Aztec Pattern Manicure . How To-sday

November 14, 2011 separator DIY Tutorial

After my chevron nail tutorial took off, I started getting a lot of questions about the nail stamp set. Read on for answers to all those questions, and then feel free to ask your own in the comments. I’ll update the FAQs as questions roll in. 
But first – do you want to get this look yourself? These pretty little “French” tips remind me of something you’d see on a piece of pottery dug up on some archaeological dig in Mexico or Peru. Read on for the colors I used, what you need, and then the tutorial on how to use this setup. 
What You Need


What Colors I Used
  • Sally Hansen Salon in Pat on the Black ($3.87)
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme in Wet Cement ($2.67)
How to Do It

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Doesn’t it take forever to do all your nails this way?
A. This look only took me about ten minutes total, including redoing one that I butchered. Don’t get me wrong, your first few tries will be messy, smudgy, or half-missing and will take longer, but once you get the hang of it, you can whip this out in no time flat!
Q. How long does it last?
A. This is just like any other manicure. It lasts as long as you take care of it. If you’re really rough on your nails the way I am, it might only make it four days before some serious chipping. I was honestly surprised at how long my manis have lasted – even through gardening and paint projects. A second top coat a few days in will extend the life of the look. 
Q. Do you need special polish?
A. I have only ever used polish I already own. Keep in mind that you need to stamp a darker color over a lighter one if you’re using regular polish. If you want to stamp a lighter color, like white, on top of a darker one, or if you want a really sharp look, Konad makes heavily pigmented polishes
Q. I just want one design plate and don’t want to have to buy a pack of 25. 
A. Bundle Monster, the set I use, doesn’t come in individual plates. You can’t buy mine separately if you’re trying to duplicate the exact design, but you can browse Konad’s selection of individual plates. They have some very similar ones (and some really cute different ones – like polka dot French tips!). 
Q. What if the scraper scratches the plate? 
A. This is bound to happen as you scrape away the polish. Some of my plates are really scuffed up, but I assure you it hasn’t messed up the image transfers at all. It scrapes the surface, not the designs, since the designs are indented. If you’re really worried, you can use an  old gift card instead.
Q. Can you make a video tutorial? 
A. Heck no! I sound like a twelve year old. Until you actually hear my voice, you can imagine I sound very sophisticated. English, perhaps. I’d hate to shatter that illusion for you. Try YouTube instead. 


Q. What if I have really long nails? 
A. As you can see, I have short little nubby nails, so this isn’t a problem for me. I’ve heard that with longer nails, the design won’t cover the entire thing. For you, I’m terribly sorry, and I’d recommend maybe sticking with the French tip nail plate designs, like the one in this post. Still pretty!!! 
Q. What colors did you use for the chevron nail tutorial
A. I used Essie in Hot Coco ($4.80) for the stripes over Rimmel Milk Chocolate ($4.49). That Rimmel shade is maybe my favorite polish color ever, and you can only find it online now. 

More questions? Leave ’em in the comments, and I’ll keep updating the FAQs on here!


  1. What are some other heavily pigmented nail polishes other than the konad brand?

  2. What are some other heavily pigmented nail polishes other than the konad brand?

  3. Hey i dont know if you have ever heard of something called Jamberry Nails, but they are really cute like what you do with your nails and they last for 2 to 4 weeks on your hands and 4 to 6 weeks on your toes! check them out at tons of designs and fun things to play with. on that website is my email if you have any questions! Good luck!!

  4. Although this is very nice looking, you really shouldn’t be calling it “Aztec.” It isn’t clear that this is even an Aztec design and it’s always better to play it safe.

    That being said, the manicure does look good!

  5. perhaps you should reconsider the name “Aztec”, as it’s a very loose interpretation of cultural motifs – but otherwise, these look great!

  6. My friend had really cool newspaper stamped nails. I’m no good at nail painting as I am 12, but do you have an easy way to do it? Or even just a nifty trick to stop nail polish getting on the skin around the nail. Thanks so much xx

  7. Thank you so much for introducing me to nail plates! I’ve never heard of them before, but I can’t wait to try them. After reading your tutorials, I’m definitely adding some to my Christmas list!

  8. I would LOVE to try this, but I’m not really a nail polish kind of person. It IS fun to look at pretty designs, though! 😀


  9. Thanks, Hug! I definitely love mine – so much fun and so easy to change up!!!

    – Lindsay

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