Nails have fast become one of the coolest and most sought after accessories in recent years. They are an inexpensive outlet of expressing your personality through your style as you can easily transform their look from week to week. In this way, especially if you are doing your own nails it is an economical and fun way to constantly update your look meaning you feel great as opposed to guilty when you’re flashing them knowing they didn’t cost you an arm or a leg like the handbag or shoes on those respective parts! Celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Katy Perry and Rihanna have endorsed the nail art craze that has taken over, encouraging us mere mortals to conjure up the most elaborate, humorous or extravagantly glam talons to rival their perfectly manicure paws, or in RiRi’s case claws. I am an avid nail enthusiast, and have been for as long as I can remember. I get more enjoyment buying a new nail polish than I would buying a dress, after all your nails never have “fat days.” I also would be more delighted to get a compliment about my nails than my outfit because you can really tailor them to your own style whereas a tonne of girls could be wearing the same dress or coat as you pick up a take-away tea! To have well-manicured nails is essential they are always one of the first things I notice when I meet someone for the first time or interact with people in a fleeting moment so why not make an effort to make them stand out? If you think about it nails are essentially like an artist’s canvas for you to create masterpieces, works of art that you can easily remove and replace with another innovative creation!
Here’s a look at some of the various nail art ideas that I have done on my own nails in the last few months which are easy to achieve (with a very steady hand and practice) to inspire you to have your hands ready for the bright Spring Days ahead.
If there’s one way to nail (come on, that was bound to be said) your Spring look then it is with floral and nature themed nails as shown in these three looks. You can keep things a bit more uniform by choosing a pastel polish to offset a nice array of simple monochrome daisies, or go full bloom with an abundance of vibrant rose shapes to rival the gorgeous flowers in the Stephen’s Green park. The lady bird nails are easily my favourite nails of this bunch. As much as I love outlandish, elaborate nail art I think that when you keep a very neutral base to accompany whatever design you use it can look a lot cooler because they seem effortless and stand out.
If floral doesn’t tickle your fancy then why not make one of your five-a-day your five nails? Fruit inspried nail art looks are really cute, but also fun and quite humurous. They are the perfect alternative to the floral-Spring takeover that is perhaps a little too expected. Bananas and strawberries are always a good choice as they are easy to translate into paint. But you could be adventurous and try and master a pineapple or a watermelon if you feel you are more Carmen Miranda than Miranda Kerr!
For the more conservative type why not try something a bit cooler like geometric shapes or easy gingham patterns? I really love the first look here with the green nail and assorted white triangles and black lines. There’s something quite 90s about this look, which is ideal for those who are fully embracing the age of Nirvana and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, whilst still wanting to keep up to date with the latest trends. Whereas the white nails and black double triangles are a lot more subtle and very cool. Naturally to achieve the triangles, as with the majority of these looks you will need to pick up a good nail art pen in black. I picked one up in a nail shop in Berlin, but I am sure that the Barry M or Models Own versions are perfect to use. The gingham nails are perfect for those lovely Spring weekends when you decide to go on a perfect picnic date, that is until the rain crashes down!
If you feel however that you aren’t really up for anything to strenuous or are beginning to explore the wonders creating your own masterpieces why not try out these really easy looks. Special effects nail polishes are also becoming a lot more diversified in the options that are now readily available in shops particularly from nail pioneers Barry M. The Confetti effect is one that I have been crazy about since the Summer. It’s a really cool effect that makes your nails look as though they are the filling of a party popper that has just exploded at the party of the year. You can get the confetti effect polish in bright pastel colours such as pink, green and even multi-coloured but I really love the black and white especially when you layer it over a nice muted pastel to give it a bit of life. Matte top coats are also an amazing innovation with nail art. I love them particularly with this light grey look for Spring while matte black is ideal for the Winter months.
And finally, if all else fails then stick with the old reliable polka dots to get you and your nails buzzing for Spring! Hmm…buzzing…there’s an idea…bumble bee nails! I think I may have to go explore that idea a bit more! So there you have it, whether its flowers or fruit, ladybirds or triangles you have no excuse not to give your nails the ultimate treat so to have you more than just green finger this Spring!
Now that you have the inspiration for your Spring nails here’s some tips that you can count on one hand for perfecting your manicure.
- Preparation is key.
To ensure that your polish goes on smooth for a salon finish you need to make sure that your canvas (or nail in this case) is perfect. Filing and buffing is essential for an even shape and surface, just be sure to take it easy with the buffing. I had a recent misadventure of being slightly too enthusiastic buffing my nails which resulted in them becoming weak and breaking.
I always use a cuticle oil on my nails and cuticles before I start to paint my nails. This will moisturise the nail area meaning that our finish will be complimented with a nourished frame, because there’s nothing worse than dry cuticles to distract from the perfect manicure.
Base and Top Coat.
To not use both a base and top coat in your manicure is redundant as this is what prolongs your polish’s lifespan and also creates an even and glossy base.
Once you have finished your first coat of polish always allow at least 10 minutes before you do your next, same applies when you are painting on your flowers or bananas. If you don’t you’re asking for a smudging!
I was in Penneys recently and was scouring through the Essence nail products as you’re always guaranteed to find some really great additional nail essentials such as top and base coats, cuticle remover and instant nail polish drying oil. I tested out the latter and it is incredible especially if you’re doing a late night polish change! You simple put a few drops of this magic potion onto your fresh manicure and it instantly dries the polish meaning that you can go about your day without the awkward palm manoeuvres! This is definitely an item that needs to find its way into your nail bag!
Words and Photos: Zara Hedderman @ mumblesandstumbles.com