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Question:
How can I get black and white tuxedo nails?

Answer: Handbags, jewelry, shoes—yes, we all covet them. But you don’t have to search far and wide for the best accessories when they’re right at your fingertips—literally. The perfect mani this season is a great alternative to the usual and ever-so-common brights and pastel shades for spring: the black-and-white tuxedo nail. The combination of black and white continues to prove it’s here to stay, whether in our apparel, accessories or nails. This oldie but goodie classic color combination looks great on everyone. Stripes, chevron designs or half-moon styles offer a more practical option to your everyday wear, while the tuxedo nail trend glams up your pinkies.

If an appointment to the nail salon isn’t in your budget or doesn’t fit in your busy schedule, you’re in luck because you can do this salon-approved manicure at home with the right steps and a little patience. And we’re here to help you dress up those digits with a sophisticated approach to the tux-inspired nail trend. So get ready to whip out the monochromatic paint for this simple DIY nail look.

You’ll need the following items: black and white nail polish, scotch tape, a bobby pin and a toothpick.

Step 1
Prep your nails by trimming, buffing and cutting your cuticles for a smooth and even surface.

Step 2
Apply a base coat to protect your nails.

Step 3
Paint your nails with two coats of white polish, but opt for a transparent white color to achieve an opaque look. Try Blanc from Essie.

Step 4
Once the white polish is completely dry, it’s time to create the tuxedo shirt affect. Here’s where your scotch tape comes in handy. You’ll need a small strip for each finger. Start by applying the tape at an angle with the point facing the edge or white part of your nail to achieve a V-shape. Using a toothpick to draw two lines on your nails, making sure the two lines go from the outer corner of your nails to the center tip of the nail. Fill the V-shape with two coats of black nail polish. Don’t paint the inside of the V because that’s the area for your dots and bow tie. For the perfect dark shade, Essie’s Licorice does the trick. You can also freehand with your black nail polish by painting just the tips if the angled V-look doesn’t work for you. It will resemble a cummerbund and is much easier to create than the V-shape.

Step 5
For the buttons, use the bobby pin to create at least two dots down the center of your nail with black polish. Make sure your hand is angled correctly so your dots are perfectly centered, and don’t forget to leave enough space for your bow tie.

Step 6
Once you’re finished dotting your buttons, use a toothpick to draw your bow tie. Dip the toothpick in black nail polish to draw a small X above the dots near the base of your cuticle. Connect the two ends of the X on both the left and the right side and fill it in with black polish until it turns into a bow. You’re all done once your nails are suited up and dried completely.

You’ll be getting all dressed up this season, and your nails deserve a little attention too. Have fun with this adorable tuxedo mani, sporting a full set or maybe just two accent nails.

What are some of your favorite black-and-white or tuxedo style nail designs?