Beach Week: Sandy Sea Nails

Welcome to my third annual Beach Week! I'll be sharing ideas and tips for nails, hair, and makeup. I think you'll enjoy it, and there will be something for everyone. Just wait and see! First up, I have a cute nail tutorial: Sandy Sea Nails. Enjoy.

N e e d:
Blue polish
Beige polish
Sand or salt or sugar
Nail brush, optional

D o:

Paint a coat of whatever blue you'd like your "sea" to be and allow to dry.

Decide how much "sand" you'd like and then paint a sand-colored shade of polish.
I used a brush (actually an ELF concealer brush) here.

While polish is still wet, sprinkle sand. I used salt here.
Gently pat down the sand and blow away any excess.

T r y:

  • This nail idea started years ago with a school project, where I used paint and salt instead to recreate "authentic" sea and sand for a map. The nails remind me of that--looking down at a map from above. Over the years I've used sand (playground sand is best), salt, and sugar. Beads, like those used in caviar nails, can be used if desired.
  • I like using salt or sugar as opposed to beads because it makes it more kid/pet-friendly--just in case loved ones somehow come into contact with your nails.
  • Try this on just the tips or you can reverse it.
  • There's no need for sand--just used the beige and blue polishes and paint the sand and sea.
  • I tried to keep this tutorial easy and realistic, but if you're feeling fancy, feel free to use more shades of blue or beige. I did this with the other nails. 
  • A clear top coat can be used to seal the nail art, but the effect doesn't look as realistic. 
  • This look is great for an event or you can expect it to last a day or two without a top coat.
  • Instead of blue, try mint.
  • Try it on just one nail, or as a pedi. I did this for a pool party recently on my big toe and painted the rest blue. It was cute!

How was your weekend?
Any beach visits this summer?


  1. How cute and perfect for summer! :)

  2. How cool and original is this idea!!! i love it!!!!


  3. Fun! I am going to give it a try, but will probably try to make the tips thinner.
    Good weekend here. Been to the beach yesterday, finally a warm, summery day!

  4. You always come up with such fun, creative ideas, Elle! Painting my nails just one colour is enough work for me as it is... I don't know how you do it, but I'm always impressed :)

  5. Very cool! Maybe I'll do this for beach week for Busy Girl Nails!!

  6. Love this cut sandy effect, really suits the summery theme and looks like actual sand!

  7. So creative, Elle! Have never really seen this nail art before. It's just the right "decor" for summer:D

  8. So lovely manicure ^^
    Thank you for the Tuto

    New post - Kisses

  9. I'm in love with these nails.

  10. Cute idea! You are so creative I love it!

  11. How cute! The beach and I aren't really friends (ok I like the beach and it likes me, but other people on the beach and me are not friends, lol) I still like beach-y themed things, though. How long did these last for you without top coat?

  12. you used salt, haha so cool, love the manicure!

  13. such a creative idea and great for the summer !

  14. You are sooo creative, I freaking love this!

  15. cute!


  16. i saw your nails on instagram and think they are the coolest and best for summer!

  17. That's such a great idea! :)

  18. Very clever, I've seen a lot of nail tutorials but this one is quite different!

  19. Oooo I love this idea for beachy nails! Thanks for the tips!


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