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A dot manicure is genius conversation starter, it turns out. Here's how to make your own dotting tool so you can dot, dot, dot
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dot manicure_diy dotting tool

Dot mani on Gelish Carnaval Hangover

When I started Beautygeeks in 2008, I declared it "a site about receiving compliments" -- giving and receiving them are such a mood lift, a new corner to turn in a meh day or a gold star on a good one. Three years later, manicures have become perhaps the brightest sources of compliments. That's probably why nail colour is the new lipstick index.

diy dotting tool_for dot manicure nail art

DIY dotting tool -- works as well as a "real" tool, costs way less cash

My Gelish soak-off gel in Carnaval Hangover + black-polish dots mani has sparked a crazy amount of interest and about a kajillion appreciative comments. (Leeanne, you rock, thanks!) My polish-nut sister, Karen, is a fan of dot manicures, too (Chanel Peridot polish + black dot = AWEsome). This DIY dotting tool is hers.

diy dotting tool for fancy dotted manicures

See how simple this DIY dotting tool is?

It's a simple flat-head straight pin stuck in a bit of styrofoam Sister happened to have on hand. If you don't have styrofoam, stick the pin into the eraser-head of a pencil.

diy dotting tool

Best DIY dotting tool ever. Bet you can't make one just as pretty. Tee hee!

Alternative DIY dotting tools: the tip of a ballpoint pen (if it's a click pen, the flat top of the pen's "clicker" makes a great large dotting tool); a bobby pin, either rounded tip; a toothpick (if you want to make larger dots with toothpicks, cutepolish suggests dipping the tip into polish and letting it dry, then repeating the dip-dry move until you've created a hard ball on the end.)

Oh, and that's Rimmel London Lasting Finish Pro nail polish in Black Satin ($4.99 at  -- it made the black dots on my mani in the top photograph.

Do you have DIY nail-art tools? Will you dot? Or try this super-cute Movember Mustache manicure?

UPDATE: In the comments below, You Look Hot Today brings up a good point about acrylic craft paint. Polish is great for dotting soak-off manicures because if you goof it up, you can wipe it right off. If you want mistake-fixability on regular polish, use a craft-store acrylic paint for your dots instead, and finish with a top coat when the dots are dry. Another bonus: acrylic paint will give you an opaque dot with just one application. Depending on the pigment content, some nail polish dots might require a second coat.