In today’s tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a retro vampy stiletto manicure at home. I have found myself admiring the glamorous stiletto style for as long as I can remember, but it can be costly to have done in the salon and the upkeep is not something I’m willing to financially commit to. I thought I would attempt to recreate the style for under thirty dollars and share my results with all of you!

You can also transform this look into an authentic vintage manicure by shortening the length and rounding out the tip to mimic that classic 1940s oval shape. If you prefer a more extreme point to your nails and dark polish, you can easily create a highly editorial or Gothic style manicure as well. The possibilities are endless and this method allows for a lot of customization and diversity.

What you’ll need:
  • Nail clippers
  • Cotton pads
  • QUO 100% Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail buffer
  • Nail file
  • Nailene ‘Quick Drying’ nail glue
  • A set of glue-on nails ( I used KISS 100 Long Square Tip False Nails)
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in #390 ‘Red Carpet’
  • Essie ‘Good To Go’ clear top coat

Nail Manicure Prep Tools and Prodicts

Nail Prep
  • Trim your natural nails as close as you’re able to the tip of your finger. This will help to make your false nail appear more natural, as you’ll camouflage the shape of your nail underneath. This will also prevent your nails from peeking behind the false nail when the palms of your hands are visible.
  • Taking a 100% acetone nail polish and a cotton pad, saturate the surface of your nails to remove any excess oils or nail polish residue.
  • Next, take a cuticle pusher and begin pushing back the nail bed to help extend the length of your nails. As an extra measure, take the sharp, dual side of the cuticle pusher and simply clean around the edges of your cuticles to rid them of any dry skin and further clean up the shape.
  • With a nail buffer, begin gently buffing the surface of your nails. This will help create texture and allow the glue and false nails to adhere effortlessly and ultimately extend the longevity of your manicure.
  • Begin laying out varying nail sizes and place them on top of your natural nails to ensure you find the perfect fit. I often place each false nail in order of application as to not confuse which nail goes on which finger.

Vintage Stiletto Nail Manicure Tutorial

How To Create Stiletto Nails
  • After choosing the correct nail size, take a nail file and shape the bottom half to fit your cuticle bed. Some false nails are too squared on the bottom and can make them appear even more fake when applied. Be sure to file and buff along the underside of the nail as well to remove any rigid edges or leftover debris.
  • Once you’re happy with the shape, apply a nail glue to your desired finger. Place the false nail on and press in place for ten seconds.
  • To create a pointed tip, create a diagonal cut on either side of the nail with a pair of clippers. You can always trim more away, so don’t worry if the nail is still a little too long.
  • File each side on an angle to soften the edges and customize the width and shape of the point. Continue to file on either side and over the top to help soften the tip and create a slightly more rounded appearance. Next, begin switching between the nail file and the buffer to smooth the edges of the sides and bottom edges of your nails. You want ensure that it is even and devoid of any odd bumps or harsh angles.
  •  If you’re still having trouble creating the perfect shape, take an eye liner pencil and draw a rough point on your false nail before cutting them with the nail clippers. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, the eye liner is easily wiped away with your finger and can be drawn back on as many times as you wish.
  • Next, Take your favorite nail polish color and apply two coats to your nails to ensure an opaque coverage. After you’ve let your nail polish dry, apply a clear top coat to your nails to create a long wearing and glossy finish. If you’ve made any mistakes along the way, take a q-tip and some nail polish remover and trace along the edges.

Vintage Vamp Stiletto Nail Tutorial

  • Soak your nails in  a small bowl filled with %100 acetone nail polish remover. If you find this too harsh, you can always dilute it with a bit of water.  This will help to gently break down the glue and allow for the nails to peel off with ease.
  • If there is any glue left over on your nails, simply dip a q-tip in the same %100 acetone nail polish remover and saturate the area for a few moments until it starts to dissolve.
  • Once you soak your hands in the %100 acetone and water solution the false nails will become soft and will be unusable.
  • If one of your nails happens to fall off, you can always peel away any excess glue around the edges and re-apply it with some more nail glue.

I really like the ease of being able to pick up my own products and reuse them whenever I wish. This way I can always make sure my nails look polished and neat on my own schedule and without the hefty price tag of the salon! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


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