Beautiful Butterfly Nails

Butterfly nails were on my nail design bucket list for awhile. I wanted to tackle them but every picture or tutorial I would see was way above my level of ability. That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands!

Here is an easy tutorial for butterfly nails that I really enjoyed doing. If you decide to take on this design, show me on Instagram using the hashtag #glamorouslyyou 🙂


Here’s what you will need for this tutorial:

  • White nail polish; I used OPI “Alpine Snow”
  • 3 colors close together on the spectrum; I used an orange-red (Essie “Geranium”), orange (Sally Hansen “Short Cir-cute”), and yellow (China Glaze “Happy Go Lucky”)
  • Black nail polish; I used Essie “Licorice”
  • 1 makeup sponge
  • A thin nail art brush
  • Base and top coat; I used Sally Hansen Green Tea + Bamboo Nail Strengthener and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat


Step 1

Start with a base coat and then apply one coat of your white polish. This will make the colors pop. Only one coat of the white is necessary and don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect. We’ll be painting right on top of it.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 2

Once the white coat is dry, you will begin to create a gradient with our three colors. Paint each color onto the sponge and over lap them a bit, as shown. Really pack it on there so the sponge doesn’t absorb all of the polish right away.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 3

Lightly tap the sponge onto your nails. You may have to repeat step 2 a few times until you build up the colors well enough and create a nice gradient.

This can be a bit messy, as you can see, so you may want to line the skin around your nails with liquid nail tape or regular tape. If you don’t have that, just have some nail polish remover and q-tips handy!

The picture on the right is what it looks like all cleaned up.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 4

Now break out with your black polish and nail art brush. Remember when you used to doodle suns on the corner of your papers in school? Well, this is the same idea. Paint a quarter circle in the top corner of your ring finger nail and lines coming out from it stretching all the way to the other side.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 5

Now connect each line with a small swoop and fill in the bottom with black.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 6

Add some white dots onto the black and recreate the design on your middle finger nail but reversed.

Beautiful Butterfly Nails


Step 7

Seal in your design with the top coat and you’re done! Now, it looks like a butterfly is spreading its wings and ready to fly into the summer air.. or possibly onto my new floral phone case which I LOVE!

Beautiful Butterfly Nails

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Beautiful Butterfly Nails

I hope you enjoyed these fun butterfly nails! If you loved this tutorial, check out more of my nail designs here on Glamorously You.

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  • Reply Abby

    your nails are amazing! X

    June 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm
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