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Nail art is not going away anytime soon, but the hottest trend of the moment (and one that will continue through spring, if the runways are any indication) is more subtle, minimal art.
I love this trend for a couple of reasons. First, it’s something you can do yourself — even if you’re a total nail art novice. Second, you can pull off this trend if you’re 13, 30 or 60. It’s understated enough to wear to the office (even a conservative one), but is so much more exciting than wearing a solid hue.
My latest look is pictured above. I did it in minutes. After applying a base coat, I painted on two coats of Flower Nail’d It Nail Lacquer in Bluebell of the Ball, $4.98 (Flower is Drew Barrymore’s newish beauty line. The Nail Lacquers are the latest addition to the brand. Definitely worth trying at this price point. The colors are seriously great.) Next, I used a toothpick dipped in a taupe hue (Flower Nail’d It Nail Lacquer in Don’t Be a Wallflower, $4.98) and swiped either a horizontal or vertical line down each of my nails. The lines aren’t totally perfect, which I think is OK. After letting the polish dry for a few minutes, I finished with a quick-dry top coat.
With so many options to choose from, it can be nearly impossible to narrow down a nail polish shade that’s actually worthy of being added to your stash.
When I first spied Essie After School Boy Blazer backstage at the Jill Stuart fashion show during New York Fashion Week in early September, I knew it was going to be a instant hit. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bottle. The creamy blue-black hue is part sophisticated, part edgy and altogether fabulous. It’s a shade you can wear all season and for pretty much any occasion.
Essie For the Twill of It, on the other hand, I was a little more resistant to trying — at first. While the multi-hued metallic is right on-trend and looks fabulous in the bottle, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I tend to stick to wearing cream nail polish shades. They seem to look more flattering on my longer nail beds. And, I just wasn’t sure if the polish would look as good on as it does in the bottle. To test the waters, I used the shade as an accent nail (on my ring fingernails) and had the rest painted in After School Boy Blazer. I loved the color combo, but more importantly, I was immediately convinced that For the Twill of It is totally worthy of all of the buzz it’s been getting. Well, and that it looks great on even my nails.
Will I see the new Carrie? No. I’d have nightmares for days. But, that’s not stopping me from taking note of the stunning beauty looks Chloe Grace Moretz wore to the premiere. Her braided hairstyle was fabulous. I’ll post about that later — likely in my Twisted Tuesday column. And her manicure was equally as rad. I’m definitely going to recreate it.
Manicurist Christina Aviles created the look using Formula X for Sephora The New Neutrals in Perfection, $10.50. Then “while [the polish] was still a little tacky, we applied a round black stud at the base of the nail, pressing lightly to make sure it adhered,” says Aviles.
The end result was sophisticated, but with a little edge. Perfection, indeed.
I caught up with Butter London’s Global Colour Ambassador, Katie Jane Hughes, backstage at New York Fashion Week and she confidently stated that nude nails with really minimal nail art are going to become the next big nail trend. “It’s going to be huge,” she said about the trend before recommending looks like the one pictured on her right hand Lela Rose show. It was the look for the show. Another style she suggested trying: nude nails with floating white polka dots. “It’s so chic,” she adds.
What she (and I!) both love about this trend is how easy it is to do on your own nails. “There’s no base color, so drying time is faster and if you mess up you can easily clean up around the edges,” says Hughes.
Will you try this look?
Surprisingly, Elizabeth Moss. First, I love the double nominee’s cropped, nearly platinum hair, which she said on the red carpet she got before Miley Cyrus made the style a craze. When she got the new look, it seriously upped her red carpet status. I also appreciate that her hairstyle wasn’t as helmet-like as some of the others on the carpet. Claire Danes, for example, looked stunning, but her hair was super stiff. I personally think it’s nice when there’s more of a real quality to hair.
Second, I loved her bold lip color paired with matching nails. A great way to add a pop of color to a black and white gown, which wasn’t my fave, by the way. She wasn’t the only star to rock the bold lip trend, but pairing it with the matching nail color and hair put her at the top of my list.
When chatting with nail lacquer queen Deborah Lippmann backstage at the Kate Spade presentation during New York Fashion Week, she mentioned a quick tip I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard before. The look she designed for the show was a white nail (she used Deborah Lippmann Silk Collection in Pseudo Silk Kimono, $19 — it’s not on shelves yet) with a silver “cap” tip (Deborah Lippmann Bad Moon Rising, $17 — available soon for holiday 2013) accented with a bright stripe in either red (Deborah Lippmann It’s Raining Men, $17), yellow (Deborah Lippmann Walking on Sunshine, $17, coming summer 2014) or pink (Deborah Lippmann Groove Is In The Heart, $17). Check out the finished look in the first photo above. It was inspired by Spade’s cap toe shoes, of course. A totally doable nail art look. Especially if you employ the trick that Lippmann demoed for me backstage on her own hand. When you want to paint perfectly straight lines on your nails, she says it’s best to set the finger you are painting flat on a table. Then, hold the brush in one spot (don’t move it at all) and simply roll your finger across the table, so the brush just glides along the top of your nail creating a totally flawless line. That’s it!
New York Fashion Week kicks off today! That means fresh trends to look forward to in spring/summer 2014 and a whole lotta tips, tricks and amazing artistry from the pros backstage.
Want to get in on the party? You can. Butter London and Katie Jane Hughes, global colour ambassador, are asking the masses (ahem, you and me) what nail look should make its way onto the Nicole Miller catwalk this Friday at 6:00pm. Check out the looks below and make your way over to Nicole Miller’s Facebook page to vote. You’ll get a chance to win a $100 gift card for NicoleMiller.com if you do. Bonus.
Go vote! and look forward to more posts about New York Fashion Week as we get all the scoop from backstage.
The Product: Bite It The Easy Way To Stop Nail Biting, $4.99
Why: I married a nail biter. His habit started in Junior High School and continues to this day. That’s a lie. He didn’t actually bite all day yesterday. A small miracle.
The only reason he didn’t bite was because he had this polish on his nails. He’s tried a ton of these nail biting prevention products in the past, but none of them have worked as well as this one. He used it for a while a few years back and it was the longest he’d ever gone without biting. Then he ran out. We finally tracked down the product again recently and it’s working!
He applies it just like any ol’ polish. He lets it dry for a couple of minutes and that’s it! You can’t even tell he has it on — it’s not shiny, thank goodness.
Here’s what the hubby says about it: “The second you put your fingers to your mouth, it shoots an instant message to your brain. It tastes like you just bit into a lemon, but one with a terrible taste that lingers in your mouth for a couple minutes. That’s what keeps you from putting your fingers in your mouth again soon after. Others I’ve tried did not provide that sensation, and I’d just bite right through the bad taste they gave.”
If you have a nail biter in your life, you might want to try it. Another trade secret I’ve heard is to carry around a nail clipper. Every time you have an uneven nail or hanging piece of skin you’re tempted to bite, you just clip it off instead of biting. Jan Arnold, Co-Founder of the nail brand CND and former nail biter shared that nifty tip. I think it’s a keeper.
Are you a former nail biter? How did you finally kick the habit? Hoping my better half will read the comments and learn.
When it comes to the Fourth, finding the perfect red nail color is always top on my list. And as a beauty editor, I’ve never found a more perfect, compliment worthy red than MAC Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Rougemarie, $16. People literally stop me on the street and ask me what color it is. Perfect for all skin tones, it’s a super-sexy blue-red and a subtle way to celebrate the all-American holiday.
If you’re DIY-ing it, check out my at-home pedicure tips.
The annual Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art brought out some of the best (and worst) in beauty. Not sure what Miley Cyrus was thinking, but at least she stayed true to the punk theme. But, the deep burgundy lips, bold hair color streaks and nail looks were so worth copying.
Take Emmy Rossum’s lace nail art. So fun and actually easy to copy. Katie Hughes, Butter London Global Colour Ambassador, created the look using scraps of lace and crystals from the dress Donna Karan designed and Rossum wore. Here’s how to recreate it:
Step 1: Apply your favorite base coat.
Step 2: Swipe on two coats of Butter London Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy, $15.
Step 3: Apply one coat of a quick dry top coat like Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Top Coat, $19.
Step 4: Gently press small pieces of lace on top of your wet polish.
Step 5: Let your nails fully dry.
Step 6: Use nail glue to secure crystals in a random pattern on top of each nail to create a look that’s “both delicate and edgy,” says Hughes.