Totoro Nail Art

Learn how to do a Totoro manicure with our easy nail art tutorial! Hayao Miyazaki nails are simple to do.
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Learn how to do a Totoro manicure with our easy nail art tutorial! Hayao Miyazaki nails are simple to do.
Totoro inspired nail art

In my experience, almost everyone I have talked to has an affinity for Hayao Miyazaki and his films. Whether it be the storylines or animation in said films, Miyazaki has created unforgettable characters, intertwined with strong, thought-provoking themes within his stories. From the Studio Ghibli in Japan to his movies like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro, Miyazaki is known worldwide as an influential and inspirational animator/director.

For this tutorial, I thought I'd use one of Miyazaki's films, My Neighbour Totoro, as an inspiration to create Totoro-inspired nail art.

Note: this look actually works on nails that are a bit longer, so there's more surface to work on, but I tried to make it work with my short nails.

What You'll Need:

Totoro inspired nail art polishes
  • a turquoise blue polish - I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Blue Me Away!
  • a light-grey polish - I chose Essie's Master Plan (for a similar look, try Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's Wet Cement)
  • a white polish - I used China Glaze's White on White
  • a black polish - I didn't actually have a black, so I substituted with a dark grey. Either can work!
  • a dotting tool in 2 different sizes, large and small
  • a top coat

Step 1:

Totoro inspired nail art step 1

First, paint all your nails except for your chosen accent nail. You can choose to do what I did - blue on the accent nail and grey for the rest - or reverse the colors. On the accent nail, paint on a half circle 1/3 of the way down the nail.

Step 2:

Totoro inspired nail art step 2

Before your half circle dries, use a thin brush to paint on two long ears. You can also shape your nail polish brush as flat as possible and use the thin side to paint on the ears. Use a toothpick or a thin dotting tool to shape the pointy part on the ears.

Step 3:

Totoro inspired nail art step 3

With a large dotting tool, take a bit of white and dot two eyes on the half circle. After that, take a smaller dotting tool and, with a little bit of black polish, make the two pupils. Be careful of the placement of the eyes and use a picture for reference if needed.

Using the same black polish and dotting tool, make a thin nose underneath the eyes.

Step 4:

Totoro inspired nail art step 4

Now, moving on to the other accent nail, paint another half circle, using the white polish (you may need 2 coats to make it opaque). Add two dots above that with a large dotting tool for the eyes.

Step 5:

Totoro inspired nail art step 5

Using the small dotting tool, add the pupils and nose in black. With the grey color, add two lines of small caret-like symbols (^) on the first half of the white circle. Once it dries, add a top coat if you'd like. And there you have it: an adorable Totoro-inspired mani!

Are you a Miyazaki fan? What are your favorite movies?

What do you think of this nail art? Will you be recreating it? What other type of nail art would you like to see? I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial! If there are any questions, comments or suggestions please post them down below.