Sick of the same boring manicure? Change up your nails and tune in with the season – it’s time to get creative
Like all trends, nail trends are forever changing; reintegrating looks from the past into the present,” says Leah Light, celebrity nail stylist and owner of Leah Light Nails & Beauty. “The one thing I know after 20-plus years in the industry is that nothing is new. It’s all inspired by things that have been done before.”
Translation? When it comes to nails, anything goes. Much like the clothes we wear and the way we style our hair, personal preference and individual expression are key. But if you’re looking for inspiration for the new season, there are a few techniques, innovations, shapes and hues that have caught our eye.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had a foray into the world of nail art at some point, but is it still the done thing? According to Imogene Bevan, owner of Pop Nails in Auckland, the trend is going nowhere fast. “Nail art is still really popular, but the quality of art has changed,” she says. “Fluoro, graphic prints and glitter ombres are a thing of the past. Marbling, fading, fine lines and metallics have taken over.”
Putting your nails in the hands of a professional like Imogene is a sure-fire way to get a unique nail look, but if DIY is your game, it’s never been easier to achieve knockout nails at home. Stick-on sheet nails are no mess, no fuss – the true definition of nail art for the uninitiated. If you want to get more creative, with MoYou London nail image plates you can stamp intricate designs onto your nails in just a few steps, using any nail polish hue you choose.
Round nails, coffin-shapes, square tips and sharp points – there really is no end to tailoring your talons (even if you can’t grow decent lengths of your own). “One thing I’m noticing is that more women are asking for an almond-shaped nail, as opposed to a square shape,” says Imogene. “Most women find that an almond silhouette is far more chic and elegant, and it elongates their fingers.” Imogene adds that the technology behind acrylic nails has come a long way. Today’s treatments are a lot finer, causing almost no damage to your natural nails – as long as you get them taken off correctly.
“Glitter, glitter and more glitter,” says Leah. “I’m a total magpie, so it warms the depths of my heart that glitter seems to be making a comeback. Dark, bright, bold and soft glitters are going to be huge this season.” Matte-finish lacquers, putty nudes, khaki greens and metallic chromes are also having a moment.
The dos of DIY
To ensure the longevity of your at-home mani, Erin Larsen, nail technician at the Elizabeth Arden Boutique in Auckland, says it’s important to wash your hands and use a nail brush to remove all dust remnants prior to application. “Swipe nails with nail polish remover and ensure the nails are completely dry, before applying a thin layer of base coat. Then seal the free edge of the nail with each coat,” she explains. “Ensure you are painting two thin coats of colour, as opposed to a thick layer of polish. The thicker the polish, the more chance it has of chipping off.”
Nude to know
When it comes to finding the right shade of nude to suit you, it pays to consider your skin’s natural undertones. Warmer nude shades, with pink or orange undertones, generally suit those with a warmer skin tone, while greyish, putty nudes suit cooler skin tones. Don’t agonise too much about getting the shade bang on, though, nail hues are far more forgiving than eyeshadow or lipstick colours.
“Gel polish manicures make up around 95 percent of our business, given they don’t chip, and they last between two to three weeks. Not to mention, the shine factor is incomparable to anything else,” says Leah. These days, you can achieve pretty good shine and anti-chip factor at home, using a gel colour polish or top coat, such as Essie Gel Setter Top Coat, $24.99, or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, $16.99.
* Need more inspiration? See our favourite nail-centric Instagram accounts at FQ.co.nz/instagramnails