Being able to express yourself with fashion, style and beauty is more important than nailing (pun intended) any trend or looking immaculately perfect. Whereas one generation ago a manicure was limited to French tip, red or pink for the majority of people, nowadays the limit is whatever you can conceive to paint on. Now here are some tips and ideas for how to fulfill those concepts!
#1 Clip, File and Buff Away
Before you do any nail art, it is more important that your nails are looking healthy and looked after. In the same way that you would apply good skincare on your face before makeup, before you add colour and design on your nails make sure they are the right length, file into a neat shape and buff them to create a level base.
#2 Remove Old Nail Polish
Continuing on from the last tip, remove any signs of previous nail experiments with some acetone-free nail polish remover if you want to really look after their health as best as you can. Get into the crevices with a cotton bud soaked in polish remover if needs be. If your skin is pale, before doing this coat the hands in a thick cream so they don’t get stained.
#3 Paint Within the Lines
If you were that kid who found it difficult to colour within the lines, and this has never left you even in adulthood, it’s time to start using a thick cream (e.g. Vaseline) as part of your manicure regime. Before painting your nails, coat the cuticles in a thick cream so the colour can’t bleed past the nail! Effortless perfection, you’re welcome!
#4 Mermaid Nails
This nail hack is one of the most effective ways to get standout, arty nails with hardly a penny spent and not much technique needed either! Simply retrieve some netting from either an old or unused loofah and wrap over the painted monotone nail. Paint over in another shade with a sponge and there you have it – mermaid nails!
#5 Marble Effect Nails
Get the stone look with some crumpled plastic that has been dipped in a contrasting nail colour to the base colour you have chosen and painted on already. Dab this dipped plastic onto the nails, leaving behind an imprint.
#6 Polka Dot Dot
With just an eraser-topped pencil and a pin you can make your own nail art pen. Stick the pin into the eraser and dip it into the polish and dot designs over the nail! It really is that easy.
#7 Graphic French Polish
Apply some tape in a half moon shape across the nail so that the tips are cut off from the rest of the nail. Paint your chosen base coat over the majority of the nails except for the tips. Using an alternative colour, paint the tips so they stand out!
#8 Graphic Cuticles
Doing the reversal of the last nail art hack, cover the nail in tape, leaving only two slips exposed by the base of the nail on either side. Paint these in two separate colours. Leave to dry and then take the tape off. Cover with top coat.
#9 Use Ice Water to Dry Nails in 3 Minutes
If you’re in a rush, there is no worse feeling than the realisation the manicure you just carefully did is in danger of smudging when you try open doors, put on your coat, lift anything, do life… Soaking the nails in icy water for only three minutes is a trick to get them smudge proof in no time!
#10 Paint a Heart with a Toothpick
A toothpick is an easy way to get detailed designs that are otherwise too tricky to do on such a teeny canvas. Dot two small blobs beside each other and connect them by pulling a line down from one blob and up to the other in a V shape. Connect the top in a v shape too.
#11 Plasters for French Tips
Cover the nail in a plaster except for the ends, which you want white in order to achieve the french tip manicure look. Paint the tips white and let them dry! No mistakes made.
#12 Monochrome Retro
With freshly painted white nails, use a nail pen in black to draw a line in a curve, a quarter in from the beginning of the nail, two thirds across the nail and straight down to the tip. Then paint this large section black. Your nails are suited and ready to go!
#13 DIY Glitter Effects
Apply the base coat as usual and let it dry. Swipe some clear polish on the tips of the nails and while this is freshly applied and still wet, apply the craft store glitter top the tips, placing more near the very tip to give a gradient effect.
#14 Vick’s for Nail Infections
Vick’s VapoRub has antifungal properties, therefore it naturally repels and kills any nail infections. Rub into the affected areas regularly until healed.
#15 Push Back Cuticles
Nothing ruins a manicure more than having scruffy cuticles. It’s distracting and not to mention sore if they get catch on anything. Push them back from the nail bed and seal them with some cuticle oil.