My mother’s manicure this fourth of July is bold. It makes a statement that says “I’m free to choose” with the fun blue and the stripes and polka dots on the middle and ring fingers.

Step 1: Prep Nails

View my post on Nail Polish Prep.

Step 2: Paint Nails

Paint the thumb, pointer, and pinky nails with TWO coats of blue polish. I used the Shellac color called, Blue Eyeshadow.

Paint the ring and middle nails with TWO coats of red polish. I used the Shellac color, called Wildfire.

Gel Polish: Apply polish and cure in light (cure after each coat). Cure 2 minutes in the UV light, or 1 minute in an LED light.

Step 3: Stripes

I free-handed painting stripes with a very small stylus as I did here, but I used white acyrlic paint instead of gel polish. Note: If you don’t feel comfortable free-handing the stripes you could use tape as a guide as I did for this design.

Step 4: Polka-dots

Now on my middle finger I painted medium white polka-dots.

(Note: I also did the dots with acrylic craft paint. Here is a tutorial on how to paint perfect polka-dots.)

Note: When hand painting images on your nails use acrylic craft paints, not polish. You will get crisper lines and much more pop than you would with polish. Some polishes can sometimes dry almost transparent which makes the image hazy and you won’t get the wow factor you are going for.

Step 5: Apply Final Top Coat

Now apply your top coat. Make sure the paint is completely dry before adding top coat to help avoid smearing.

Gel Polish: Apply top coat and cure in UV light for 2 minutes or 1 minute in an LED light.

Step 6: Allow to Dry and Apply Cuticle Oil

Allow your polish to dry completely. Apply a cuticle oil just around your nails on the cuticle and rub it into the skin.

Gel Polish: Remove sticky residue on top of nails with a little alcohol or polish remover and apply cuticle oil.