Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tutorial: Coffin Stiletto Nails


When I saw this cute coffin manicure on Instagram, I thought I'd have a go at doing something similar, and I put together a quick tutorial for you ghoulish gals out there who'd like some creepy coffin claws of your own.

I recently bought this kit of stiletto shaped press-on nails off of Amazon, and holy crap am I impressed! The first time I gave myself a manicure using these, I was able to go 13 full days without breaking a single one! Keep in mind I type 8+ hours a day, so I'm definitely not very gentle on my nails. I'm always happy when I can keep a set on for a full week, let alone nearly two! The kit comes with 500 nails in 10 different sizes, so it's a total steal for $10.00  This is the only set of stiletto-shaped nails I've stumbled across, and I can't recommend them enough. I used these nails to complete this tutorial.

I have my own method for painting and applying press-on nails that probably deserves it's own post, but I'll try my best to show you how I do them in this tutorial. My method provides you with perfectly painted nails that can all be decorated/drawn on with your dominant hand. Huzzah! This means you'll never have one hand that looks fabulous and another that looks atrocious again!

Nail polish: Black, white, red, matte coat and top coat
Scotch tape
5 pens, pencils or nail dotting tools
Nail glue (I recommend this one)
Nail file
Cuticle stick



1. Pick out the nails you need in the appropriate size for each finger (duh). 

2. Roll 10 small pieces of Scotch tape so that they are sticky on both sides and press one onto each end of a curved object, such as a nail dotting tool, pencil or pen. Stick one nail to each piece of Scotch tape, as shown, and press down firmly to make sure they stay in place. This will allow you to paint and embellish the nails much easier and make giving each coat/step time to properly dry a breeze. You'll just peel them off the tape and glue them on when everything's completely dry. Genius, I know. 


3. Paint two coats of black onto each of the nails, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. 

4. Apply the matte top coat to each of the ring fingernails. Allow time for it to dry completely. 

5. Draw a coffin shaped outline on each of the ring fingernails. You can do this with a thin brush or dotting tool. 


6. Draw a cross shape using white nail polish in the center of each coffin outline. 

6.5 (Optional) Once the nails are completely dry, flip them over and carefully paint the undersides with the red polish. This way, the red will show above the tips of your fingers. I also clipped off the tips on the ring fingers to give them a more coffin-esque shape like the inspiration nails had. It just gives this manicure something awesome and extra, but it's totally up to you ;)


7. While your press-ons are drying, trim your natural nails and clean up your cuticles. 

8. Rough up your nails a little using the nail file. Be careful not to be too aggressive in filing, you just need a little bit of texture for the glue to adhere to. Trust me, it will make your nails stay a lot longer!

9. Apply a small amount of glue onto one of your pinkie nails. Apply the matching press-on and slide it down so it presses back against your cuticle at the base of your nail. Hold it down for a few seconds to make sure it sticks. Repeat on your other pinkie. 

10. Repeat step 9 until all of your nails are applied, working from your pinkies inward toward your thumbs. 

11. Apply a gloss top coat to all but your ring fingers and you're done!


My nails were super sharp, so I ran a file across the tip of each one just to dull them a bit. Depending on the brand of nails you use, you may need to do this as well if you don't want to poke your own eyes out while putting on eyeliner.

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial, and since it was my first, I hope it was easy enough to follow along with. If you have any questions or need clarification on steps, just leave a comment below!

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