According to the October issue of More Magazine, like an "it" bag or a great pair of heels, chic nail art can turn an average outfit into a style statement. Here the pros at New York City's paintbox manicure studio show six ways to turn nails into a mani-splendored thing.
Mani materials: Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer in To-Tally A-Tealing and World Price Nail Tape in silver.
Tip tricks: apply base coat to each nail, then paint teal lacquer at the top and bottom, leaving a silver bare in between. Next, cut striping tape into finger-width pieces. Then, unless you're ambidextrous, have a friend or salon manicurist place the tape on the nail, in the unpainted space. (Snip extra tape on either side.) Finish by applying top coat vertically over the lacquered sections then horizontally over the tape.
The Perfect Foil
Mani materials: Essie Nail Polish in Style Cartel topped with gold nail foil like the kind in Ciaté Very Colourfoil Manicure in Kaleidoscope Klash.
Tip tricks: apply a base coat, followed by two coats of navy polish - then allow your nails to fully dry (wait 15-20 minutes) before applying the foil. Once your tips are no longer tacky to the touch, cut 10 one-inch squares of the foil, dribble foil adhesive or eyelash glue on the matte side, allow the glue to dry for 30 to 60 seconds, then press the foil, adhesive side down, on each nail two or three times. The foil will stick to your nail, creating a shiny, marbled effect. Finish with a layer of clear top coat.
Steel the Show
Mani materials: L'Oréal Paris Gellacque Nail Lacquer in Elegance is Innate and Revlon Nail Art appliqués in Pretty in Punk.
Tip tricks: apply a base coat and two coats of gray polish to all fingers. Add a layer of clear top coat to six nails, skipping two on each hand (we chose the ring and pointer fingers). When your polish is nearly dry, about 10 minutes later, carefully apply lace-adorned strips to the top-coat-less fingers. Trim excess lace, then use a nail file to smooth the tips.
Into the Nude:
Mani materials: Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nudité plus matte gold nail studs.
Tip tricks: apply a base coat, two coats of nude lacquer and a layer of top coat to every nail except your ring fingers. Then go back and apply a top coat to one ring finger, dotting an extra dollop in three spots where you will place gold studs. (Kandalec says to skip adhesive because it dulls your studs.) Use pointy-tipped tweezers to lay the suds in a vertical line, cuticle to tip. Then repeat on the other ring finger.
Mani materials: Zoya Natural Nail Polish in Hargo; Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in White On; Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Tool Kit which contains two brushes, a stencil and a two-sided dotting tool.
Tip tricks: apply a base coat, then two coats of magenta polish, and allow nails to dry for about 10 minutes. Next, pour a pea-size drop of white lacquer on a small, flat surface, such as the bottom of a plastic cup. Dip the wider end of the two-sided dotting tool in the white polish and carefully tap on your nails to create spots. Allow the dots to dry for five minutes, then cover the entire nail with a layer of top coat.
Mani materials: OPI Nail Lacquer in Grape Affair plus Incoco Rock On Snakeskin nail polish appliqués.
Tip tricks: with manicure scissors, cut the strips into 20 triangles (two for each nail), keeping in mind that you will want larger triangles on your thumbs than on your pinkies. Then, to all 20 nails, apply a base coat, two coats of deep purple lacquer and a thin layer of top coat. While the top coat is still tacky to the touch, use pointy-tipped tweezers to gently place two triangles on each nail. The sticky surface of the top coat will help grab hold of the strips, and as the top coat dries, hold them securely in place.