Dragon Scale Nails (Tutorial)


Dragon nails tutorial with step by step pictures!

It's the first time I did this, so it took me some trying out to get to the final look. I wanted red and black nails for Halloween, so I did this manicure inspired by the game Skyrim and dragons in general. (I'll continue my nail art challenge with blue nails next time.)

Here is a step by step tutorial with pictures!

You will need:
  • A base and top coat (clear polish.)
  • Minimum 3 more polishes: one dark, one of the color of the dragon you want to be :D, and one glittery (or just glitter that you can put on using a brush.) Below is a list of the polishes I used, and you can see that there were actually more than 3.
  • A few small pieces of sponge and a pair of tweezers to hold them with. *You could skip the sponge and instead use the tip of your polish brush with just a little polish on it.
  • Sticky tape. 


  1. (Optional) Start by filing your nails a crazy pointy shape like I did!
  2. Apply a base coat.
  3. Color your entire nails black.
  4. Prepare one small piece of sponge that you will hold with your pincers. Put some red polish on the sponge with your polish brush, or put some polish on paper and pick it up with the sponge.
  5. Dab the tips of your nails with the sponge. Try to follow the shape of the tip and make the color fade to black. Apply as many times as necessary if the color is too weak.
  6. (Optional) Add a light red or orange in a thin line close to the tip. You can cover it with red later. This is to make the red stand out from the black base, since it made everything darker.
  7. (Optional) Sponge some sparkly red polish over all the red to be a metallic dragon. :D
  8. Add glitter to the top. I used a red glittery polish with gold glitters and carefully applied it with its brush. *You can see that I changed my mind later and used even more of it.


  1. Cover everything with a fast drying or other top coat and wait until it's completely dry. You will use sticky tape on your nails next and wouldn't want to damage your work. 
  2. Cut little pieces of sticky tape and place them over your tips as shown in the picture, leaving the untaped area in a pointy shape.
  3. Repeat all the color application.
  4. Use glitter again.
  5. Now do this for your nails one by one: apply a top coat and quickly remove the tape. The top coat will settle over the edge of your new scale, and you don't need to apply it over the whole nail if you want the scale to stand out in 3D.

That gives you 2 dragon scales! I repeated the process again to get the 3rd scale. This time I used more orange to make it the lightest.

And here are the products I used:


  • Nail Nurse base coat and black polish - Rimmel London, 
  • red polish - Maybelline New York, 
  • orange polish - Essence Colour & Go, 
  • red polish with tiny golden glitters - Diamond Gabrini, 
  • red polish with normal and big golden glitters - L'Oreal Paris (color riche 821 copper cuff), and 
  • Seche Vite fast drying top coat, the king of all top coats in the universe. ^.^