By Prudence Wade
Few things are more satisfying than pulling off the perfect manicure. It isn’t the easiest thing to do at home, but what better time to hone your technique?
Fashion Week isn’t just about the clothes, we also studied the catwalks closely for the coolest new beauty trends. Luckily, the spring/summer season wasn’t short of inspiration for your nails.
“SS20 is all about having a lot more fun with your mani – so lots of colour, playful shapes and glitter,” says Carla Opoku, founder of nail brand Cienna Rose. “From modern manicures to embellished nails and negative space designs, there’s a huge array of looks to take inspiration from, that can be re-created at home.”
Here are some of the most eye-catching trends straight from the catwalks, which are ready to be tried out now…
The modern French manicure
There’s something a bit dated about a French manicure – your mind tends to think of the chipped, thick white tips we all had in the Nineties. However, the 2020 update is all about injecting a bit of colour and life into the look.
Opoku particularly liked the nails at Christian Siriano, which transformed a classic French manicure with a mint coloured tip and a sparkly gloss finish.
“It’s so cute and playful, yet so wearable and simple to recreate at home,” she says. “Start by giving nails a base coat for a natural and shiny finish. Then using a minty green shade, create a chunky slightly squared off tip. I find an easy way to do this is apply sellotape straight across the nail – do this part first. Because you have the tape in place, you don’t need to worry about painting the lines on perfectly either!”
After you’ve done this, finish the nail with a clear sparkly gloss – avoiding the coloured tip. The best thing about this look is you can choose whatever colour you like for the tip – it doesn’t have to be mint – and you can give the sparkles a miss for a more wearable option.
If you really can’t let the classic French manicure go, celebrity manicurist Joanna Newbold suggests doing a “micro tip” which is “applied finely on the very edge of the nail” to really modernise the look.
Go for glitter
As the weather gets warmer, it’s an opportunity to have a bit more fun with your beauty. This is exactly what House of Holland did, channelling raver fashion with sparkly nails in all different colours.
One of these shades was a bright purple, which Opoku says is easy to copy, because “it’s all about thick layers of glittery purple polish”.
First – as with any nail look – “make sure nails are clean and tidy, and add a slick of base coat”, she advises. Then, you can either start with a plain purple colour and add two layers of sparkly purple varnish on top, or just go straight in with the glittery polish. Finish with a top coat for extra shine.
This season is much more about specific styles, rather than colours, so don’t feel limited to purple. You’ll still have catwalk-ready nails if you paint them in any bright, sparkly hue.
Graphic nails might seem like a daunting style to try, but luckily you don’t have to be a professional manicurist to pull it off. Opoku loved the look at Ulla Johnson this season, which saw shiny, short nails, with a slick of colour in an ‘r’ shape along the edge and top of the nail.
Starting with a clear, glossy polish, Opoku says: “Then choose a rich pop of coloured polish and paint on a curvy design around the edge of the nail. The great thing about this look is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a steady hand, as the curve can go a bit rogue and squiggly!”
To pull off the graphic style, it’s all about minimalism. A good rule is to keep nails shiny and clear, then paint on a delicate accent: maybe a thin line across the nail, or take inspiration from brand Zero + Maria Cornejo, who painted a single black dot on one corner. You don’t even need any fancy tools for this – dip a toothpick into your nail polish of choice and carefully dab it on.
It’s particularly fashionable to play around with negative space, which essentially means having more of the nail unpainted, so the varnish accents really pop.