Have Fun with the Latest Nail Trends
Fashion trends are always on the move, each style coming and going through the seasons, and nail fashions are no different. Nail art is taking its rightful place alongside the top clothing designers on the catwalks of Paris, Milan, New York and London, and amongst other places, Japan, China and downtown Pasadena, host an annual Nail Expos. The designs that come out of these shows end up being reproduced by manicurists around the world.
Nail shows appear to be much more ‘user friendly’ than the large fashion shows. Demonstrations are provided, manicures given and talks hosted, and finally, when it’s time to go home, you’ve had a fabulous time, felt included and have gorgeous new nails to show off (and plenty of goodie bags!).
The one thing that’s talked about in great depth at every show is nail health. Nail art, no matter how amazing, is nothing without a great foundation on which to apply the design. Nail beds need to be as perfect as possible if you want art that will last.
How to Grow Healthy Nails
Nails are made up of microscopic strands of protein called keratin – the same as our hair and like hair, the strands can become damaged, ruining their smooth surface. The protein strands grow from an area underneath the cuticle, and are locked tightly together to form the nail bed.
Daily nail care, although necessary, is simple and quick. At least once a day, using a decent hand and nail moisturizer, give your hands and nails a good massage, ensuring that you moisturize the cuticle, too. Carefully clean underneath the nail to minimize any risk of infections, and once or twice a week, gently file your nails.
Diet is important, too, and eating healthily will produce strong, smooth nails. Include plenty of dark green vegetables, pulses and wholegrains, oily fish and eggs in your diet as these provide the protein, vitamins and minerals that healthy, growing nails require. Remember, too, to keep your body hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
The Latest Trends in Nail Art
This year is shaping up to be an absolutely awesome one for nail art, with designers and manicurists pulling out all the stops to create the most amazing designs – it appears that the sky really is the limit.
The main thing to come out of the nail expos is that the Signature Nail System (SNS) is coming into its own. Bubbling away in the background for a while now, it’s finally hitting the mainstream as a go-to base manicure for many designers. Durable, easy to apply and providing the perfect polish for nail art, it’s good to see just what SNS manicures can do.
Coming straight from the Tokyo Nail Expo, glass nails are pretty, attention grabbing and hyper sparkly, and use SNS as a base. Developed by Korean nail artist Eun Kyung Park and inspired by natural mother-of-peal, glass nails use tiny pieces of cellophane applied to the nails. Giving the illusion of glass shards, they catch the light like crystals or a shattered mirror, providing a unique finish for your nails. The effects are different depending on your base coat color, and the color cellophane you choose.
Milk bath nails are another take-away from the expos. Dreamy and decadently pretty, milk bath nails, although appearing complex, are actually quite simple to create. Beautiful on any nail length, they use a milky white gel base, with delicate, miniature flowers, petals and leaves suspended within it. The look is reminiscent of antique fabrics, but is super smooth and hard wearing.
- Start by prepping your nails
- Add 2 very thin layers of the gel base, allowing the first layer to cure thoroughly
- When the second layer is tacky, start applying your design. Use your brush to pick up and place the delicate flowers and petals. These are readily available to buy, or if you have suitable flowers in your yard, use these instead. If you choose fresh flowers, dry them overnight between two sheets of paper, with a weight on top to flatten them
- Very gently press the flowers into the gel so they adhere
- Apply another very thin layer of gel and allow to cure
- With the next layer, make it a little thicker by using a larger ‘blob’ of gel and carefully spreading this out over the nail bed. The flowers will almost disappear under this layer, but don’t worry
- Cure thoroughly
- Take your nail file and gently start to file the surface
- The flowers will gradually start appearing, as though floating in a milky bath.
- Once you are happy with the way the flowers look, brush off all the dust
- Apply one or two top coats of clear polish
There’s so much scope for experimentation with milk bath nails; try using a pink gel, or baby blue, in fact the only limit is your imagination.
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