How You Can Create Winter Icicle Nails in 4 Easy Steps

The biggest nail art trend over the past couple of months seems to have been the Winter Icicle nail design. I visit Instagram everyday and without a doubt, nearly every other post in my feed has been a beautiful, icy creation and it has inspired me to give it a go for myself.

However, this is the all new Nail Art Masterclass Series! So instead of doing my usual *create a design, list the products and go* routine, I’m going to take you through each and every step giving any little hints and tips I think that you might find useful. I’m approaching these posts with the mindset that I’m chatting to a complete nail art newbie, so that hopefully I don’t miss anything out.

So, first things first. Pop on a base coat…

Step 1 - The Base

Yes, yes, you mustn’t forget this step. Not only will it help to prevent staining to the nail, but it will also encourage your polish to stay on longer. Also, if your base coat happens to be a treatment like mine is, you are actually feeding the nails some goodness too.

My go-to base coat is by Leighton Denny. It is the One For All polish and you will probably see a lot of this product throughout my nail related posts. I highly recommend it, definitely worth investing in.

I apply two swift coats, remembering to wrap the nail tips too and allow to dry.

Applying your polishes over the nail tips will help to prevent any chipping, shrinking (when the polish seems to shrink back from the tip showing the white of your nails beneath) - just overall prolongs your manicure.

Also, I find it’s always best to let each and every coat you apply dry - from the base coat to the top coat - my nails always turn out the best when sticking to this ‘rule’.

Step 2 - Add some colour

Here is where we can start adding some colour. When I think of Winter Icicle nails, I envision pastel blue and silver holo glitters…

If pastel blue isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, just swap it out for your colour of choice.

I’ve used Leighton Denny’s Cool Blue today. To start off with I apply one generous coat, allow to dry, then add a second, all the while remembering to wrap it over the nail edge.

It’s not very often that I get a perfectly clean and rounded off result around the cuticles on the first go, but it’s nothing to worry about as we can tidy up with a nail brush and a bit of acetone.

Normally I would advise to stay clear of pure acetone, but to be honest it’s a nail artist’s dream! I couldn’t work without this magic in a bottle, and its super cheap to buy on Amazon. If you are going to be using this, it’s important to put the moisture back into your skin with a cuticle oil or nail cream as it is very stripping. Only do this at the very end of your manicure though as adding any oil/cream will act as a barrier for any more polish you may want to add…

Whenever I’m doing my nails, I pour the smallest amount into the lid and dip the rounded clean up brush in for any tidying up that needs doing. The brush is also cheap as chips to pick up, you can find it over on Beauty Big Bang. I’ll pop some handy discount codes for some of these products at the end of the post.

Once your colour has dried and you’re happy with any tidying up that needed doing, you’re ready for the next step…

Step 3 - Create Your Winter Icicles

To give the design more of a 3D effect, I decided to make use of some loose silver holo glitter that I have by Reflection by Emily Charlotte.

You will need something to work from, I use a silicone mat from Beauty Big Bang, but you could use a yogurt lid or something similar - something that you don’t mind getting glitter and polish over.

Pour a small amount of a clear polish (not fast drying) onto your mat/surface, and mix equal amount of loose holo glitter into it. I used the One For All polish mentioned in the first step.

Mix it together using a detail brush or dotting tool - you could even use a bobby pin. I’ve used a double ended tool, one side has a brush, the other a dotter. I bought a set of these that included all different sizes from Beauty Big Bang, but you could probably get something similar from Amazon.

My preference for applying the glitter was to begin with the dotter around the cuticles, then switch to the brush for carefully and lightly drawing on the icicles.

Work little by little, keep dipping in and out of your mix of glitter and clear polish as needed.

If the combination of glitter and clear polish starts to get gloopy and hard to manipulate, don’t panic, just clean off your brush with a cotton round and whip up a new mix! The key is to take your time.

You may notice that some of those cheeky glitters worked their way into my cuticles…not a problem, they can be tidied up with the brush and acetone same as before. There are other ways to keep the cuticles tidy whilst painting your nails and creating messy designs such as using a latex cuticle protector liquid, or you can now even buy individual peel off jackets for around the cuticles. I prefer to just use the clean up brush and acetone method as it feels much quicker with less fussing around - in my opinion anyway.

Repeat this process for all of the nails you want icicles on.

You might decide that you only want this on one accent nail? You can make the design your own, make tweaks as you see fit and make it unique to you.

Either way, allow the glitter to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 4 - Seal it all in

I always choose a fast drying top coat. Mainly for saving time, but I also find that they tend to make your nails extra glossy, almost gel-like.

My favourite fast drying top coats are by Seche Vite and Glisten and Glow. They both work as well as each other.

Again when adding your top coat, wrap it over the nail edge - I know I’m repeating myself here but I know that it’s easy to forget and it really is a top tip!

Allow to dry and pop on a cuticle oil. There are so many good oils out there, but here I have used The Elixir by Cienna Rose.

And that’s all folks!

Thats all there is to it. I’m sure I’ve covered everything in the post, but please don’t ever hesitate to ask any questions you may have in the comments below, I always respond.

I think that the only thing I could have done differently to make it look a bit better, would be to make the icicles slightly thinner and more pointy on the ends. But I’m not too offended by the end result…

How did you find this first post of the series? Was it useful? Did you like the Winter Icicle Design?

For the next instalment I’m going to take into account some of your suggestions from my insta-stories and chat about stamping.

As promised, here are some handy discount codes to some of the brands used for this design:

  • Beauty Big Bang - LEANNE (saves 10%)

  • Reflection by Emily Charlotte - Leanne15 (saves 15%)

Thank you for reading,

Love, Leanne Xx