ColorBlock Nail Inspiration

The September issue of InStyle magazine has a lovely beauty feature called Nailing The Season and I fell in love with this colorblock nail look. Nail polish designs have been having a moment for quite some time but I tend to lean more toward the simpler looks. I’m really drawn to the lack of uniformity and the simplicity of the colorblock and I took the idea a little further by color blocking some nails while leaving others solid.
via Instyle



The inspiration manicure uses shades of green, Prabal Gurung for Sally Hansen in Loden Green and Zoya Pixie Dust in Vespa, but since I’m having a late-summer love affair with blue, I chose Julep’s Lacey and Julianne for my colorblock nail design. Lacey is a gorgeous, richly pigmented, midnight blue with a slight shimmer and it applies like a dream. Julianne is rich, creamy and soft. Love them both together and separately.


ColorBlock Nail Inspiration
Lacey and Julianne by Julep

In addition to my desire to mix it up when it comes to polish, there are a couple of other reasons I didn’t do the color blocking on all ten fingers. First, and most importantly, I’m not the ambidextrous type so there’s no way I would be able to get anything close to a clean line on my right hand.

As you can see in the image below, it’s all a little shaky. Second, my nails are not all the same length at the moment. My thumbs, which you can’t see, are only slightly longer than my nail beds because I have to be able to use my phone and long nails definitely get in the way of that. I haven’t let my nails grow this long in years and even though they are really feminine and dainty, they are getting a bit cumbersome. I’ll probably do a chop after Labor Day and start fresh for the fall.




colorblock nail for fall
Here are the DIY instructions to achieve the complete colorblock nail look:
1. Apply a thin layer of clear base coat to each nail.
2. Starting with your pinkie, paint every other nail with two coats of the lighter shade.
3. Layer bare nails with two coats of the darker shade.
4. Paint the upper half of each nail with two coats of the other shade, swiping the brush horizontally across the center of the nail before filling in the top half.
5. Apply top coat.
The Modification, AKA What I Did:
1. I alternated the placement of the colors so that on my left hand I started at the pinkie with the lighter shade and on the right hand, I started at the pinkie with the darker shade. The end result is having corresponding fingers with different colors.
2. I chose the index and middle finger on my left hand for the color blocking, leaving the remaining three fingers solid.
3. I chose the pinkie and ring finger on my right hand for color blocking, leaving the remaining three fingers solid.
Application Tip: Make sure you allow enough drying time before attempting the color blocking and before applying the top coat. Be sure to work in thin layers because four layers of polish with a base and top coat can get a little thick and won’t last as long.


ColorBlock Nail Art for Fall - colorblock nails
And, if you want to your very own Julep colors, Become a Maven and get many, many gorgeous shades.

Shop For Inspiration Colors




  1. 4 September 2014 / 8:08 PM

    This is very interesting. I love playing with nail paints but you nailed it

  2. 4 September 2014 / 12:37 PM

    Your polish inspiration is fabulous! I love the simplicity of it too as most of us might be able to pull it off. I love Julep and have a pretty impressive selection of colors from them… Hint: It's addictive.

    • 6 September 2014 / 12:16 AM

      I know! I have to actively restrain myself from getting my Maven Box every month. My polish collection is a little embarrassing.

  3. 4 September 2014 / 5:45 AM

    Love Julep nail polish. So much fun to play around with their color palettes.

  4. 4 September 2014 / 2:08 AM

    Looks really artistic 🙂

  5. 3 September 2014 / 9:02 PM

    you have a really gorgeous nails! wish i can have nails like that too

  6. 3 September 2014 / 8:55 PM

    I really love this trend! It's easy to accomplish but so pretty!

  7. 3 September 2014 / 7:10 PM

    I have crazy nail envy right now. They look so beautiful and you did a great job. *sigh..

  8. 3 September 2014 / 6:17 PM

    I love color block nails! I haven't tried them yet but I really want to!

  9. 3 September 2014 / 6:09 PM

    Your nails are gorgeous. I like the color block look, it's pretty.

  10. 3 September 2014 / 5:34 PM

    Now that is a nail design that I can handle! & I love the two colors together, they would match just about any outfit.

  11. 3 September 2014 / 5:15 PM

    Loving the color block look! I'm doing this next to my nails. Love it!

  12. 3 September 2014 / 1:08 PM

    I've heard a lot of good things about Julep. Will have to look into it. Your nails looks great!

  13. 3 September 2014 / 10:46 AM

    Wow I love the color blocking! I have never done that before but I will have to try it. Thanks!

  14. 3 September 2014 / 9:40 AM

    I never really liked black polish but you made it look really nice. I would actually try this. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 3 September 2014 / 4:43 AM

    Cute design! Big impact but without being overly complicated

    • 6 September 2014 / 12:14 AM

      Totally! I love high impact/minimal effort!

  16. 3 September 2014 / 4:09 AM

    Those are some great colors. I love the way you designed them on your nails.

    Michelle F.

  17. 3 September 2014 / 2:43 AM

    My wife loves Julep box! Personally I'm not a fan of the colors but I'm sure my wife wouldn't complain!

  18. 3 September 2014 / 1:54 AM

    It's hard for me to maintain long nails. Seeing how you made colorblock nails makes me envious.

  19. 3 September 2014 / 1:15 AM

    I don't paint my nails but they look very pretty. I will pass this on to my girlfriends.

  20. 2 September 2014 / 11:24 PM

    I really like this color blocking. I will have to try it out myself. But my nails are WAY shorter than yours.

    • 6 September 2014 / 12:13 AM

      It works for shorter nails too!

  21. 2 September 2014 / 10:56 PM

    They are pretty colors together. Your nails look great.

  22. 2 September 2014 / 9:08 PM

    Looks so pretty!!! I like the color combo you used. Your nails are so long, wish mine would grow.

  23. 2 September 2014 / 8:07 PM

    I really like this look. I could never do it- just can't seem to make myself spend that much time on nail polish. Solid color is good for me!

  24. 2 September 2014 / 7:35 PM

    Wow your nails turned out beautiful. I love the colors, they seem so fancy.

    • 2 September 2014 / 10:14 PM

      Thank you! I felt really fancy!

  25. 1 September 2013 / 1:12 AM

    Thanks Sharon! I would love to see photos if your daughter does give it a shot!

  26. 1 September 2013 / 1:01 AM

    Those nails look gorgeous! I have a daughter who is obsessed with nail polish. She would so be into this. I'm going to see if she's heard of this color blocking. I'm sure she will want to try it. I know it.

    Make It Or Fix It Yourself

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