Toe-tap­ping treats HOW TO ARTLY NAIL IT

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

he rise of nail art blogs on­line is a fas­ci­nat­ing phe­nom­e­non. The cre­ativ­ity and skill of some blog­gers has in­spired a new wave of nail prod­ucts — glit­ter top­coats, dual polishes with one colour as base, the other for dec­o­ra­tion, and ap­pliqués of ev­ery de­sign.

Re­mem­ber, nail art isn’t just a teenage pas­time. In the last few years what was painted on nails for all the ma­jor fash­ion weeks in­ter­na­tion­ally be­came sto­ries as big as the make-up and hair.

So, should we all be try­ing to mas­ter a man­i­cure à la Matisse? Un­less you have plenty of spare time on your hands to prac­tice, your best op­tions are nail art stick- on kits, wraps or a pro­fes­sional ses­sion. If you do want to see how you paint feath­ers on your nails or a fine hound­stooth pat­tern, look to the tu­to­ri­als on the Nailasaurus or 10 Blank Can­vases blogs for in­spi­ra­tion.

Keep­ing it sim­ple and em­brac­ing the colours of the new sea­son, there are sim­pler nail trends you can have fun with this sum­mer.

But first, nail shape con­cerns. Nails too wide? Leav­ing the out­side edges un­painted au­to­mat­i­cally makes the nail ap­pears more slen­der. Nails that are al­ready too nar­row? Paint away, but make sure your pol­ish has a slim line brush or you will paint skin too, so avoid all wide brushes.

Maybe you want longer nails but they refuse to grow? Use nail-hard­en­ing prod­ucts (Mavala or Sally Hansen, from phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide) and when fil­ing cre­ate an oval shape rather than straight across. The oval elon­gates the ap­pear­ance of the nail and fin­gers, straight makes them look shorter.

And what colours for the sum­mer sea­son? Brights are great in the sun — hot pinks and corals and cool cherry reds are all flat­ter­ing re­gard­less of skin tone. Keep dark shades like plum and black for the colder months, but if you have a bot­tle in your make-up bag why not use a dark shade on the tip of a bright nail in French man­i­cure style. It doesn’t need to be per­fect but it will ex­tend a bright man­i­cure if it has chipped slightly at the fin­ger­tips.

Pick up a clear, glit­ter pol­ish and use it to add shine and in­ter­est over a coloured nail that has dulled. And sur­prise prod­uct of 2014 is white nail pol­ish. Yes, it is like paint­ing with Tippex, (that’s the de­sired ef­fect) but bizarrely it looks great alone on the nails. And if you use it as base coat un­der a bright shade it gives a neon qual­ity to the fin­ished man­i­cure. Try it!

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