50 Shades Of Grey Nail Art – Tutorial

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50 shades of grey nail art

So it’s out! The movie, the polish collection and now the SoNailicious 50 Shades Of Grey nail art too. If you follow me on Instagram (you’re awesome), you’ve seen that last night I attended the Australian premiere of the 50 Shades Of Grey. It was also the day when I decided to create a nail design showcasing the OPI collection that carries the same name. I could probably get away with something sweet representing the love of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel. Rather than sweet romance, there’s a bit of a danger, edginess and smouldering passion to the movie and presumably the book. So that’s the theme of today’s manicure (cue whiplash sound).

Now, this nail art is a bit more complicated than our typical tutorials, creating the perfect straight lines is a bit tricky but don’t despair, we’ll guide you through!

50 shades of grey nail art tutorial 1


  1. Apply 2 coats of silver glitter polish on all nails, I used OPI Shine For Me. Wait till it’s dry before proceeding to the next step.
  2. To ease the job of creating the straight lines and mark the triangles, apply striping tape in a cross that intersects near the centre of each nail.
  3. Now, work one colour on each nail at a time. First, using the striping brush paint light grey triangles on all nails as pictured. Don’t worry at this time about perfect edges, just a rough triangle will do (we’ll fix it later).
  4. Now you need to focus – work slowly and take your time. Using the striping brush* paint thin silver lines outlining the light grey triangles. Do this on all nails as pictured.
  5. Next, work one nail at a time. Use the same brush to paint dark grey lines right next to the silver lines as pictured. Remove the striping tape immediately.**
  6. Repeat step 5 on all nails.
  7. Using the same brush, add thin red triangle details on all nails as pictured.
  8. Clean up around cuticles and apply 2-3 coats of clear fast drying top coat. Allow sufficient time for your design to dry.

* Clean and dry your brush after each colour. It’s essential!

** If your lines didn’t turn out straight the first time, go over each line again with the same colour and straighten the lines. Cover any flows, correct the width and sharpen the corners. After that proceed to step 8.

50 shades of grey nail art50 shades of grey nails 3

Now it’s time for some 50 shades of grey magic! OPI Shine For Me looks so different under direct sunlight – such a beautiful, super shiny polish!

50 shades of grey nailsOPI Shine For Me Swatch

Used:  Orly Bonder base coat, Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat, all polishes OPI 50 Shades of Grey collection – Shine For Me (base), Dark Side Of The Mood (dark grey), Cement The Deal (light grey), My Silk Tie (silver) and Romantically Involved (red). You can get all polishes here or here.

So what do you think about our 50 Shades Of Grey nail art? Are you excited to see the movie?

If you create a nail art inspired by this tutorial, make sure you show us! Tweet or Instagram us a photo with the tag #sonailicious I’d love to see your work!

– Maria, xx

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  • Barb

    Looks great!
    The base looks oddly blue speckled in paler silver base in some shots though and textured/sandlike?! – but it’s definitely a smooth nice dark silver with shiny finish? Or is that the thing – it looks diff in diff light/situations? As u mention sooo shiny in sun.
    What’s your fav from the collection btw?
    Also, uh, think point 6 you forgot to cut out as presume u used previous instructions from another tutorial?!
    Lastly, thanks for all your posts. I see often and your nails always look so awesome and the tutorial ones are great for us that want to try doing something! Still I don’t know how I’d be able to do this 5 colour job w thin lines on the ‘bad’ hand, crikey!! But I’ve got some tape and not got round to using, so must do something even if two colours haha.
    Sorry for the ramble. Keep up the good work :)

    • Hi Barb, thanks for your comment! Yes, this polish looks different in different light conditions, i.e. softer looking photos were taken in shade and the brighter photos, with darker barkground in direct light. This is OPI Shine For Me and it’s my favorite polish from the collection, that’s why I used it for the base. It’s very unusual and so pretty! Point 6 – amended! Thanks for letting me know :)
      Now, regarding nail-arting on your so-called ‘cinderella’ hand – you have two options here. You can simply do plain nails but in different colours matching the nail art on your ‘pretty’ hand. Alternatively, do the same pattern. It’s more difficult but totally doable. Make sure you do it on a table with maximum support for both hands to avoid shaky moves. Lines are relatively easy to paint but it requires some practice. It’s one long, slow move, maximum concentration… Make sure the polish you’re using is nice and liquid, for each new line use clean brush and ‘fresh’ polish only. The more you do it, the faster and easier it will be. Hope this helps! x

  • Love that design. I definitely want to give it a whirl !
    Only thing i havnt been able to find all the colors
    I only have dark side of the mood&shine for me
    I havnt used it yet because i cant think of a design to do with only those 2…any suggestions would be great


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