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Saturday, January 26, 2013

How-To: Scarab Beetle Nail Art

Hello, lovely viewer! Today I'm sharing with you a scarab beetle design that I came up with last week but was too lazy to document. Now I've gotten around to taking step-by-step photos for those of you who want to give it a shot!

Since there are over 30,000 species of beetles that belong to the Scarabaeidae family, I wasn't too concerned with accuracy- chances are, there's at least one species of scarab beetle that looks like the ones on my nails! However, I was actually inspired by scarab jewelry, specifically Ancient Egyptian amulets and such. Anyway, I'll stop rambling and show you how to recreate this design!
Step 1.) Paint your nails a dark, irridescent turquoise color.

Step 2.) Start to create the scarab's head by following the chart below.

Left: With a copper colored polish, paint a slightly curved swipe on the upper 1/4 of your nail. If your nails extend over the tip of your finger, you can use the tip of the nail polish brush to do this. If you have very short nails, I'd recommend painting the copper portion with a smaller nail art brush to prevent getting any polish on the skin.
Right: Use a large dotting tool and a light turquoise, slightly coppery polish to adorn the top of the scarab's head. Since this is a very unique and kind of expensive color (Butter London "Two Fingered Salute"), substituting with a light, shimmery green would work as well.
Step 3.) Bust out your black striper and start to outline the head: 

Frame 1: Paint a line where the turquoise meets the copper. The easiest way to do this is to rotate your finger while keeping the striper brush relatively still.
Frame 2: Outline the greenish dot. Make sure that your striper only has polish on the tip to prevent any accidental blobbing. Then gently make a curved line on one side of the dot.
Frame 3: Paint a curve on the other side of the dot, and then join the two lines with the remaining polish on the striper.


Frame 1: Divide the turquoise section in two with a vertical line.You may have to go over the line to thicken it up, depending on the size of your striper.
Frame 2: Make two slightly curved lines on either side of the vertical line.
Frame 3: Fill in the space with either your striper brush or plain ole black polish.
Step 5.) Give your scarabs some eyes:
Left: With black polish and a medium sized dotting tool, place two dots on either side of the light turquoise section.
Right: Add some PIZZAZZ. I used a polish that has large, multicolored hexagonal glitter suspended in a clear base for this. Pick up one glitter flake with a toothpick and carefully place it on top of the black. For continuity, I picked out flakes that were the same color.
Step 6.) Add some additional detail to the wings:
With the same copper polish as before, use a small paintbrush (mine is a signature brush) to add lines that mimic the curved edges of the turquoise polish. This looks the best if the lines are thicker at the base and then taper a bit at the ends. To do this, get a small blob of polish on the end of your brush, place it near the cuticle, and then gently drag it upwards.
Step 7.) As always, seal in your design with a good topcoat!
Products Used:

Illamasqua "Viridian", Pure Ice "Fast Lane", Kiss Nail Art Paint in black, Butter London "Two Fingered Salute", Sally Hansen "Blackout", O.P.I "The Living Daylights"
Base and Topcoat: NailTek Foundation II and Seche Vite
I hope you guys try this one out, and thanks for reading!  


  1. I do not like bugs, but this is adorable. Congratulations!