Mardi Gras is a carnivalesque holiday and pop culture phenomenon that celebrates spring and fertility with elaborate parades, costuming and art. This March 5, get in the spirit by creating festive nail art that will make your clients feel like they’re in the Mardi Gras capital of the world: New Orleans, Louisiana. Here are three Mardi Gras nail designs that are sure to make your clients exclaim, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
Drag Marble — New Orleans Style
The Mardi Gras colors, purple, green and gold, can be traced back to the first parade in 1872. Representing justice, faith and power, respectively, purple, green and gold offer endless combination opportunities.
For a show-stopping look, combine the shades using a drag- or water-marbling technique. There are several ways to achieve the perfect marble, but for this look, start with a gel base, and then apply the Mardi Gras colors in alternating horizontal stripes. Use a wooden stick — a cocktail stirrer will do — to pull the colors together vertically, creating an eye-catching marbled look. Cure the polish, and then seal it with a topcoat.
The fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily associated with the French monarchy and a symbol of New Orleans pride. To create this royal graphic, start with a purple, green or gold base. Add glitter to a nail or two, and decorate a couple nails by adhering stones or crystals. Use acrylic paints and a fine-pointed brush to hand-paint the fleur-de-lis directly onto the cured base coat of one or more nails. If time isn’t on your side, apply stickers to the cured paint to achieve the same look.
Inspired by Beads
In the 1800s, necklaces made of glass beads were tossed into the crowds, and they quickly became a hit during the following celebrations. Today, you can see colorful beads all over New Orleans and other cities, as revelers everywhere celebrate in style.
To design the perfect bead-inspired look, use chunky glitter and rhinestones. Start with a base coat and add large, circular particles of glitter to the nail and stones of various sizes to the lunula. Once you seal with a topcoat, your client will feel like they’re strolling down Bourbon Street.
The opulence of this carnival holiday lends itself to creativity and artistry, so practice some of these Mardi Gras nail designs and get ready to celebrate on March 5. All you need is a little holiday spirit and your favorite nail tools.