Hey varlings, this tutorial is something a little different… nail art themed around the characters of The LEGO Movie. The characters we’ll be using as our inspiration are Benny (aka “1980-something Space Guy”), Emmet, Lucy (aka “Wyldstyle”), and the Bad Cop.
Have short nails? Never fear! This look actually works even better on short nails as you can do just the heads, which looks really cute and it a lot less work.
I personally use China Glaze, Essie, OPI, and Hawley range polishes, but you are welcome to use any brands you like according to your needs and resources. These were just the colours that I had, so some of the colours aren’t as closely matched as they could be! If you’re limited for polishes, this look can also be done with acrylic paint if you seal it with a no-chip clear coat. Do not use Permanent Markers, though, as they will stain your nails and can be harmful to your nail plate.
- Base yellow polish. I used China Glaze’s Lemon Fizz. OPI’s Banana is almost the same colour.
- Nail art brushes, nail art pens, or thin brushes.
- Nail polish remover and cotton tips for any polish that might get on your skin.
- Black polish for details. I used Essie’s Licorice.
- Brown polish (Emmet’s hair, Wyldstyle/Lucy’s freckles, and neck lines on longer fingernails). I used Hawley’s Brown.
- Royal blue polish (Benny’s helmet). I used China Glaze’s Frostbite.
- White polish (Bad Cop’s helmet, Wyldstyle/Lucy’s eyes, and teeth). I used China Glaze’s White On White.
- Pink polish (Wyldstyle/Lucy’s hair and clothes). I used Electropop Wicked Style.
- Silver or grey polish (Bad Cop’s aviator’s, and zippers on clothing). I used China Glaze’s Kiss My Glass and Hologlam Cosmic Dust.
- Optional: red polish (open mouths). I used Hawley’s Red.
- Optional: light blue polish (Wyldstyle/Lucy’s hair and clothes, but this can be done with the royal blue from Benny). I used Poolside Towel Boy Toy.
- Optional: orange polish (Emmet’s hi-vis safety vest). I used OPI’s Atomic Orange.
Ensure your hands and nails are clean, with any existing polish removed. I recommend having a clear base coat under your work, both to prime the surface and to stop the yellow polish from staining your nails. Then start by painting all nails with your base yellow colour. Wait for this to dry before continuing. You can then jump back and forth between the characters on different nails to keep painting while you wait for your work to dry; it is a lot faster! Don’t worry if you make mistakes, you can always paint over them or use your nail polish remover and start again.
- I began by using the blue polish to paint in his helmet shape, leaving a squoval window of your yellow base colour to be his face. Don’t forget to add his little break at his chinstrap! If your nails are longer, you may need to include his chest.
- Using your black polish and your thin brush or nail art pen, add two dots for eyes. They should be halfway up/down the face window.
- Now the mouth is really up to you, you can use your black polish to make a simple smile, or you can go for another look such as a toothy grin or an open mouth like I’ve done here. I began with the black polish to draw a lopsided crescent moon outline to be his mouth shape, then drew an ellipsis at the bottom of his mouth to be his tongue, and filled the rest of the mouth in black.
- After the mouth dried, I filled the ellipsis in with red polish to look more like a tongue.
- Now my helmet looked a little too peaked, so I painted over the top portion of it with my light blue to make it look a little better, but this may not be necessary.
- I began with brown polish to paint in his hair shape, which is a bit of an odd shape, but can be replicated a little more easily if you do it in stages. He wears his side part on his left (our right), so starting from the top right, sweep slightly downwards to the left. Then add two little sideburns to both sides (ovals or squovals work fine). Where the right sideburn meets his part line, make this point a soft curve by drawing a c-shape in and filling the gap.
- Using your black polish, add two dots for eyes. They fall roughly at the same level as the bottom of his sideburns.
- Again, the mouth is really up to you. I began with white polish to draw a jellybean shape, and then when it was dry I outlined it in black polish (it’s easier to paint dark colours over light colours, than it is to paint light colours over dark colours) and added two little lines on either side to suggest teeth.
- It’s up to you if you want to add black polish lines to his hair to suggest its texture, following the shape of its “swoop”.
- If your nails are longer, add a horizontal brown polish line where the bottom of his head would be. This will become his neck. Now add two short vertical brown lines for the sides of his neck; roughly halfway between each of his eyes and sideburns as a point of reference. At the bottom of his neck, use your silver polish or grey polish to draw another vertical line for his collar. Under this you want a downwards-pointing triangle in white polish to be his undershirt, and it should only be about 50% the width of the collar, sitting at its center. Either side of his undershirt triangle, going from the sides of his silver/grey collar, use your blue polish to create to his collared shirt, and when dry, add the collar lines in black polish. Last but not least, use your orange polish to fill the rest of his body with his work vest. Feel free to add a colour behind him to make him really stand out.
Wyldstyle / Lucy
- Using the same technique as Emmet’s hair, use your black polish to create Lucy’s fringe, but in place of Emmet’s sideburns you need to create the bangs at the side of her face. They are inwards-pointing curves, and will need to be done in a swooping pattern.
- Fill in the black of her hair, ideally leaving a gap for the pink and blue streaks to fill. If you forget to leave the gap struggle with it, that’s okay, you can paint over it with your other polishes, it just won’t be as flat and may need longer drying time.
- Use your pink polish and blue polish to create the wave – the blue should be the colour closest to her eyes, and the pink should be closest to your knuckle.
- Using your black polish add two dots for eyes, but make them larger than Benny’s and Emmet’s as you will be adding a glimmer to them later. Her eyeliner can be done as a small wing above the right eye, with her eyebrow above it in the same polish.
- Use your pink polish to draw on her lips – some people will find it easier to begin with her top lip line and then do her bottom lip and fill the difference, while others will find it easiest to draw a horizontal line or smile and then build it above and below from there. Use whichever technique is easiest for you, and when you’re happy with this, add a thin line separating the top and bottom lips using either your black or brown polish.
- With your brown polish, add small dots for her freckles. Three on each cheek is probably the maximum you’ll be able to do, like the apices on a triangle.
- On longer nails: Add the brown polish neckline like you did for Emmet. Then draw a wide, downwards-pointing arrow in your pink polish to be the collar piping of her hoodie. Fill the rest of her body with black polish. When the black polish is dry, use your pink polish and your blue polish to add the patterns on the left side of her chest (our left). It may be easiest to draw a messy “W” or “N”.
- Paint a white polish crescent moon for the top of his helmet.
- When the white polish is dry, draww a straight horizontal line in black polish for the bottom of his helmet, and then fill the gap between that line and your white polish in with the black. Using the same polish add ear flaps to the sides of Bad Cop’s head, similar to Emmet’s sideburns.
- Instead of eyes, use your silver or grey polish to draw two almond or teardrop shapes for Bad Cop’s aviator lenses. They should point upwards and towards the middle of his face, with their widest ends downwards and outwards. If you have variety in your polish collection you can add shine using lighter shades, but this isn’t necessary.
- Add a small horizontal line of black polish for the bridge of his glasses between the lenses, and then two more black lines for the arms of his glasses.
- Again, his mouth is up to you. For mine I drew a scowl in black polish.
- On longer nails: Add the three brown polish neck lines like you did for Emmet, then draw a black polish horizontal line for his shoulders. Fill his uniform in black. As with Emmet, you give him a background colour to brighten him up. You can add details to his uniform using silver/grey polish, such as a zipper, badge, radio, etc.
And that’s it! Your nail art is complete. Of course with a little imagination you can use these techniques to make other LEGO characters to suit your personal tastes (e.g., LEGO Batman). It’s also possible to create LEGO brick nails in bright, bold colours. These can be done with stacked sequins, nail art rubber, or even the rubber erasers from Pacers (mechanical pencils) cut to size to be the studs and stuck to the nail with nail glue or clear polish. They should be evenly-spaced in rows of two (you may need 4, 6, 8, according to the length of your nail). When they are fully adhered, paint over them with your brightly-coloured polish. This looks best on square nails, but translates well to squoval. You won’t have quite the same effect on almond or stiletto nails. If you’re not confident making them yourself, the ones above are acrylic tips from the Block Heads range by House Of Holland and are available retail.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to see me cover a certain topic in the future, please let me know.
Until next time, SEW SAY WE ALL.