How to Do Geode Nail Art

Geode nails are one of the most popular looks of the season. Inspired by geodes, they are a combination of drab, stony gray and glistening, shimmering purple. Because of their organic nature, there is no right or wrong way to do geode nails, and they are perfect for those who don’t have a steady hand. They take a while to create, but the results are well worth the time and effort.


EditLaying Down the Base

  1. Prep your nails. Clean your nails with a manicure brush and wipe away any old polish with acetone or nail polish remover. Trim and file your nails down to a shape that suits you.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 1.jpg
    • If you don’t have a steady hand, apply some petroleum jelly to your cuticle area. This way, you can wipe it off at the end.
  2. Apply a base coat to each nail. Start by applying the base coat to just the tip of your nail first, then apply them over the entire nail. This helps further protect you nail and help the manicure last longer.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 2.jpg
  3. Paint your nails with light, stony-gray polish. This will be the base of your geodes, so make sure that it is flat and not shimmery or sparkly. Depending on how thick or sheer the polish is, you may need two coats.[1]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 3.jpg
    • Consider adds some depth to the outside edges with a darker shade of grey polish.[2]
  4. Let your nails dry. As your first coat dries, you can start planning out your geodes and setting out your supplies.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 4.jpg

EditCreating Some Sparkle

  1. Paint a thick, wavy line down your nail with sparkly purple polish. Choose a bright, gem-like purple, and stay away from dark or pastel shades.[3] The wavy line does not have to be dead-center. You can have it touch the side of your nail instead.[4]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 5.jpg
    • You don’t have to paint a geode on every nail. Try it on an accent nail, such as the ring finger.
  2. Consider adding some extra sparkle with glitter. Pour out a few drops of clear nail polish that has chunky, iridescent glitter flecks in it onto a small tray. Use a toothpick to stir in a few pinches of light and dark purple nail art glitter. Apply the mixed polish over the purple, wavy line on your nail with a small brush.[5]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 6.jpg
  3. Outline the purple line with shimmery, white polish. Use a thin brush to apply shimmery white polish to the outer side edges of the wavy, purple like. For a more realistic effect, pour out a few drops clear polish onto a small tray. Add in a few drops of white, pearly polish, and a pinch of iridescent nail art glitter. Stir everything together with a toothpick, and use that instead.[6]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 7.jpg
    • Try to blend the line into the purple part of your manicure, but not the grey part.
  4. Add some mini rhinestones for texture, if desired. You can apply these using nail art glue. You can also paint your nail with a thin coat of clear polish, then apply the rhinestones on top. For a more organic look, use a combo of crystals and chunky nail glitter/foil pieces.[7]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 8.jpg

EditAdding the Finishing Touches

  1. Outline the space between the grey and purple polish using acrylic paint. Dip a fine, pointy, nail art brush into acrylic paint. Carefully outline the space between the grey and the purple polish. Move onto the next step quickly, before the paint dries.[8]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 9.jpg
    • If you are doing geodes on all of your nails, do one nail at a time. The paint must be wet for the next step.
  2. Trace over the outline with a wet brush. Before the paint dries, dip the brush into water, then trace over the line. This will help blur the line.[9]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 10.jpg
  3. Add touches of white for the highlights. Use the same technique as you did for the black acrylic paint: outline a few spots in white, then blur them with a clean, wet paintbrush. You do not need to outline everything in white. Less is more here.[10]
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 11.jpg
  4. Consider giving your non-accent nails a stony-touch. Lightly some white, grey, and black polish on a little tray so that you get streaks. Use a makeup wedge sponge to tap this mixture onto your other, non-accent nails.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 12.jpg
    • You should only do this on the nails you left grey.[11]
  5. Seal everything in with a clear, glossy top coat. Make sure that you use a glossy top coat, or you will dull down the crystalline sparkle of your nail. If you added mini rhinestones, apply the top coat to just the rhinestones first, then over the entire nail.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 13.jpg
  6. Clean up your nails, if needed. Take a close look at your nails. If you got any polish on your finger or cuticle, wipe it away using a thin brush dipped in nail polish remover or acetone. If you applied petroleum jelly earlier, wipe it off.
    Do Geode Nail Art Step 14.jpg


  • Your geodes don’t have to be purple. Try another popular geode color, such as white.
  • You can do geodes on all your nails or on your accent nails (ring finger).
  • If you are doing geodes on all of you nails, consider making them all point towards your middle or ring finger. Make that finger an entire geode.
  • Look at pictures of real geodes for inspiration.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Base coat
  • Purple nail polish
  • Grey nail polish
  • Black nail polish
  • White nail polish
  • Black and white acrylic paint
  • Clear top coat
  • Nail art glitter (optional)
  • Nail art rhinestones (optional)
  • Thin paintbrushes

EditSources and Citations

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