Whether you’re an occasional polisher or an experienced lacquerista, there’s no denying that nails are back in the spotlight, with the subtle French manicure making way for a new trend of bright colours and innovative nail art designed to catch the eye and complement any outfit. In light of Pantone naming emerald green their colour of the year – already the polish world’s favourite choice; we know how to spot a trend when we see one! – we’ve put together some ideas to give you a little inspiration.
The humble gloss coat
The easiest kind, and by far the quickest, yet it’s still something first-timers get wrong, so here’s a refresher. Wipe the nail with conditioning nail polish remover, followed by a good-quality clear base coat, preferably one with a strengthening solution – you’ll find that Debenhams has their own brand in their make-up section called Nails Inc. with some great nail care products. Let it dry, then apply two nice, thin, even layers of your chosen colour by starting in the middle, pushing up to the cuticle (without touching it) and sweeping around each side of your nail, followed by one across the top to “wrap” the polish over the nail tip. Let that dry, and then apply a final clear top coat. Simple and beautiful!
Matte with gloss tips
For this you’ll need a matte-effect top coat, which you use on top of your chosen colour. Once this is dry, simply sweep a line of normal glossy topcoat along the tip of each nail, to create a bright and colourful manicure in a pinch.
Accent nails are a great way of creating a quick and striking colour scheme that draws attention and makes you look like a lacquer genius – with minimal time and effort! Simply apply a different effect to two nails, usually the third finger of one hand and the thumb of the other, for a little asymmetry. You can do this by just picking a contrasting colour (emerald green looks amazing with a splash of purple) or you can add a glitter topcoat to two nails for a subtle sparkle.
Nail stamping is hard to perfect, but if you’re looking to take your manicure skills to the next level it’s a great way to try out new designs. Floral and baroque prints in bright colours over a white nail look simply gorgeous when executed properly – take a look at these designs for an idea of what you could achieve with some practise!
This is just a short introduction to the many ways you can master your polishing repertoire; in practise the number of things you can do is endless. New technologies in polish are constantly being developed, from crackle effects and magnetic colour changers to the more unusual fish-egg or fur effects available. On top of that, independent nail polish creators are producing stunning glitters and shades for sale on etsy - so if you don’t think you can find that perfect manicure, chances are it’s out there somewhere!