cause serious cases of buy-all-the-things. You can drool over her nails at her blog Nail Gun XS, or on Instagram (@nailgunxs).

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