Nail Art Tutorial: Reindeer Nails (Rudolph Nails)

Sunlight Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial & SwatchesIt seems like everyone’s doing Reindeer Nails (Rudolph Nails) lately, and since it’s a design I’ve never tried before, I thought there’s no time like the present!

Although I liked the way it turned out, I strongly suggest that if you replicate it, that you opt for a light-coloured background instead of a bronze shimmer like I did. (It’s better to have more contrast between the background and the antlers.)

Also, I used red heart sequins for the noses because I wanted to do something different than just dots. This proved to be both a good and bad choice. I’ll explain later on in my step-by-step tutorial featuring written instructions and photos.

Reindeer Nail Art (Rudolph Nail Art) Swatches

All swatches have:

Sunlight Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Sunlight Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Swatches & Pictures


Sunlight Rudolph Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch


Sunlight Rudolph Nail Art Nails


Sunlight Rudolph Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Sunlight Rudolph Nails Nail-Art Tutorial


Flash Rudolph Nail Art Tutorial & Swatch


Flash Easy Rudolph Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial


Flash Rudolph Nail-Art Tutorial & Swatch


Natural Light Easy Christmas Nails Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light Easy Christmas Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Sunlight Reindeer Nail Art Rudolph Nails Tutorial & Pictures


Flash Rudolph Nails Nail Art Swatches & Tutorial


Flash Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Nail Art

Flash – I know this is verrrry blurry, but I wanted to share this anyway because I liked how the heart caught the light. Looks like the nose is glowing.

Natural Light Cute Christmas Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

*~* Reindeer / Rudolph Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Cinapro Dazzle Decoration Kit (red hearts)
  2. Nubar Foundation Base Coat
  3. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  4. OPI Warm & Fozzie
  5. OPI Espresso Your Style!
  6. OPI Black Onyx
  7. China Glaze Snow
  8. Piece of foil
  9. ASP (All Season Professional) Nail Art 4 Pack Brush Set
  10. Daniel Stone Art Tool #3

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Step 2: Paint Your Nails the Base Colour

I chose OPI Warm & Fozzie from The Muppets Collection, which I went completely gaga for. However, as I mentioned in my introduction to this post, it’s better if you choose a much lighter polish so that there’ll be more contrast between it and your reindeer.

Wait about 10-15 minutes to allow this to dry a little. (It doesn’t have to be fully dry, just not super wet.)

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 2

3 coats of OPI Warm & Fozzie

Step 3: Add the Antlers

Add a few drops of brown polish onto your piece of foil. (I used OPI Espresso Your Style!) Dip your nail-art brush into it and create two slightly curves lines. Then just add shorter lines on either side. (They’ll look like tree branches.)

I know it’s hard to see in my below photo. (Choosing a lighter or creme polish is much better.)

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: Add the Reindeer’s Face

Using the brush right from your nail-polish bottle, cover slightly less than half of your nail. You may have to cover up the bottom of the antlers you just did, but that’s okay. Just be sure to leave the top ‘twig-like’ parts visible.

Wait about 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step. You want this to dry a little.

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: Start the Eyes

Add some white polish to your piece of foil and dip your dotting tool (or the end of a make-up brush handle, etc.) into it and carefully add two white dots on each nail.

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 5

Step 6: Add Rudolph’s Famous Red Nose

You could make these just regular reindeer, but I wanted to be festive, so I just had to add a red nose. And instead of using a dotting tool and putting on a red circle, I decided to bust out some nail sequins I had lying around. They’re red hearts.

I placed them on by dipping the orange stick (it came in the sequin kit) into a bit of clear top coat and using it as the ‘glue’ to hold and pick up the sequins.

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 6

Step 7: Add the Pupils

Add some black polish to your piece of foil. Dip your dotting tool in it and create small pupils over the white dots. Feel free to play with the pupil placement – you can make them look at each other or be reindeer caught in headlights like mine!

Wait a generous 20 minutes or more to allow all of this to dry more thoroughly. If you hurry now and put a top coat on, most likely, the pupils will smear badly, and we don’t want Rudolph to cry…unless he’s crying happy tears!

Reindeer Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 7

Step 8: Add a Top Coat

In this final step, the top coat will flatten the design and pull the whole look together. It’ll also smooth out the sequins a little bit so they’re not as bumpy.

Note about using sequins: One thing to note about using hard,ย inflexible sequins like I did is that on curved nails, they won’t lie flat. Also, the light will catch them all very differently depending on the angle. Keep this in mind. If you’re looking for a more uniform appearance, I suggest just using a red polish with a dotting tool. Plus, then you won’t have to be concerned about texture.

Is Rudolph your favourite reindeer from Santa’s sleigh, or do you feel that another pulls your heartstrings? Do you prefer the look of these bumpy heart sequins for noses, or will you opt for a red dot?


30 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Reindeer Nails (Rudolph Nails)

  1. maddy

    I really like this manicure but I decided to wear the penguin nails for the last day of school so I just did them before reading this post. If only I waited a few more minutes, then I’d be working on this mani right now.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      How did you like wearing the penguin nails? That design was one of my favourites, and it didn’t even take long to do – another plus!

      Well, you can still do reindeer nails later on, right? You can keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well on your nails for as long as you want! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      Aww…thank you so much for saying that! :) The nose was a bit bumpy…hehe, but I’m a sucker for cutesy heart shapes.

  2. Conni

    I might have mentioned it before, but I just love your designs.. they are so funny, cute and inspiring. They always call for a big smile on my face! Merry Cristmas to you! :)
    Conni recently posted: My Precious!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Conni!

      THANK YOU! I’m flattered that you find them inspirational. And as for funny – I really want to do way more funny designs. They make me happy when I look down and see something ridiculous – like the drumstick nail art I did before. Everyone should try it. It’s an easy way to brighten your day. :)

      Merry Christmas, Conni! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  3. karen

    Great job! Are you going to keep them thru Christmas?

    I’m glad you did so many pics because that is just too much cute for one photo! I’ve shared it will all of the girls in the office and they, too, thought it was adorable. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      Thank you! I wanted to, but then I got another idea that I had to try – Snow Bunnies (which can be easily tweaked to look like cats, actually)! I’m wearing it right now and probably will keep it for Christmas. Then afterwards, I want to wear China Glaze Party Hearty, even though it’s late. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m glad that you shared my nail art with your co-workers! ๐Ÿ˜€ Nail art should be shared and tried out by everyone…even men. Well, I don’t know how many men would try it, but…as long as something makes you happy and doesn’t hurt someone else, I think it’s all good.

      What’s on your nails today?

      1. karen

        My nails…well, since my poor cuticles bore the brunt of all the stress of moving our office, I went light in the hopes that not too many people would notice them.

        I painted them with OPI’s Pink Friday and put on some China Glaze Fairy Dust because plain cremes always look a bit unfinished to my glitter-obsessed mind. BTW, Pink Friday looks NOTHING like the promos…it isn’t a holo, but neither is it that pepto-pink that shows on the OPI site. If you can score a bottle, it might make for some adorable flamingo nails ๐Ÿ˜‰

        My dastardly plans fell through because everyone went nuts over them and even strangers were reaching out to grab my hand and touch my nails. On the upside, the lady in the gift shop where I work says that I’m largely responsible for the fact that they cannot keep the OPI polishes in stock—seems they sold out of both shipments of the Nicki Minaj line within two days and the third shipment of Muppets is nearly gone, as well. Maybe I should ask for a commission ๐Ÿ˜›

        1. Mary Post author

          I’m so disappointed that Pink Friday isn’t a holo. And I still haven’t seen it in person, either.

          Ooohh, flamingo nails sound like so much fun. I should try it!

          Yeah, I was just going to suggest that you should ask for a cut of the commission! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. karen

            Pink Friday might not be a holo, but Save Me definitely makes up for it by being absolutely loaded with long pieces of holo glitter and silver micro-glitter floating in a clear base.

            I was really hoping that they’d send you some before the release so that you could review them on your blog but it doesn’t look like OPI sent out much of anything for this collection because there are very few images available other than the company promo pics and those are never even close to being right.

            1. Mary Post author

              Definitely! Save Me is the one colour in the collection that I feel like I must have. It’s the star to me.

              I guess because this is a smaller collection and because it’s closer to the holidays, maybe they could only send information to some bloggers. I didn’t get anything from them, or I would’ve shared. Or…maybe they’re planning to send out pictures to me in January. Not sure. (They don’t actually send me entire collections like what the big bloggers get. I WISH! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m crossing my fingers that maybe they’ll send Save Me. Regardless if they do or don’t, I’m going to hunt it down in stores. It’s back-up worthy.)

              1. karen

                It will be so cool to see what you come up with when you get Save Me. The whole time I was applying it, I kept thinking that someone with more artistic vision than me would probably find a really cool way to use it.

                1. Mary Post author

                  Aww…thanks for thinking of me. :) If I’m able to find it in the store, I’ll definitely have to play around with it and see what I can come up with. I don’t have any bar glitter polishes…at least, I don’t think I do.

  4. Nicole

    These are super cute but I’m with you- I’d definitely use a light brown or I think maybe silver or gold foil would be cute. Also if you nails aren’t stained I think some crystal clear nails with reindeer on them might be cute. Regardless, I love yours. And I just wanna say- idk HOW people are getting their hands on the FP flakies and th Nicki Minaj polishes!! I’ve got to hit the stores hard post-Xmas and find me AT LEAST the NM polishes. I love her. Do you listen to her music? Anyway, this was kinda long. Im feeling chatty in my excitement over Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a Merry Christmas! Can’t wait to see your snow bunny nails. :)
    Nicole recently posted: Donโ€™t cry childrenโ€ฆ itโ€™s just a headless snowman. Lookโ€ฆ Iโ€™ll put him back together!!

    1. karen

      The OPI Nicki Minaj line wasn’t supposed to break until January, but the Lori’s Giftshop in the hospital where I work got them in last week.

      You can already get them on Amazon, as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. karen

          No kidding.

          What’s even worse is that the manager came to my office, knocked on the window to get my attention, then made that ‘painting my nails’ motion with her hands to let me know that new polish had arrived.

          She knows my weakness…drat it all! ๐Ÿ˜›

    2. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      Oh yes, a gold foil would loo so beautiful! You know, I almost was going to use one, but then, because I had previously fallen in love with OPI Warm & Fozzie, I changed my mind. Oops!

      Yeah, I haven’t seen the Fingerpaints Flakies, either yet…or the OPI Nicki Minaj collection in stores. Although, I haven’t really looked for either and I just didn’t happen to run across them. I really want OPI Save Me…beautiful!

      I like a few of her songs – they’re catchy. But I can only listen to her songs in small doses.

      MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, too!

      P.S. The snow bunnies will make their appearance on December 27th. (I’m going to wear it until then.)

      1. Nicole

        Thanks Mary! I look forward to seeing that- they sound super cute. :) And Karen- Lucky you that you have a bit of an “in” with new collections! That’s sweet. I would never think of a hospital gift shop having nail polish at all but that’s an awesome gift for young women! I did see them on Amazon… I predict an order right after Xmas ๐Ÿ˜€
        Nicole recently posted: Donโ€™t cry childrenโ€ฆ itโ€™s just a headless snowman. Lookโ€ฆ Iโ€™ll put him back together!!

        1. Mary Post author

          Hey Nicole!

          Hope you like them. :) It was my first time trying out rabbit nail art – they could pass as cats with a little tweaking.

  5. Marta

    You know, for the safety of these adorable little creatures perhaps it is a good thing that they are camouflaged a little! I would scoop them up and hug them!!!! Look at their shiny heart noses and beady little eyes!
    Another great nail art design Mary!
    Marta recently posted: Cult Nails Blackout

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Aww…just tell Hammie that he’ll still be the cutest, no matter how many other cuties try to steal the spotlight. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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