Still sporting French tips on your fingers? Well, sorry to break it to you, but the French mani is dead! With the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry wowing us on a weekly basis with their outrageously fabulous nail art, plus the rise in popularity of Minx’s metallic talons, the time has never been more right for you to strike out on the wild side. Here’s a look at some of the hottest manicure styles… French manicure fans, look away now!
For those coming off a diet of boring beige nails, the Funky French is probably the safest place to start. Taking the template of the humble French manicure but repainting it in rainbow hues, it’s a fun way to liven up a simple look. As seen on the models in recent YSL campaigns, there’s a near-limitless array of colour combinations, whether you decide to go for something high-contrast or a little more subtle. Popular choices include gilded tips in either silver or gold, or an even more understated play on textures using matte-effect finishes.
Image source: YSL
Basically, the boring French mani turned upside-down! These experienced a surge in popularity after they were spotted on designer label Ruffian’s catwalk (hence the name), whilst retro glamourpuss Dita Von Teese is another long-time fan of the flapper-inspired look. CND’s manicurist Jan Arnold created the look for Ruffian after seeing a glowing crescent moon in the night sky and made it seem as if your cuticles are smiling back at you – who’s to blame when they look this lovely! Just like the moon waxes and wanes, oval shape half-moons have become popular as well.
Image source: Necolebitchie.com
One of the simplest manicures to try at home, this involves painting each of your nails a different colour, putting a whole new spin on Skittles slogan of tasting the rainbow! It might seem a little pre-school but can look surprisingly cute and chic, especially if you select your colours carefully. In order to avoid looking like you couldn’t decide what colour to wear so decided to wear them all, it’s best to pick shades that feel similar tonally – for example, all pastels or all neons.
Image source: Alllacqueredup.com
The Accent Nail
Another easy one to try at home and perfect for livening up a tired manicure is the accent nail, which has been seen recently on the likes of Vanessa Hudgens and Jennifer Hudson. All you have to do is paint one nail a different colour from the rest (for some reason, the ring finger or the pinkie has become the chosen one!) and you’re good to go. I think this tends to look a little like you ran out of nail polish at the last minute if you use wildly disparate colours, so a glitter in a similar colour, a sparkly top-coat or a brief burst of shatter might do the trick for the more discerning accent nail wearer.
Image source: Lacquerista
A more refined take on the skittle manicure, this is a clean and chic look that’s been championed by the queen of chic herself, Lauren Conrad, and could be just the perfect accompaniment to the ombre dip-dyed hair that trend-setters like Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson and Drew Barrymore have recently sported. Rather than opting for a handful of completely different colours, the ombre manicure instead paints each nail a slightly darker version of the colour before it, making your nails look like a real-life version of Dulux colour chart!
If you’re a nail polish fiend with a collection that would rival that of a salon, you can use five different nail varnishes of subtly different shades or go back to basics and re-live your childhood art classes by mixing colours together (or adding tiny drops of white to one) to produce lighter and darker hues. You can take the look one step further by sporting gradients on each nail by sponging the colours together – the best ones remind me beautiful skylines or, even better, tropical cocktails!
Image source: Blessmybag.com
Scotch Tape Manicure
The latest hottest trend to sweep the Web is the brainchild of nail polish blog Chloe’s Nails, who creates her most lusted-after looks not with the aid of a professional manicurist or any high-tech tools… but with the help of good old Scotch tape! By taping off sections of her nails using this humble piece of stationary, she’s created manicures stylish enough to grace any red carpet – whether it’s even funkier Frenchs, zig-zags, stripes, starbursts patchwork looks and just about any other shape or design you can think of!
Image source: Zibib.blogspot.com
Rachel is a writer, make-up maven and Girls Aloud addict who enjoys lusting after things she can't afford. Like what you see? Check out her blog, Though The Looking Glass, here.