Mixed Metal Mani: A Nail Tutorial Starring Two-Tone Silver and Gold

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Nails

Earlier this year when I met with Rob, a personal stylist at Nordstrom, one of the things we chatted about was metal — that is, mixing metal accessories.


I was drooling over a pair of shoes with silver accents at the time and wondered about incorporating gold and silver jewelry into the outfit. Rob said, “Sure!” He thought that mixing silver and gold was a cool and modern way to update a look.

I remembered Rob’s metallic moxie this week while trying to figure out something fun to do with my nails. I wanted something festive that wasn’t red and green, so I figured, how about silver and gold? πŸ™‚

It’s a little quirky, but that’s one of the things I like about it, and I can see myself wearing this with various shiny baubles all year round.

Are you ready?

First, I painted my nails with a clear base coat to create a nice, smooth surface for the following steps. Next, I applied two layers of the color I chose for the silver background, Icicle by China Glaze.

Once Icicle dried, I reached for my stickers — punch-hole reinforcement stickers, the office supply kind (I got these at Target) — and applied them about halfway down each nail.

Here, “careful” and “gentle” are the operative words. I was careful to gently position and press the stickers into place, making sure they were firmly in position. I learned the hard way (screwed something like this up once before) that it’s also a good idea to wait a few extra minutes before applying the stickers to make sure that the background color is completely dry; if it’s wet at all, the stickers might peel part of the background color when they’re removed.

With the stickers stuck, I painted the portion of each nail above them with two coats of my golden shade, Champagne Bubbles by China Glaze.

I let that dry, and then — deep breath — gently removed the stickers.

Ta-da! Two-tone nails. πŸ™‚

And to help them last as long as possible, I finished with a shiny top coat.

You could certainly switch up the color scheme here, maybe going with gold as your background color and silver on your tips, or you could bring the bling by layering a silver or gold glitter over the entire nail.


If you like the sound of that, here are a few polish ideas: Shake Your Groove Thing by Lippmann, As Gold as it Gets or Set in Stones by Essie, or Blonde Bombshell by China Glaze.

Fun! If you decide to give this or something like it a try, take a picture or two (or three!), and link or tweet them to me. I’d love to see.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Friday is mere minutes away, and I can smell the sweet relief! Tabs has been in diva overdrive this week, and my @ss is beat. Time for this tired gal to catch some Zs…


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So far, 28 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Karen B says:

    I might do this with some glitter… I’m wearing a dark burgundy at the moment and might just do the tips with Ruby Slippers from China Glaze…
    Also: I can’t believe I didn’t follow your blog on Bloglovin’ yet. A mistake which as of now has been rectified πŸ™‚
    Karen B recently posted … 9 days to Christmas

  2. Denise says:

    These are so cute! Thanks for the tutorial Karen. Fantastic idea using the punch hole stickers πŸ™‚
    Denise recently posted … Turn Back Time with Mary Kay’s TimeWise Microdermabrasion Step 1: Refine

  3. marisol says:

    I’ve tried this method & i am too impatient. I gotta give them another try. I really like how they look.
    marisol recently posted … Bay to Breakers

  4. Paris B says:

    I love this one Karen and I love it even more that you used the punch hole stickers instead of conventional nail stickers! πŸ˜€ Brill!

  5. Sonya says:

    Wow, that’s lovely! I love the color combination too – so chic. I will have to try this!
    Sonya recently posted … Nail Polish Hodgepodge Vol II – Studio M, RBL, Color Club, Laura Mercier, Wet n Wild, Zoya, NerdLacquer

  6. Lacey says:

    Gorgeous!!! πŸ™‚
    Lacey recently posted … REVIEW: NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara

  7. Chris25 says:

    Ooh, I like this! I never thought to use reinforcement stickers. I used to use Scotch tape, but it kept falling off the nail. :/

  8. I’ve tried this before too, it’s a great way to fix a mani that’s on the way out πŸ˜‰ btw…where did you get that RING…LOVES IT!!

  9. Yelena says:

    great idea with the punch whole stickers~!

  10. Nina says:

    so gorgeous and seems so easy!

    what is great about this is you can change up the color combo — red and green, black and gold, etc etc!

  11. Cute manicure, Karen! πŸ™‚ I like the colours you chose to pair together.
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nail Art Tutorial: Candy Cane Nails

  12. Carmela says:

    How timely is this post? I was just trying to figure out a way to salvage my current mani since I’ve only worn it for a couple days but have a bit of wear and chipping at the tips. This would be a quick and easy way to camouflage the damage and revive the mani for the weekend! Thanks for the tutorial, Karen! πŸ™‚
    Carmela recently posted … Nubar Reclaim helps you reclaim the (holographic) magic of the holidays

  13. Kasey says:

    EPIC, that was one of the smartest ways I’ve ever seen to do french tips, I bet you it could work in reverse if you wanted to do a half moon design. Those little “binder ring sticker thingys” are being added to my Target list πŸ™‚
    Kasey recently posted … Splurge vs. Steal: Sears

  14. Jenna says:

    Love this, Karen!

  15. Naomi says:

    Genius Idea! I’m trying this out today!!!!! Yippie

  16. gio says:

    Love it, the colors are beautiful!
    gio recently posted … How To Grow Out Your Fringe

  17. Sarah says:

    Karen! I love this idea…love the two tone color and that ring you have on just made it pop even more.

  18. Angel says:

    Clever girl!!! I’m on my way to Target right now to get those hole stickers LOL! What a great idea Karen! πŸ™‚

  19. Vonvon says:

    Gold and silver…. Lovely!
    Vonvon recently posted … Random Post: Friday Crunchie

  20. peach_ says:

    What a cool idea! I’ve always done French with nail stickers, but making the curve halfway up the nail looks really cool. I’d love to try mixing metals!
    peach_ recently posted … Julep Nail Vernis Diane

  21. Thanks for the tutorial, I definitely have to try this.
    Beauty and the Scientist recently posted … Tag – Nail Polish Collection/Stash

  22. Amanda says:

    OMG OMG! The nails are gorgeous.. But even more-so I have to know where you got that ring? It’s absolutely fierce and sexy.

  23. Insidious says:

    I like this!!! Iam going to try this with black and silver. When I first look at the photo I thought it was done by a nail salon, but it is so simple to do for such a unique look. You learn something new everyday!!! πŸ™‚

  24. Ru says:

    Punch hole reinforcement stickers- that’s brilliant!!!

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