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Nail Notes
Nail art for grown ups
Nail art Image Credit:

Beauty faux pas don’t come much bigger than a bit nail art. The rhinestones, glitter, talons, hell even printed photos stuck to the top – just when you think it can’t get any worse someone pierces their tips with diamond earrings and dangles chains from the ends. Apart from despising them aesthetically, we can’t help but be bothered by their practicality. How on earth do you send a text or type with a 2-inch stick of plastic strapped to your finger? And don’t even get us started on the hygiene!

We digress. Unfortunately, there are just some trends that have a bad rep, no matter how hard people try to reinvent them. They’ll always be deemed ‘tacky’ in the eyes of beauty law.

But we want to re-write that. It doesn’t have to be so spangly – strip things back and nail art can look really elegant (yes, elegant - we were shocked too!).  Hipster manicurist for Dior, Anatole Rainey let us in on his easy tips that won’t bring you out in cold sweats.

But we think we’ll loose the word ‘art’. It brings too many terrifying visions; let’s go with ‘design,’ shall we?

Brave scale: Cool - still in sweat pants and hoodies
‘The quickest way to add a bit of interest to your nails is to play around with textures and top coats,’ says Rainey. ‘I always think a matte tip is a great way of adding a subtle twist’. This is a good warm-up to break you into the nail game.

Brave scale: Hmm, warm-ish
If you’re a recovering nail-art-phobe the “negative space” trend won’t get you too panicked. ‘Just add a simple strip to a naked nail or a dot and paint over with a clear topcoat.’

Brave scale: Warm enough to get your legs out
‘Having a bit more length obviously gives you more room to play with, especially if you’re attempting detailed designs. But those long stiletto-shaped nails look a bit dated now, so I’d always go for short and neat,’ says Rainey (music to our ears!). ‘Leaving a tiny gap around the edge of your nails will give the illusion of length, but by painting over in stripes (like clothes always got for vertical to look slimmer) it elongates them’.

Brave scale: Hot enough for a cocktail on the rocks
Ok, time to master tools. Actually just one tool – a super fine brush. ‘I like to keep things simple and graphic by painting a diagonal colour across a nude nail’. Use a bit of tape to make sure the line is straight, but your base colour has to be really dry or you’ll strip it off.

Brave Scale: Scorchio! Pass us the SPF 50+++
Don’t freak, but glitter can look good, ‘You can make nail art work for any occasion. For a black tie event start of with a dark polish and then use a glittery topcoat over it, gradually grading the sparkle towards the tip – a bit like a glittery ombre. For boardroom situations on the other hand I’d stick to something nude, but would add in a half moon or tip in a paler colour. You still want to be taken seriously, right?

So, all still with us? Wasn’t too bad was it?

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