6 Tricks to Take Your Manicure to the Next Level
1. Accent Nails
Want to give your mani that extra 'wow' factor, but not sure how? How about an accent nail? That's basically adding extra details or a different color polish to just one nail (normally the ring finger). It's a trend that's picked up over the past few years, and has been rocked by celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens and Anne Hathaway.
Accent nails can be as simple as just adding a coat of glitter polish, or some more intricate designs, like polka dots, stripes or nail art. The accent nail can also be a contrasting color of nail polish to the other fingers.
2. Top coat = more durability and shine.
Nothing is worse than painting your nails, only to accidentally smudge the surface moments after. However, 'top coat' (which is essentially clear nail polish) is the tried and true method of keeping your mani shiny and intact. After the other layers of polish have fully dried, add one or two thin coats of clear polish, and let dry. To preserve your mani for longer, touch up any chips in the polish ad then add another layer of top coat every few days.
3. Nail Art
Adding any type of nail art will definitely amp up your mani! Nail art can be as simple as stripes, polka dots, hearts, or for the more steady handed, more intricate designs. Fine tipped nail art brushes can be used, or even items from around your home, like toothpicks, hairpins, scotch tape and even dental floss.
Ready made adhesive art can also be bought and added onto your nail, just by using topcoat to seal it onto the surface.
YouTube guru cutepolish shows an easy way to make your own nail art by painting it first onto a plastic surface, letting it dry, then transferring it to your nail with a pair of tweezers and top coat as a sealant. Check out her method in the tutorial below!
4. Dry your nails quicker with nail spray
One of the most annoying things about painting your nails is the amount of time it takes for them to dry. You end up kind of feeling stuck, not sure if you can move your hands without disaster striking.
To cut down on drying time, invest in a can of professional-grade nail spray. This baby is amazing as it dries nails almost instantly. After applying the polish, just spritz a few times over each nail, and let it set for a few minutes. And ta-dahh! Your nails are ready!
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5. Ombre/Gradient pattern
Gradient or 'ombre' patter has become insanely popular over the past few years, and has been seen everywhere - from clothes to accessories, to even hair. Giving your nails an ombre style pattern would definitely grab your hands some attention.
Most people use similar shades of the same color for ombre, but don't be afraid to try mixing colors to find a style you like. Neon shades like pink, orange and yellow for example go very well together.
The easiest way to get a smooth ombre effect is to use a makeup sponge to dab each color onto the nail. The video below gives a better explanation of how to achieve this look.
6. Add some French tips
The French manicure is considered one of the most chic looks among nail designs, and wearing it can add a classy factor to your hands. French tips don't always have to be the classic nude and white combo, however - try playing around with different colors, or using a metallic or glittery polish for the tips instead.
Some may find it a little hard to draw on. Nail art brushes, or stripers, are better for this task than the regular bottle brushes. Be sure to use a steady hand and small, even strokes when painting on the tips. Most beauty supply stores sell stencils or adhesive strips that can help make this a lot easier.