Beauty Guru: My favorite nail art

Long live the junk nail

Not too long ago, I was the girl with the long, square acrylic nails, each painted differently with their own personality; some with bright neon colors, rhinestones and 3-D cutouts, others with pieces of real $50 bills strewn across the tips. However, in this economic climate I've gained a little more my respect for the mighty dollar and no longer shred it to pieces just to beautify my hands.

These days, although my nails are natural, I still rock the nail art but with a little more "grown and sexy" feel. My creative style showcases one finger on each hand referred to as the "Junk Nail" in many salons. Instead of a parade of art on each finger, one nail is chosen and tricked out or slightly highlighted; the others are subtle masterpieces. The Junk Nail only works if the other eight nails look superb as well. The perfected execution of the other 8 nails is imperative.

  • Start off by exfoliating hands, then massaging in a great moisturizer. Paraffin treatments work wonders. Hands shout your age louder than your face sometimes.
  • Secondly, manicure nails to perfection (or have them professionally done) I'm talking smooth surfaces, soft cuticles and no ragged ends.
  • Apply OPI Nail Envy to hydrate, harden and nourish nails before polish; the ingredients continue to work even after the manicure.
  • Apply the first coat to your 8 subtle masterpieces. This season, classic deep reds or burgundy like Essie's Pepperoni or Lollipop are hot. While allowing that to dry…
  • Start with your first coat of polish to your junk nail. Try a finely granulated glitter such as Warm and Fozzi, a goldish-bronze from OPI's 2011 Muppet Collection. Repeat coats in short strokes at least twice.
  • To add rhinestones and other 3-D objects, dip a clear polish brush on the underside of the object and place it on top of the junk nail randomly (use nail glue for heavier objects).
  • Finish your 8 subtle masterpieces with at least two more coats using precise short strokes.
  • Apply a clear top coat over each nail and clean up any mistakes with a flat tip brush dipped in non-acetone remover. Try Sephora for OPI Clear Top Coat or for a Matte finish Elf's Essential Matte Finisher Clear Nail Polish.
  • Sit patiently and allow the drying process to start
  • Spritz almond oil over hands and nails. Almond oil increases shine, helps them grow and last longer.
  • Sit patiently once again this time allowing time to completely dry (in all honesty, about another 15 minutes.
  • Lastly, gaze, take pics, post to Facebook/Instagram and admire the great job you've done!

Tip: Neighborhood beauty supply stores are the best for nail art products, 3-D objects, stars and shapes, creative colors, etc.

Tip: For extreme bling, take any old bill at the bottom of your purse in any increment between $1 dollar and $100, cut around the corners where the number is present, snip away small pieces of the number but big enough to make out the number. Once you get your desired amount, place them on your nail randomly with clear top coat or recreate the bill like a puzzle. Wait for reactions…Good and horrified!