Although it’s fun to see the artistic and creative designs presented at New York Fashion Week, high fashion typically comes at a high price. Thankfully, designers are paying more attention to the whole package, including makeup and nails – which means we can enjoy runway trends without breaking the bank. So, add some spice to your style with these DIY nail looks inspired by Fashion Week.
The end of winter marks an important event in the fashion world, when designers present their new lines at Spring Fashion Week and set the tone for worldwide trends through the rest of the year. The rich and famous typically flaunt these new looks, but for others, splurging on even a single statement piece can be out of reach.
Thankfully, there’s an affordable way to incorporate the newest trends into your style: nail art! Many designers have moved away from simple nude nails, instead pushing the envelope with everything from metallic to glitter and rhinestones to rainbows.
Check out these easy DIY nail art styles, and get ready to be at the cutting edge of fashion this year!
- Chocolate brown: If you’re tired of the typical winter reds and purples but want to stick with warm colors for spring, this trend is for you. Marc Jacobs worked with celebrity manicurist Marian Newman to take the brown manicure to the next level: chocolate nails accented with opaque black Swarovski crystals. The color may seem counterintuitive for spring, but as Newman explains to Allure, the edgy appeal of this look is “so wrong, it’s right.”
- Midas touch: Gold and bronze shades were a huge trend across the runways, and this shimmering look is sure to add some sparkle to your day. Instead of painting your entire nail bronze, which can be a bit overwhelming, opt for some metallic tips or a gradient, like the look Katie Jane Hughes of Butter LONDON designed for Dannijo.
- Ombre rose: This pretty and understated trend is easy to master at home and will remind you that spring is just around the corner. Romantic ombre rose nails appeared at Zac Posen and were designed by lead Morgan Taylor manicurist Gina Edwards, who tells Allure, “We’re calling the nail look faded rose garden.”
- Get the look: Start with a coat of light rose-plum like Essie Nail Color in Neo Whimsical and dab a lavender shade like Essie Nail Color in Bangle Jangle on the tips with a small sponge. The key to really nailing this look is applying a clear topcoat while the polish is still wet, which according to Edwards, “mixes and disperses the colors so you don’t get that obvious line.”
- Vampy point: Ready to be a little more daring this season? Then it’s time to ditch the filed flat nail in favor of an almond shape sharpened to a point. Because the shape is dramatic enough on its own, stick to a neutral base color like the models sported at the Jenny Packham presentation. Deborah Lippmann designed a similar nail for Honor, but embellished the nail base with elegant Swarovski crystals.
- Monochrome with a French twist: This simple but striking look is the perfect way to incorporate some of the brightest colors that appeared at Fashion Week. The Sally Henson stylists at Prabal Gurung used one color on each model but added a matte topcoat, leaving only the tip shiny for a modern twist on a classic French manicure.
- Go vertical: It’s time to flip the across-the-tip French mani on its head with a thin vertical stripe down your nail. Jin Soon Choi designed this chic black and white style for Tibi. You can mix it up with lines across your nails in different directions; the key is keeping the line thin.
- Half-moon: This style was popular back in the 1930s, and it’s about time we brought it back. The half-moon in beige and white appeared at Erin Fetherston, in black and white at Peter Som and in nude and gold at Tadashi Shoji. Manicurist Miss Pop, who designed the Erin Fetherston look, told InStyle, “I refined the half-moon—a nail art trend started by flappers—into a more delicate stroke.”
- Spring rainbows: Usher in spring like the Degen runway models, who donned clouds on a blue background with a rainbow accent nail on each ring finger. This is the most challenging of the Fashion Week looks, but if you have the right tools, you’ll master the design in no time.
- Get the look: Paint your ring finger nails with two coats of silver nail polish like Essie nail color in Silver Bullions and the rest with light blue like Butter London Nail Lacquer in Sprog. After the blue nails dry, apply white nail polish with a dotting tool – or the tip of an old ballpoint pen or toothpick – to make clouds. On your ring fingers, use a striping tool to paint lines in half-arcs with the colors of the rainbow across your nail. You can make your own striping tool by cutting the brush from any old nail polish, leaving about a quarter of the original fibers. If that’s too much trouble, you can splurge on the LAQA & CO Nail Art Pens, which come in a wide variety of colors.
If you don’t get these looks the first time, remember that practice makes perfect! Just try again and keep a cotton swab soaked with nail polish remover handy to clean up any mistakes. In no time, you’ll be flashing stylish nails perfect for spring and beyond.
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