Affordable high fashion with textured fingernails
February 5, 2014
Nail art has dominated runways and is now breaking into the mainstream. These hot new styles, including velvet, caviar, magnetic, matte, studded and decaled nails, are a sure way to accessorize and catch someone’s eye.
Velvet and Studded
The velvet manicure style, a surprisingly subtle and clean look, can be obtained using two different methods. One option is to purchase a specialty velvet polish, such as Ciaté’s Velvet Manicure ($21). Alternately, you can apply flocking powder, a craft product with a velvet finish, to a wet top coat of matching color ($6). This take on the traditional manicure can stand alone or be amped up by applying a dotted design with a metallic nail polish. Once dried, the metallic dots will bear a striking resemblance to miniature studs.
If you’re looking for more texture, try a caviar manicure. Caviar nails, which involve embellishments with colorful microbeads, add a lot of punch to a manicure but can be difficult to maintain. This look was first seen at the Cushnie et Ochs Fall 2011 show, which presented all-black caviar nails designed by Ciaté. The same nail brand sells a kit, complete with a mini funnel, tray and corresponding polish and beads. However, these kits cost up to $25. Instead, the microbeads can be found at a crafts store or online and can easily be applied. Add a thick layer of nail polish and allow the nails to dry for about 10 seconds or until the polish is tacky. Then, carefully pour the microbeads onto each nail, using a cup or tray to collect falling beads. Press the beads into the nails and, after the polish has dried, apply a clear topcoat. Though simple, this look works best for special events or short-term use because the beads are prone to falling off.
Matte nails, a now-recurring trend, can easily be replicated using products found at your local drugstore, including top coats from brands like OPI and Essie. However, instead of purchasing extra products, a matte nail polish can be made at home by using already-purchased polish. To mattify a regular nail polish, pour a dime-sized amount of polish onto a mixing surface and, using a pencil, add cornstarch in an approximate 1:2 ratio to the polish and combine. Apply the newly mixed polish to the nails using a nail brush. Though the consistency may seem odd, the polish will dry smoothly, but be sure to clean the brush afterward to remove the cornstarch. For a twist on the traditional matte manicure, apply a clear polish onto a matte color and run the brush along the tips.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 5 print edition. Cate Wright is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.