Me? It's my nails.
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Before this whole nail art fad, nobody ever noticed my perfectly-polished digits. Now, everyone from the bank teller to the grocery store checkout lady raves about my well-manicured hands.
Why are my nails suddenly getting the recognition they deserve? Because thanks to the exploding nail art trend, I'm now adorning my favorite feature with all kinds of inspired designs.
Uninspired by your own nails? These 7 new nail art designs will help spur your inner Picasso.
Difficulty Level: 7 (out of 10)
We spotted these swirly, psychedelic nails backstage at Nicole Miller, and we were truly entranced. CND's Wanda Ruiz used bold shades (Plumville, Electric Orange, Bicycle Yellow, and Anchor Blue) to create the look, which she says you can easily do at home with a few toothpicks. "Dip a clean toothpick into whichever color you want to use first," she says. "Then, start in the center and drag it along the nail creating a spiral." Because the toothpicks are rigid, you'll have more control than if you were to use a detailing brush. Just keep in mind that this mani is going to require a serious amount of patience and may take a while.
Difficulty Level: 8
The hand-painted flowers at Rachel Antonoff were inspired by one of the prints in her collection. If you want to try to copy this look exactly, start with two coats of CND's Flashpoint; then, working with a detailing brush, paint a fern design on the lower half of your nails with Anchor Blue and Brilliant White. The best part of a look like this one is that you can mimic any floral in your own closet. If you've never attempted something this difficult before (or if you're not ambidextrous -- since applying any polish with your non-dominant hand can be difficult), try painting a set of artificial nails instead of your own.
Difficulty Level: 3
To get the look of intricate nail art without using a brush (or polish for that matter!), look no further than Minx, a line of foil-like stickers that adhere directly to your nails. At Calla Collection, Minx created a custom print to match a swatch of fabric from one of the looks in the show. While this particular splattered print isn't available, Minx has a selection of similar designs you can try. Then, all you have to do is smooth the stickers onto your nails and file away the excess.
Difficulty Level: 2
From the clothes to the accessories to the nails, gleaming metallic hues were all over the fall runways. At Behnaz Sarafpour, CND's Roxanne Valinoti used gold and silver polish (called Gold Chrome and Silver Chrome) to give the models a "high-tech, feminine" feel. "It looks so special, but it's easy to do," she says. Use two coats of a metallic polish and top it off with a shiny topcoat.
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Difficulty Level: 6
Nude nails are going to be extremely popular come fall, but backstage at Rebecca Minkoff, Haven Spa's nail team put a fresh spin on the trend. "We wanted the look to be neutral but also fun and different," said Anne Lazovik, general manager at Haven. "So we painted a double stripe along the top of a taupe manicure." They used Essie Jazz as the base and then Midnight Cami and Wrapped in Rubies on the tips. To do this at home, Lazovik suggests painting a wide stripe first then layering a thinner stripe just on the edge. But be warned: "Creating two perfectly straight and identical stripes isn't easy," says Lazovik.
Difficulty Level: 5
To create an ombre manicure like the one we spotted backstage at Erickson Beamon, all you need are two bottles of polish (one color, one black), a makeup sponge, and topcoat. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics created this look for Beauty.com using the colors Vintage (a deep red), Blackboard (a deep green) and Tarred (a pure black). Start by painting two coats of whichever color you choose, and sponge on the black, concentrating the polish towards the tips. Then, before it dries, apply the topcoat and use the brush to pull the colors across the nail, blending them together.
Difficulty Level: 3
It's no secret that Kate Spade loves speckled prints, so of course she sent models down the runway with polka-dot nails, which matched some of the looks in the collection. Deborah Lippmann created the adorable mani using Fade to Black as the base and I'm Not Innocent (a pale peach) for the spots. The best part? She painted freehand using a regular nail-polish brush. Each dot was a slightly different size and shape for a whimsical result. "If you want to do nail art, this is the easiest do-it-yourself," says Lippmann.
And that's not all. I saved the best three for last. Click here to see them.
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