Totally Cool Nails by Catherine Rodgers | Book Review and Balloon Nail Art!

Today I have another book review (with bonus nail art!) to share with you that is written by someone who I can totally relate to! Totally Cool Nails is written by Catherine Rodgers and the creator of the popular nail art YouTube channel TotallyCoolNails. She is a self-taught nail art designer who loves coming up with unique and creative designs which is why I feel I can relate as I am self-taught as well. What makes Totally Cool Nails different is that it’s for KIDS! The designs that Catherine has come up with for little hands are absolutely adorable and the book is full of easy to read instructions and pictures of little nails!

Adobe Photoshop PDF



There are 50 of the most popular nail art designs showcased in this book with everything from watercolour to snowflakes and of course animal nails like frogs, pandas and bunnies. What kid wouldn’t love to try any of these and KNOW what the final result will look like on their little hands? I also love that there are only SIX pages of an introduction until the hardcore nail art tutorials begin. It makes sense that as a children’s book, you need to cut to the chase and get to the pictures!

You can see from above that I attempted to do “Balloon Nails”. Below is an example of the kinds of pictures and tutorial you can expect to see in Totally Cool Nails.  


Start by painting your nails with a white polish.


On a cosmetic wedge, paint a wide stripe of light blue polish next to a white stripe of white polish. Dab the cosmetic wedge onto each nail, keeping the light blue at the cuticle to form a gradient. A gradient is just when the darker colour fades into the lighter colour. You may need to reapply the nail polish between nails to make the colour more vibrant.


Using a nail art brush and red nail polish, create an oval on your index finger nail and fill it in. This will be your balloon for the design.


Using the nail art brush and black nail polish, create a thin, wavy line across your index, middle and ring finger nails making sure that the line stays connected between all nails. This wavy line will form the balloon string. Finally apply top coat to your nails to seal in the design.



And this is my version! I added some extra pieces like the little bows and the reflection on the balloon for some bonus *flair* as well as used China Glaze – Fairy Dust to give my gradient a more magical look.

Final Verdict: This is a wonderful book for all ages really, but the designs that Catherine has put in this book are really quite wonderful for little hands. The skill level is appropriate for the “dexterity” present at young ages and I love that the designs are also ones that look good on shorter nails. The worst is when you see a design that only really looks good on long nails, but I can honestly say that any of these of 50 designs will look fantastic on both short and long nails. I also appreciate that the book is more picture-based and caters to the attention span of a younger crowd (and possibly my age too!) and is physically larger than normal books meaning larger pictures! This is a great book and is a great way for mom to have some bonding time with her girls (and boys) as well as get a super cute manicure out of it!

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