Matryoshka Doll Inspired Russian Nails

Categories: Nail Art Nail Art Gallery

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russian nails, matryoshka nails 1To continue on the subject of Russia, today we’re showing you another nail design that we created while in the wilds of Siberia – a Matryoshka Doll inspired nails!

The first Matryoshka doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, The set consisted of eight dolls, the outermost was a girl in a traditional dress holding a rooster. The inner dolls were girls and a boy, and the innermost a baby. However, nowadays the idea of Matryoshka went well beyond painted dolls. You can find them in almost any size, colour, print (check this out!) and even representing celebrities and political leaders.

For the purpose of creating a Russian nails design however, we were more interested in the actual painting on Matryoshkas. There are about 10 distinctively different styles. The style that we chose is called – Khokhloma (prounounced hoh-lo-ma) and is known for its vivid flower patterns over a black background. In our case both the Matryoshka and the little samovar are in the Khokhloma style.

Even though our Russian nails are a simplified version of a Khokhloma painting it still may look too complex to try. But let me assure you, this nail art was quite easy and quick to do. All you need is a toothpick and a good dotting tool.

As always, a quick how-to below:

matryoshka nailsrussian nail designrussian nails


  1. Paint all nails with two coats of opaque balck polish. Let them dry for a few minutes.
  2. Create white flowers using dotting tool.
  3. Draw strawberries with a polish brush in two strokes.
  4. Add the small details – green leafs to the flowers, yellow dots on strawberries using a toothpick.
  5. Now, the most complex part  – top coat! You need to apply it extra carefully and avoid not to smudging the pattern. To do so you’d need:

a) To give plenty of time for your design to dry,

b) To secure the design, apply first layer of top coat by sliding top coat over the nail surface without touching the surface of the nail with a brush. With the second layer of top coat even out the surface – you can use now brush properly as your design is sealed with the first layer.

russian nail art

Khokhloma nails

pretty russian nails

Used: Orly Liquid Vinyl (black base), Hello Darling Rubber Duckie (yellow), Sally Hansen White On, Bourjois Limited Edition 1956 (red) and 1879 (green), Orly Top 2 Bottom used as base and top coat. Dotting tool and a toothpick to create the pattern.

So, how do you like our Russian nails? Are you keen to try yourself at Khokhloma? If you do this design why not Tweet or Instagram us a photo of your pretty nails (tag #sonailicious) We’d love to see them!

– Maria, xx

Related posts

Check out our previous posts from SoNailicious Takes A Trip series here.

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