You’re standing in the checkout line buying “insert item here” and the 20-something in front of you has an intricate, crystal-studded manicure. You think, That looks interesting — but I could never pull off nail art!
If this is you, we’re here to convince you otherwise: You can wear nail art at any age. We promise! To prove it: three of the best looks from the spring/summer runways.
The Design: Two-shade ombré fade. In a sea of spangled nail art, the ombré fade has become a chic classic. It’s fairly simple to achieve: After painting a base color, use a makeup sponge or dry brush to stipple on the second hue, concentrating the color at the nail tip and fading it toward the center of the nail. The best way to wear it: Choose two colors in the same family (light peach and bold coral, for example). “Steer clear of super-bright neon colors. The idea is to achieve a subtle look, never overbearing,” says manicurist Gina Edwards, who created the look shown above. Finally, the more seamless your fade, the more sophisticated the look. Practice blending the two colors gradually, so that the line where the two hues meet isn’t abrupt.
Seen At: Naeem Khan
Try It: KISS Gel Strong Polish in Sweet Angel and Sakura
The Design: Two-tone French manicure. You know the French manicure, but this fresh take flips the script, trading traditional pink and white for more modern shades. Manicurist Rose Velez-Miggins, who created the pearl and baby blue design pictured above, recommends a sophisticated palette of soft neutrals with contrasting finishes (like pearlescent with muted cream). And she says you should pay attention to nail shape: An almond-shaped nail looks more refined. “This design allows you to achieve a few things at once: wearing a nail shape that elongates the finger while incorporating nail art with a slight pop of color,” says Velez-Miggins.
Seen At: Taoray Wang
Try It: Dermelect ME Moon Kissed and Above It
The Design: Accent nails. Every one of the manicurists we interviewed says the best way to dip your fingers into nail art is with an accent nail — a design on a single nail on each hand. One stylish way to wear an accent: Flip the colors of a two-tone color-block French on one nail, like the pink and burgundy design nail artist Michelle Saunders created for the Rebecca Minkoff show. “Because only two colors are used and the shapes are simple, anyone at any age can wear this manicure. It looks modern, chic, and timeless,” Saunders says, adding, “Nail art is ageless!”
Seen At: Rebecca Minkoff
Try It: Essie in Go Go Geisha and Maki Me Happy