By Jillian Ruffo
Updated February 09, 2016 02:00 PM
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With Valentine’s Day mere days away, a festive mani is a necessity, whether your plans include a hot date or Netflix and chillin’ by yourself. Either way, the adorable Instagram is of paramount importance. Which is why Essie‘s celebrity manicurist, Michelle Saunders (who works with Taraji P Henson, Taylor Schilling, Meghan Trainor, and more) created two (super easy!) Valentine’s Day inspired nail art looks for you to re-create just in time for the big day.

If you’re in a relationship:


Brian Nichols/People


Brian Nichols/People

  • 1. To start building your heart, place the corner of a piece of tape, and paint the rest of your nail with a light pink shade.
  • 2. Use a thin striker brush and lavender polish to trace the v-shape and create the rounds of the heart, bringing the purple down 1/3 of the outer edges of your nails.
  • 3. Create the point of the heart using a hot pink shade and the same thin brush. Just draw two diagonal lines from the outer edges of the middle of your nail, meet them at the tips, and fill in the outside triangles.

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If you’re single:


Brian Nichols/People


Brian Nichols/People

  • 1. To create an ombre striped look, first paint two coats of the white polish vertically on 1/2 of your nail, and two coats of black on the opposite 1/4, leaving a space between the two.
  • 2. Using a deep red shade, paint a sheer stripe overlapping the black. Let it dry, and then paint over the edge with bright red.
  • 3. Continue the same pattern with two gradually lighter shades, and finish with a thin stripe of Fiji over the remaining white edge.

Already a nail art pro? Essie’s first-ever nail art awards – the essies – are currently underway — so if you nailed these looks with ease, you have until February 15th to enter. Head over to essie.com for all of the details!

— Jillian Ruffo