Nail Art Tutorial: An Oscar-Worthy Mani for National Popcorn Day

by Kris Redmond | 5 Comments

According to the Internet (which is always a reliable source), today is National Popcorn Day—a day to celebrate our favorite movie theater snack! With the Golden Globes and Oscar nominations happening last week, this festive food holiday couldn’t be more perfectly timed.

popcorn nail art tutorial

To honor the light, buttery goodness that is freshly popped corn, I’ve put together this quick and easy (I promise!) mani tutorial.

Polishes and Tools:

Hope (It Girl)
Karissa (Boho Glam)
Oscar (It Girl)
Leila (Boho Glam)
Annemarie (It Girl)
Plié Wand™
Creativity Kit

Don’t have all the polishes I listed above? Don’t worry! Check the bottom of this post for a list of great alternatives. 🙂

Popcorn Mani Instructions:

Step 1: After applying a base coat (I used Julep Nail Therapy), polish your ring and middle nails with 2 coats of Hope (It Girl). Polish your other three nails with 2 coats of Karissa (Boho Glam).


Step 2: Once your base colors are dry, you can start your nail art! Dab a couple drops of Karissa (Boho Glam) onto a paper plate or piece of foil. Attach the striping brush to your Plié Wand™ and dip it into the polish, then carefully draw 4-5 thin vertical lines up the length of your ring and middle nails.


*Tip: Practice drawing your lines on a piece of paper first, so you get a feel for how much polish you need on your brush in order to get the desired thickness for your lines!*

Step 3: Glitter gradient time! I chose to start mine from my cuticle, but you could start yours from the tip of your nail if you prefer. With just a little Oscar (It Girl) on your brush, start at your cuticle and polish the glitter up toward the center of your nail. Get a little more polish on your brush, and concentrate more glitter just near your cuticle. Repeat this process until you have achieved your desired look.


*Tip: Less is more when it comes to gradients. Don’t start with too much polish on your brush – the idea is to slowly build the glitter gradient!*

Step 4: Now that your lines have had some time to dry, you can add your popcorn. Dab a couple drops of Leila (Boho Glam) onto your plate or foil. Attach the dotting tool to your Plié Wand™ and dip it into the polish. Use 3-4 dots of Leila (Boho Glam) to create popcorn shapes on your ring and middle nails. I chose to create 3 popcorn kernels on each nail, but you could make as many as you want!


*Tip: Practice creating your popcorn pieces on a piece of paper first, so you get a feel for how much polish you need on your dotter to get your desired popcorn size.*

Step 5: If you want to add the darker kernels to your popcorn like I did, dab a couple drops of Annemarie (It Girl) onto your plate or foil. Dip your dotting tool into Annemarie (It Girl) and carefully place 1-2 small dots onto each popcorn shape.


Step 6: Wait for your polish to dry completely, and then add your favorite top coat.


*Tip: It’s absolutely essential to wait until your design is totally dry before adding a top coat. If you don’t, it will likely smear (sad!). To speed up the process, I use Ta-Da drops, watch some TV or read for a while, and then apply top coat.*

And that’s it!


How are you planning on celebrating National Popcorn Day? Will you pop some popcorn at home and watch your favorite movie? Maybe head to the theater to see one of the Oscar-nominated films before the big award night next month?

I’d love to hear about your favorite kind of popcorn—and your favorite movie! Let me know in the comments below!

And if you decide to recreate this mani or come up with your own popcorn nail art to honor this salty snack, show us on Instagram or Twitter using #julepmaven!

Polish Alternatives for Colors Used Above:

Hope (It Girl): Nicolette (Bombshell), Dana (It Girl)
Karissa (Boho Glam): Claudette (Classic with a Twist), Myrtle (Classic with a Twist), Rose (Bombshell), Myriam (Classic with a Twist)—really any Julep red creme will work!
Oscar (It Girl): Diamond Theory (It Girl), Chantel (Boho Glam), Andrea (Bombshell)
Leila (Boho Glam): Catrina (It Girl), Abbie (It Girl)
Annemarie (It Girl): Winona (Classic with a Twist), Faye (Boho Glam), Rooney (Boho Glam)