Quick, Easy, Simple Manicure

When I cosplay, I like to keep my nails simple and unnoticeable, as they are in most anime and video games, but of course I want them to look nice too. Outside of cosplay, my nails are usually crazy colors and can get pretty damaged.

So here's how to do a quick manicure that looks simple and pretty, even if your nails aren't in the best condition. Your nails have to be grown out a little bit for this to work.

  • white eyeliner or nail pencil - I really recommend the nail pencil. I use a Sally Hansen 2-in-1 Nail Pencil, you can buy them at Walgreens (and possible Target and Walmart, not sure).
    • small cup of water - optional, recommended if you're using the nail pencil, unnecessary if you're using the eyeliner
  • clear nail polish - Can be a nail-strengthening polish, a base coat, or plain clear polish.
    • nude nail polish - Optional, but you can use this if your nails are really unhealthy or have an odd color, try to use a sheer one though, otherwise this might not work.


  • Take off any nail polish you already have on
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water
  • Clean out under your nails
  • Push back your cuticles - There are lots of different tools for pushing back cuticles, but I prefer to use my nails. Be gentle, if you've never done it before, it can be difficult, be patient. You may also need to clip them, but I don't recommend doing this if you've never had it done before or don't have the right tool.

Step One:
If your nails have normal coloration, use one coat of clear nail polish. Any irregular scratches or scuffs will be disguised by the polish.
If your nails have highly irregular coloration, use a base coat of nail polish, a sheer nude color, and a top coat. Wait for the polish to completely dry between coats.

Step Two:
With either the white eyeliner or the nail pencil, color underneath your fingernails. If you use the nail pencil, you have to get it wet and keep it wet, I recommend a small cup of water.
Tip: The white eyeliner will color more on your skin then your nails because that's what it was made to do. It will work, it's just messier. The nail pencil will also get on your skin, but not as much. Both will wash off.

Rinse off your hands in warm water, you don't have to pay any special attention to under the nails, the extra white should rinse of easily. If it doesn't, just leave it, it'll come off on its own. After your hands dry, you should be able to wash your hands and clean under your nails normally without the white coming off. (Though the eyeliner comes off a lot easier than the nail pencil.)
Bad picture, but this should be the end result. Kind of looks like a french manicure, but with way less hassle.
Depending on how much you work with and wash your hands or pick at your nails, this could generally last anywhere from three days to a week. I use the nail pencil, and underneath my nails ends up stained, so even if I scrub under my nails, they stay white. Usually, the clear nail polish ends up chipping off, and the white runs thin in about a week. (Note: The white eyeliner usually only lasts me about a day because it washes off easier.)


  1. Not to sound super germophobic or anything, but if you paint your nails this way, I would like to point out that you should wash your hands more often. I looooove nail polish but having it on your nails attracts more bacteria. The area beneath your nails already attracts bacteria quite a bit more then any other part of your hands, and adding nail polish doesn't help. It isn't that big of a deal. But my point is, you should wash your hands more with this method. Definitely going to try it. It seems really easy.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the idea! I will try it ^^

  3. I didn't know that Ana, thank you for sharing :) Well, I knew under your nails attracts bacteria of course. I wash my hands a lot as it is, so I didn't think to add anything about washing them more often, haha.

    I hope it works out well for both of you though!