How to Do Fireworks Nails on Short Nails

Take your basic nails from drab to fab for any occasion.
... Mireya Acierto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Fireworks dot the sky on the most magical nights of the year -- Fourth of July and New Year's Eve among them. The colors of fireworks can also spice up your tired nail routine and add some sparkle in either sizzling metallic or bright neon colors. Although many nail professionals show off nail designs on long nails, short nails need just as much love and attention. Fireworks complement any length of nail and are suitable for those of you with neatly trimmed nails and those who like to keep their nails as short as possible.

Apply nail polish remover to a clean cotton pad and buff away any leftover nail polish on all your nails. This process also removes any excess natural oils left over on your fingernails.

Brush a clear base coat onto each of your nails and wait for it to dry.

Apply black or navy polish to all your nails. Sweep the color from the base of the nail up to the tip of the nail. Paint the center of the nail first and then paint from base to the tip on each side to get an even finish.

Wait for the base coat to dry completely. Apply a second coat of the base color to get a completely opaque base. Allow the second coat to dry for about 10 minutes.

Open up the two bright nail polishes. These colors can be opaque silver and gold or neon pink and orange. Experiment with color options and choose two that contrast with the dark base.

Dip the tip of a bobby pin into the first bright color. Draw a cluster of three, small dots that sit closely together with the tip of the bobby pin. These dots form the center of the firework on your first nail. The three dots can sit anywhere on the nail.

Dip a fine-point nail art brush into the second color. Draw small curved lines that extend from the three clustered dots to create a starburst effect. Draw about five lines that extend from the center dots in a gentle arched shape. These arms can reach all the way to the edge of the nail since there is less surface area on short nails than on long ones.

Dip the nail art brush into some nail polish remover to clean the brush and wipe it dry with a clean cotton pad.

Dip the nail art brush into the first bright color. Draw complementary starburst arms between the original curved arms of the firework. Take your time drawing very fine, elegant lines.

Repeat this dotting and drawing process on all your nails. Place the center of each firework starburst on a different place on each nail to create a spontaneous look.

Allow the fireworks to dry completely. Apply a clear top coat of polish to all the nails to seal in the color. Let the manicure dry completely before you do anything abrasive with your hands.

  • Wipe your styling tools clean after applying the colors to your nails. Apply a bit of nail polish remover to a cotton swab and sweep the leftover nail polish off the bobby pin. Dip the nail art brush into some nail polish remover and allow the brush to dry.
  • Remember to close all your nail polishes after you are done so they don't dry out.
  • Play with color combinations and choices to get a personal look. A white base coat works well for a summery fireworks effect.

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.