Constellation Nails: An Astronomically Accurate Manicure

Must-try nail art for any well-versed stargazer (or fans of holographic stuff)!
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Wendy
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Must-try nail art for any well-versed stargazer (or fans of holographic stuff)!

Even though they're super cool and I'll forever have a place for them in my heart, galaxy nails have reached the point where they're overdone. Yeah, I said it.

RIP galaxy nails. <3 These took about four hours and 25 polishes, FYI.

RIP galaxy nails. <3 These took about four hours and 25 polishes, FYI.

Still, my fondness for the expansive universe remains forever wanting. I may or may not have parts of Sagan's Pale Blue Dot memorized, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend a decent chunk of my time looking at images of space or staring up into the sky on any given clear night. There's a sort of calmness evoked from feeling so small and meaningless.

On a camping trip about two years ago--smack dab in the middle of nowhere--I was able to make out the faint outline of the Milky Way with my bare eyes. I couldn't help but reach out and grab the dirt beside me as if I had to hold on, lest I float away into the abyss. And no, I wasn't on drugs. (However, my husband does have a story about how he was doing the same, years ago, on LSD, and he and his friend were moving the stars together with only their eyes. The imagery of that has always stuck with me.)

Planet nails I did a while back to prove my fascination with outerspace. A little messy, but still cool.

Planet nails I did a while back to prove my fascination with outerspace. A little messy, but still cool.

Anyway, like any creative person, I allow the things I'm impressed by to inspire me. In this specific case, it's my nails that show the end results. And since galaxy nails are "so last year," I decide to make my next space-related mani all about constellations.

Gather these supplies.

Gather these supplies.

What you'll need: some black nail polish, five brightly colored polishes that will show up against black, a nice metallic polish and a holographic glitter top coat. For application, you'll want a nail art brush and a dotting tool. You can use the tip of a pen or pencil in place of a dotting tool.

Feel free to stray from these constellations for your own designs.

Feel free to stray from these constellations for your own designs.

OK, so let's be honest. You could probably arbitrarily place dots all over your fingernails and make up some constellation name and nobody would know the difference, but we're gonna go about this the legit way and use real constellations for our inspiration. Above, I've drawn out a mix of complex and easy designs you can use. You can also search the web for constellations of your sign, etc.

This is the best black nail polish (and it's cheap).

This is the best black nail polish (and it's cheap).

First thing's first: paint your nails black. My favorite black nail polish ever is Rimmel London's Lasting Finish Pro in Black Satin because it has a fat brush for easy application and it's not streaky or thin. One coat usually suffices.

Best silver polish ever.

Best silver polish ever.

It's hard to find a silver metallic polish that isn't too sheer, but imma let you in on my secret weapon: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Silver Sweep.

Don't overthink the dots.

Don't overthink the dots.

Using your silver metallic polish and a dotting tool, apply the "stars" on your nails. I suggest practicing on a piece of paper once or twice.

I kind of like how this looks alone...

I kind of like how this looks alone...

Accent nails! This will create a little more depth, but isn't necessary.

Accent nails! This will create a little more depth, but isn't necessary.

You don't have to, but I decided to be all fancy-schmancy and do an accent nail with some wee gemstones. I'm using some from the KISS Disney Villains Nail Art Kit in Maleficent. (These sets are amazing, by the way. They come with lots of glitter, stickers, gems, nail beads, nail tape, a nail brush and a mini top coat).

Once you've got all your "stars" applied, it's time to make like a 2nd grader and connect the dots.

Once you've got all your "stars" applied, it's time to make like a 2nd grader and connect the dots.

You can use a nail brush dipped in polish. Alternatively, try a nail art pen. I prefer the former, but you do what works best for you.

Finished connecting!

Finished connecting!

I give you creative freedom here to use whatever combination of colors you prefer. You could go with all one color, alternate two or use a different polish on each nail as I did. The colors I used are: Floss Gloss "Wavepool," Polish & Co. "Any Place Any Time," Zoya "Arizona," Sinful Colors "Neon Fusion" and Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear "Mellow Yellow." You'll want to use a very fine nail art brush for this.

Oooh, sparkles!

Oooh, sparkles!

Now, you can stop after you've finished connecting your stars, but I personally think the look isn't complete without some holographic glitter top coat action. It gives your nails a more three dimension vibe and looks more universe-inspired.

I used the aptly named "Northern Lights" hologram top coat by INM. If you don't own this polish yet, I cry for your poor, poor soul. Buy it!

And here's the finished result:

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These really didn't take too long to do and the end result is super-impressive.

I want to know what you think about them and if you plan to try them!