The days when manicures were limited to what you could paint with lacquer are over. Today, an entire gamut of textures and patterns have become possible, with wraps, press nails, and gel polishes destroying all limits to creativity. Even artificial nails have been given an upgrade.
No longer unnaturally thick or long, today’s false nails won’t announce their artificiality to everyone who bothers to look. For example, Dashing Diva has released some gorgeous press on nails that will look exquisite with crushed fabrics. This season’s nails are short, square, and lusciously textured.
Silk and Chiffon
Phillip Lim brought the silver accents of his collection out in metallic, distressed nails. If you’re brave enough for Spring’s blend of silvers and golds, then you have the boldness to pull off Lim’s nail textures. If the word “understated” isn’t in your vocabulary, Mei Kawajiri would like to see more faux diamonds on black manicures.
One of the biggest trends of the year is unmatched nail art. Monotony is passé. Every nail deserves its own unique treatment. That opens up an incredible range of opportunities to those who love treating their nails like a canvas. Try choosing a uniform bottom coat and adding an array of different stickers and art as a final flourish.
Bohemian velvet and ruffles are spring staples, so you’ll need manicures that are equally rich and unconventional. Vera Wang loved centered black strips with a matt top coat to bring out the luscious texture of spring. You needn’t be that minimalist, though.
Red, White, Blue
Andy Warhol has been brought back to life with nails in graphic shapes and primary hues. Add pop art to your manicures with stickers and gel. Alternatively, outline the outside of the nail in blue. You can even lengthen your nail bed by polishing outside the lines in glitter. Cuticle jewelry needs to be shimmering or striking, as its name suggests.
Vogue loves ombre, whether it’s achieved with a simple color graduation or with tiny shapes that fade into a natural bottom coat. Ombre can be as muted and unexpected as you want it to be. Create the effect with a white base coat, even if you don’t want pure white to feature in your manicure. It will lift out your colors. Create graduating color lines and then dab to blend. Keep on layering until you have the effect you want. Add glitz with glitter, chrome or a central blush layered over the cream. This year’s manicures are so exciting that they’re even influencing the way people wear rings.
Keeping it Simple
The stunning sheen of gel nails makes simplicity a huge temptation, so why resist? Jin Soon Choi used simple orange and toffee hues, while Rebecca Minkoff chose colored French manicures. Speaking of French manicures, the latest take is to create a steep, angular tip that works its way diagonally down to the nail bed. Rubber bands can be used to guide your brush.
Half Moon Designs
Spring catwalks showed plenty of manicures that began above the nail moon, whether with ombre tips or graphic pop art shapes. Get the look by using basic tape or hole reinforcement stickers to guide you.
Rihanna’s simple white pedicure made headlines recently, proving that you don’t have to use intricacy to make an impression. Matte and even gel white will set off your summer tan and look gorgeous with pastel palettes.
With so much creativity happening on nails this year, it’s little wonder nail wraps are getting so much publicity. They let you achieve intricate textures and patterns in mere moments. Try Ndebele prints, zig zag designs, or florals. Alternatively, get your look with one-second gel nails, which are especially effective at creating a dramatic ombre look without ruining your own nail. Winter proved how effective matt and glossy finishes in the same shade could be, and spring will continue the trend.
This year’s nails come in every shape, hue, and texture, so don’t limit yourself to neutrals and reds. “Manicure” is the wrong word for spring. Nail art describes it better, so let your inner artist come out to play.