A subtle heart nail



When it comes to nail art, I’d much rather wear something classic and neutral that I won’t get sick of versus something loud and trendy.

A few years ago I shared a simple heart nail step by step on my blog, and I’m back this time with an even easier way to add a little “love” to your nails.

You’ll need top coat, tweezers, tissue paper, scissors and polished nails (whatever color your little heart desires. pun intended).


Cut out a few hearts and choose your favorite. Don’t be like me and choose a tissue paper color too close to the color on your nails (I’m wearing Care to Danse? by OPI). I ended up layering two hearts over top of one another, but had I chose red tissue paper I wouldn’t have run into that issue. The minimalist in me likes that it isn’t an obvious heart on my nail, but I wouldn’t mind it popping just a little bit more.


Apply a thin coat of top coat, and carefully set the tissue paper heart on top of your nail. Use the tip of your tweezers to tap down the heart on all the sides. Don’t rub!


*sorry about state of the skin on my ring finger. I’m clearly having a reaction to my wedding rings which is why they are off! 


Give it about 60-90 seconds to dry, and then apply another layer of top coat over top of the heart.


Quick, simple, and an easy way to spice up a nail or two.

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Comments (48)

  1. Megan says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    That’s really adorable and I love that it’s subtle. Will miss you when you’re gone, but wishing your the best!

  2. Kate says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    What a neat idea! I like that it isn’t super thick to get snagged on things. Sweet! Definitely going to try this!

  3. Posted February 10, 2015

    These are very classy and pretty. I love how they are not overwhelming.

  4. Lydia Geisendorfer says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Gorgeous nails! (Though I must admit your shot with your mug is what really caught my eye, I’m crazy for mugs and that one is adorable!) PS, the pink nail, dainty mug, and teal cardigan in the background makes for an awesome shot!

  5. Amanda says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Random question here. But does your skin react like that to your rings during pregnancy only? I’m 34 weeks and had to take mine off also for the same reason. The skin on my finger looks very similar to yours.

    • sherri says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      I’m not pregnant but about 2 years ago my ring finger started reacting exactly the same way. My rings were yellow gold. I switched to a white gold set that I had rhodium plated and seemed to be fine. A year later and am now experiencing the same thing again. I think I need to have them rhodium plated again. Apparently it wears off. You can have yellow gold rhodium plated but it isn’t suppose to last very long at all. I wore the yellow gold rings for about 23 years before this began. I’m not really sure what causes it but would love to hear some insight from anyone that might. Better yet I would love to know how to prevent it.

      • Lauren says
        Posted February 10, 2015

        I had the exact same reaction during my first pregnancy and even after I had my daughter I couldn’t wear my rings without itching that area, it was like a bad rash. At a routine dermatologist appointment I ended up asking about it, and she told me that it was an allergy to nickel! She said you’re washing your hands so much it’s leaching from your ring (white gold also.) You can have your white gold rings “re-plated” I believe it’s called and it should help, mine went away! 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      Yep, only during pregnancy!

      • Jenny D says
        Posted February 10, 2015

        I’ve worked in the jewelry business for years. More than likely your ring needs a good cleaning! Rhodium plating it will also help as it’s hypo-allergenic. Our bodies do crazy, weird things when we are pregnant.

        • Lisa says
          Posted February 10, 2015

          Pregnancy can actually change the way your body and skin react to nickel. Some people even develop an allergy. My finger just started doing this and I am almost 10 months post partum! I need to get my rings re-coated anyway so I’m hoping that will help.

          Good luck with the delivery, Kate! Wishing you lots of rest and peacefulness with growing family 🙂

  6. Posted February 10, 2015

    This speaks to me on a minimalist level. Love it!

  7. Posted February 10, 2015

    Very pretty! I can’t wear my wedding rings in the winter between handwashing and dry weather! My skin just molts right off if I do.

  8. Jenny says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    This is really cute! I’ve been trying to decide whether to go pay for a manicure for V-day or do one myself. I have everything I need to do this- I love how simple this is, yet it’s so cute.

    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

    • Kate says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      ah, I’d always opt for a pro manicure! Go get one!

  9. Jennie says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    This is, as always, adorable! How sweet! I can’t wait to try it!!

    I’m thinking of you and praying for you and your sweet baby. My first two children are 16 months apart…I remember those early days fondly (they’re only 6 & 5 now), and now they’re the best of friends. Enjoy every moment, as you definitely seem to do!

  10. Lauren says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Wish you all the best with your babies Kate!!! Enjoy the time 🙂

  11. Kelli says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    My wedding rings do the exact same thing and I was also told by the dermatologist that it was caused by nickel. I can wear my band for an hour and my finger starts itching off. Makes me so sad because I have a beautiful set!

  12. Posted February 10, 2015

    I love, love this idea, so cute. I am going to try it but I’m wondering how you cut out a heart so perfectly tiny. My scissoring skills are not what they could be…

    • Jenn says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      A heart shaped hole punch works pretty well for this purpose. 🙂

  13. Samara says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Very cute! I have had this happen to my ring finger as well (and randomly it was while I was pregnant). It ended up being a result of using too much hand sanitizer and having it get trapped between my rings and finger. I now take my rings off when I apply it and have not had an issue since. I will readily admit that I use more hand sanitizer than the average person, but I thought I would throw that out there because it took me a while to figure it out…and I really missed my rings:)

  14. Jenna says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Did you make your mug? It’s very cute!

    • Alison says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      Agree! Where do we get this mug?

  15. Posted February 10, 2015

    Super cute friend! If I didn’t bite my nails I could totally rock this 😛

  16. Sara says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Hi Kate! Love love love the cute nails! 🙂 I have the same question as another – how did you manage to get the hearts so cute and perfect?

    Thanks for another great post!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 10, 2015

      No special way! Just folded the paper in half and cut them out!

  17. Kim says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    What a cute and EASY idea! I love that it doesn’t involve crazy trying to paint a little heart.. Such a great little tutorial 🙂

    http://trendkeeper.me .. Grammys and tutorial?!

  18. Maryn says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Hi Kate! Love the cute mani. Just wanted to share a total finger-saving hack with you – my husband has the same allergic reaction to his wedding band and about a year ago I did a ton of research and we tried this tutorial: http://www.huckleberryprairie.com/ring-cleaning-avoid-the-ring-finger-rash

    It worked perfectly! The results lasted for about three months. Whenever his finger starts to react again, we follow the same steps and he’s good for another few months. Super easy, super cheap, and you probably have what you need at home.

  19. Krista says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    This is fantastic! Definitely will be trying this.


  20. Whitney says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    I LOVE that mug, where did you get it? Mine recently broke and I’ve been looking for the perfect replacement!

  21. Allison says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    This is so cute! I love it!

  22. Vemiska says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    This is such a cute idea and I LOVE how subtle it actually is.
    Very lovely 🙂 now I want the same mani 🙂

  23. Megan Bryant says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    What a cute idea! I had the same issue with my rings and I cured it with some anti fungual cream. (I got the kind for jock itch….I know it sounds bizzare, but it worked!)

  24. Mary says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Hi Kate,
    What an adorable and easy idea! I’m giving it a try tonight. Best wishes for your family and new baby. 🙂

  25. DT says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Very cute!! Definitely gonna try it 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  26. Jess Deal says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    I love this idea! And i really love this mug! Did you paint it yourself? I know i saw a tutorial on here about painting mugs but now i can’t find it!

    Good luck with the new one 🙂

  27. Posted February 10, 2015

    Very cute!

  28. Susan Schnitzler says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    So adorable! I don’t like getting my nails done…well not true, I love getting my nails done, but I’m a nurse and after the bazillionth time I wass my polish looks worn. This idea is cute, fun, and festive all while being cost effective! Thank you so much for sharing. I have a really pretty magenta tissue paper that I cannot wait to try!

  29. Posted February 10, 2015

    I’m doing this tonight!!

  30. Heather says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    I tried this today but unfortunately when I applied the top coat, it completely disintegrated the tissue paper heart. 🙁

  31. Posted February 10, 2015

    I loved this idea when I first saw it earlier today, so I set out to try it immediately. BY FAR the most challenging part for me was cutting out my tiny heart! I destroyed so many in the attempt! But, I finally succeeded and I love my “subtly festive” nails.

  32. Katie says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    Adorable nails! I was constantly getting the same rash and did a bunch of research and even went to the dermatologist. Turns out my rings just needed a good cleaning/disinfecting. I used this tutorial http://www.huckleberryprairie.com/ring-cleaning-avoid-the-ring-finger-rash and it was amazing the amount of gunk that was trapped in there causing the rash. Wait until your finger heals before putting your clean rings back on. Worth a try!

  33. Laura says
    Posted February 10, 2015

    What a great idea! So simple and pretty!

    She Likes to Shop

  34. Mandy Kelley says
    Posted February 11, 2015

    I had a similar problem with my wedding rings for years. I was sure it was a nickel allergy! However a jeweler filled in the “gallery” holes on the underside and I haven’t had a problem since. Turns out it was likely an allergy to hand soaps/ detergents that got under the rings. Hopefully your issue is only pregnancy related. Best wishes for a safe and wonderful delivery!

  35. Meagan says
    Posted February 11, 2015
  36. Heather says
    Posted February 12, 2015

    I tried this last night, and I love it! I did your neutral color nail with a little hotter pink heart, and it is so cute and was so easy and fast! Thank you, Kate! My nails are ready for Valentine’s Day!

  37. Jennay says
    Posted February 12, 2015

    Hey Kate! I absolutely love this idea! I tried it out today and it was so simple and easy to do! I never even thought about using something like tissue paper for nail art! Great idea! I’ve shared via social media! Good luck today and I hope that everything goes smoothly for you and your new babe!

  38. Lauren says
    Posted February 18, 2015

    Oh that’s cute! I’m on the Jamberry wagon, but this is something that could still be used with the wraps.

  39. Posted August 28, 2015

    What a exclusive idea! really its amazing and it create a innovative show of nails