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Affordable high fashion with textured fingernails

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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.

Caviar

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

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 [email protected]

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Affordable high fashion with textured fingernails