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Nailing the Trend

The big beauty trend? Anything nails.


Go Bold
Give yourself a quick nail makeover
with NCLA’s nail wraps, available in
several colorful, themed collections.
Each kit is $16 at Beauty Cirque at
The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa.
Or go 3D with Ciaté’s Caviar
Manicure kits, using caviar pearls
to create a more tangible effect
(think frozen yogurt sprinkles) in
three collections: Mother of Pearl,
Black Pearls and Rainbow. Each kit
is $25 at Sephora.
beautycirque.com  ::  shopncla.com
sephora.com  ::  ciate.co.uk

Commitment is hard. And change can be fun. Speaking the language of beauty, this means a nail craze.

The big beauty trend of the moment is anything nails: nail color blocking, ombre (not just for hair anymore), art, stickers… and well, everything.

“Nail art is very hot right now,” says celebrity manicurist Elsbeth Schuetz, of Orange. “Not only can an inexpensive polish creation brighten our day without breaking the bank, it has also become de rigueur for starlets and musicians to rock attention-getting nails on red carpets and in magazines.”

And the best part is that there are no rules. “As long as you express your style and it makes you happy – rock it,” says Samira Asemanfar, founder of Bellacures nail salon, which has locations in Newport and Laguna Beach.

With the help of some beauty experts, we’ve nailed down some of the trend highlights.

One Nail Different – Or More
Apply one color polish to all your nails, but on your ring finger, try a lighter shade, says Asemanfar. Once two layers of polish have dried, use a black Sharpie marker to draw a stripe pattern over the lighter color. Once dry, apply top coat to all nails. Spa Gregorie’s Rancho Santa Margarita Spa Director Danie Cawthorn also suggests metallics or glitter, stripes in different colors, leopard or heart prints, or a glossy tip on matte on any one finger for that extra pop. Take it all even further by adding more different nails. “Try to maintain some balance by wearing different shades of the same colors or adding polka dots in the alternate color, to resist looking like an Easter basket,” says Schuetz.

They’re as easy as they sound and, according to Planet Beauty’s Erin Dominguez, “These are simply a must-have for girls on-the-go who are looking to achieve the hottest trends with little application time, and best of all, zero dry time.” Dominguez suggests OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps (available at Planet Beauty) and Asemanfar likes Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips (available at Target). “Don’t be afraid of fun patterns. Mix it up!” Asemanfar says.

“One of my favorite designs is definitely the hand-painted gradient nail,” says Schuetz. Instead of a perfectly polish-free edge, apply base color to the entire nail, she says. Then add a different color on the free edge, heavier on the tip and lighter as you move toward the cuticle. While still wet, blend with a toothpick or a fine brush. Finish with a top coat.

Foiled Nail
Buy gold leaf at any arts and crafts store and use tweezers to place it on the still wet polish on your nails, says Schuetz. (While you’re at the crafts store, Schuetz suggests picking up some gemstones to glue them on a nail or 10.)

Color Blocking
“Our favorite blocked combo is neons and neutrals,” Dominguez says. “Colors that contrast yet complement work best and the shape is up to you.” First use a base coat, then start your blocking by painting your entire nail the lighter color. Let it dry fully before using tape to create the shape of your fancy, painting that section with the darker color. Finish up with a top coat.

Buy a clear top coat and a bottle of your favorite glitter color, says Asemanfar. Roll a piece of paper into a funnel and pour the glitter into the clear top coat bottle. Mix and shake very well before applying. Finish off with a clear coat of top coat. “No longer is it required to use a colored base first and then glitter on top,” says Schuetz. “In fact, you can use different glitter colors and sizes for one mani to create even more distinct effects.”

Keep Nails Nice
Enjoy your nails, but be nice to them too. Here are some quick tips from our experts:
Stay hydrated and take supplements like fish oil and biotin, says Asemanfar, of Bellacures nail salon.
Moisturize daily with a hand cream containing cuticle treatment, and exfoliate, Asemanfar says. Mix one cup of sugar with one cup of grape seed oil and a half cup of argan oil for an effective at-home scrub.
File from the corner of your nail to the center in one swift movement, says Dominguez, of Planet Beauty. Filing from side to side weakens nails.
Take a break from polishing every now and then to avoid yellow tips, says Dominguez.
Do not trim cuticles, only trim hangnails, says Virginia Williams, lead nail technician at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach. Trimming cuticles repeatedly will lead to rough, jagged cuticles that split and crack.

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