Professional nail salons make decent money fixing the mistakes customers make while manicuring their own nails. It’s so common, that there’s no reason for anyone to feel bad about their own lackluster nail art technique. The good news is that all of these monumental nail fails create some hilarious viral images the online community can share.
These funny nail fails can also serve as cautionary tales for readers considering their own self-polishing nail art adventure, as well as those researching how to start a nail salon business with any of the nail salon franchises you can open.
What Makes for a Viral Nail Polish Fail?
Just browsing through the ridiculity of some of the following nail fails is enough to make anyone wonder, “How did that happen?” What exactly makes for a viral nail polish fail? Is it enough to be a bad nail polish design, or does it take something far more egregious? A true viral nail polish fail will boast the following characteristics:
- Sloppy polish – What could be worse than attending an important business meeting, dressed in ultra-professional attire while showing off a less-than-stellar manicure?
- Lack of grooming – Why pay for high-dollar nail art if you display it on hairy toes?
- Improper nail prep – Too many amateurs try painting their new nail polish on top of the old, faded, or chipped enamel when a professional manicurist knows nails should be clean and free of oil and dead skin.
- Failure to clip – Long nails can be pretty, but they can reach a point where the attractive factor transforms into one of gnarly malformation, so trimming nails is paramount to avoiding nail fails.
- Brittle nails – Nothing screams, “nail fail” like a set of broken, peeling fingernails. Avoid dry and brittle nails by not biting them and eating a diet high in iron.
- READ MORE: How to Start a Nail Salon Business
Best Ever Nail Fails
Looking for some of the best-ever nail fails? You won’t know whether they’re more hilarious or horrifying when you see these atrocious manicure and pedicure designs, but you’ll crack a smile at the very least.
It was a lovely idea, but the execution of this nail art wasn’t quite up to par. At least the manicurist got the color right, and you can still decipher a snowman if you turn your head the right way.
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2. Nail Polish Remover Won’t Help
Sometimes a nail fail is so horrific the only solution is to use plenty of nail polish remover and start from scratch. We certainly hope this not-so-subtle marble design wasn’t the work of a professional nail artist.
This manicure customer headed to the nail salon envisioning a bold and trendy gradient nail art design. Little did they know their nail artist didn’t have the same inspiration.
Caviar beads are a popular adornment for modern nail art, but applying them in a professional-quality design is easier said than done. Of course, this amateur manicurist discovered that challenge a little too late…
5. Black Polish (or White Polish)
Applying black polish with white polish creates striking nail art that gets noticed. Like so many other endeavors, however, the devil is in the details. Without the steadiest of hands, your inspiration might become yet another nail fail, like this example.
6. Acrylic Nail Fails
Please, tell us these acrylic nail fails weren’t completed by a professional nail artist! To avoid a major nail fail, make sure you do your homework before applying your own acrylic nails.
7. Polka Dots
The nail artist who polished these cute fingertips did a great job on the base coat and glitter, but the polka dots smeared into a storm of bright green and blue. Avoid a similar nail art fail by making sure you’re polishing is properly cured.
8. Nail Polish on Cuticles
If you have unsteady hands, you might be in store for a terrible nail fail if you try to polish your own fingernails. This amateur nail artist found out the hard way when they smeared nail polish all over their fingertips.
Nail Art Fails
Nail art designs can be tantalizing for fashionistas looking to make a statement, but they generally are not something that should be tried at home. To avoid an embarrassing nail art fail, find a trusted professional and don’t hesitate to look at samples of the artist’s work.
9. Gel Nail Polish Fails
Gel polish can help create a beautiful manicure, but it’s important to let it dry completely and not apply it too thick. Too often, people give themselves a home manicure with gel nail polish and the results look something like this nail fail.
10. Puzzle Pieces
A puzzle pieces nail art design was all the rage in recent years, but the complicated details of the presentation could create significant challenges for self-polishers. This nail art might be better reserved for a professional.
11. Accent Nail
Who doesn’t love a standout accent nail to highlight their manicure? This nail fail is all wrong for multiple reasons, not excluding the sloppy accent that looks like a bottle of polish was spilled onto it.
It takes skill and experience to adequately apply a hound head design with nail polish. The concept of this nail art design was fun enough, but the execution leaves much to be desired.
13. Excessive Nail Art
This bride obviously loves her acrylics, but someone should tell her about having too much of a good thing. This nail art design would look so much better if she trimmed off some of that excess fingernail.
14. Hairy Toes
If you’re going to take the time to meticulously paint your toenails, you might consider shaving the hair off of your toes. The bright blue nail polish in this nail fail creates a pretty picture, but the overall effect is somewhat distracting.
15. Extra Long Fingernails
Yikes! Is it Halloween, or does this woman really need to clip her fingernails? If you want to avoid looking like Freddy Krueger, be sure to have the right tools and keep your nails tidy.
16. Creepy Nail Art
We suppose it was the objective, but this nail fail looks like someone encountered a nail-biter named Jaws. On second glance, a nail artist skillfully manicured the nails to resemble a Swiss Army knife, but it sure takes a second to figure that out in this fun design!
- READ MORE: 10 Nail Salon Franchises You Can Open
Tips for ‘Nailing’ Success
Those were some frightening nail fails! On the bright side, no matter whether you polish your nails at home or get services from a professional nail salon location, a few simple tips will help you ensure a professional fingernail presentation:
- Keep it natural – Remember, just like your makeup choices, your nail polish designs should be simple, elegant and somewhat natural for a professional setting.
- Use quality brushes – To achieve salon-worthy results when you polish your nails, invest in quality nail polish brushes. Try some better brushes, and watch your nail art improve.
- Moisturize your nails – By soaking and moisturizing your nails and nail beds, you help your nails from breaking and improve the appearance of your cuticles.
- Avoid rough emery boards – Old-fashioned emery boards can be harsh on fingernails, causing damage that can result in torn and broken nails. Try using nail files with a smooth, fine texture, then file slowly and evenly in one direction to reduce breakage.
- Don’t bite nails – You’ve probably heard this before, but picking and biting at nails and cuticles can lead to damage and even infection of your nail bed, leading to a grotesque example of a nail fail.