Want to amp up your manicure game? Good news: Doing so doesn’t require a trip to the nail salon. Save time and money by giving yourself an at-home manicure with this season’s sophisticated nail art trends. When it comes to choosing a color, take a cue from your garden: Think peach, purple, and even crisp, kelly green for an unexpected twist on traditional summer nail shades. And when it comes to selecting the design, keep it simple (see our half moon or diagonal line looks). While some busy nail art can read a bit juvenile or tacky, these curated looks (inspired from our favorite nail art studios, like Paintbox in New York City) are clean and classic, and best of all, they don’t require an art degree or super steady hand to master. Instead of using two shades, pair a bright hue with negative nail space (a sliver of bare nail) so it looks interesting and intricate, yet not too over-the-top. So grab the essentials: a nail file, a base and top coat, your favorite polish, some Scotch tape, and nail polish remover, then follow these easy steps to create your own DIY nail art. They complement this summer’s hottest fashion trend—florals, yet look super cute with solids, too. Now, go nail it!
This clear half-moon mani won’t show regrowth at the base, so you can no go longer between polish jobs—high five!
How-to: Instead of doing these half-moons freehand, get round paper hole reinforcement stickers at an office supply store and place them halfway over the cuticle to act as a barrier. Swipe a kelly-green polish over the entire nail. Peel off the stickers to reveal a crisp half-moon at the nail base. Let dry, then add topcoat.
Pro secret: Run the brush along the top of the nail to seal the raw edge and help prevent chipping.
Half and Half
A diagonal design is an easy way to edge up girly florals.
How-to: When incorporating negative space (where slivers of your naked nail bed peek through), skip the base coat, since you’ll be using topcoat later. For this diagonal design, stick a small piece of Scotch tape across your nail where you want the negative space (this ensures a precise line). Swipe a purple polish from the edge of the tape to the
tip of the nail, then quickly remove the tape. Once nails are dry, apply topcoat.
Pro secret: When using tape for any mani, do one nail at a time, removing the tape immediately after painting to avoid seeping polish.
When wearing a bold pattern, try a single swipe in an accent color for a mani that complements, not competes.
How-to: If negative space isn’t your thing, swap your regular solid neutral for soft yet surprising lavender. Apply a base coat like JINsoon Power Coat, which dries matte so polish adheres better. Once nails are dry, layer on two coats of color. Finish with topcoat.
Pro secret: It’s always a good idea to swipe a cotton pad dipped in alcohol or non-acetone polish remover (white vinegar works, too) over your nail bed to remove residue and keep nail polish from peeling.
A Fine Line
A vertical line down the center creates the illusion of longer nails, while coral (your new neutral) warms the skin.
How-to: This intricate design isn’t tricky at all, thanks to that handy tape. Trim strips to your desired width and place one lengthwise at the center of each nail. Paint a peach polish over the nail, then carefully remove the strip using your fingers or tweezers. Continue on to the next nail. Let dry, then finish with topcoat.
Pro secret: Reapply topcoat every three days for an instant refresh.