I’m Simcha Whitehill, but I’m better known as Miss Pop, a New York City-based nail artist. Every other week I’ll be breaking down the technique behind a must-have manicure. Some looks will be chic and easy and some may require a practiced hand (or a little patience!). Either way, it’s all about having fun. I do nail art for one reason. Love. 

I’m mad about plaid! My second-favorite kind is on a gentleman who fancies himself a lumberjack. But my most favorite way to wear plaid is, of course, on my nails. This sea-blue version would be perfect for a resort vacation. It reminds me of preppy skirts, lulling sailboats and the beach, whether in the Bahamas or the Mayan Riviera. Here’s how you can blanket your fingertips with this tartan look.

Difficulty level:

5 out of 10

What you need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Paint on one layer of base coat and two color coats. Here I used Essie’s Go Overboard because it’s my current favorite blue, but you can experiment with any shade. Allow your coats to dry completely.

Step 2: Paint the skinny, rectangular edge of a makeup sponge wedge with a thick coat of the white nail polish. Wipe the excess paint off the sides onto a piece of paper towel. Then quickly stamp the lacquered edge down vertically, toward the left side of each nail. Don’t linger; lift the sponge right off to reveal a soft white line.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2, only this time stamp the sponge down the right side of each nail.

Step 4: Fashion one or two horizontal lines on each nail using the same sponge technique. Since you’re creating lines across the curvature of your nails, you might need to roll the sponge across or pinch the sides of the sponge to create a complete line. I staggered the sideways lines to keep things interesting.

Step 5: Using the black nail art striper, outline each side of the white lines with a thin black line. Then add a third black line right down the center. Nail art paint is a highly concentrated formula that takes longer to dry, so allow extra time for your black lines to dry before you add a top coat.

Step 6: Apply an ample dollop of top coat to each nail. Gently paint the clear polish across your nail using small strokes. Be careful not to drag your brush or use too much pressure since nail art polish has a tendency to streak. Once your look is sealed, you’ll have nails as fresh as an ocean breeze!

Photos: Makeup.com