Nail art is having a moment, said Allure's 2012 Special Issue: Insiders' Guide to Beauty & Style. Try pairing Shatter, Magnetic, and Press-On polishes with stylishly short nails and subdued clothes.
- Shatter: Brush a shatter topcoat over existing polish. It instantly starts to crack, revealing bits of base color as it settles into a broken-glass pattern. Formulas can be thick, so users only need a very thin coat. Try OPI's Black Shatter over gold or silver polish.
- Magnetic: These polishes contain iron powder, so when the magnet is held over a wet nail for 30 seconds, the reaction creates ripples of darker color through the polish. For best results, do one nail at a time.
- Press-On Polish: Some strips on the market are made from actual lacquer that contains a plasticizer, allowing the color to stretch and conform to the nail. They take about 10 minutes to apply and last about a full week without chipping.
Allure also put together a list of the top manicure wreckers to bear in mind:
- Alcohol: Products like hand-sanitizers erode the topcoat, making the polish duller.
- Texting: Each tap is a tiny trauma to the nails.
- Folding Laundry: When folding hot or warm laundry, the heat softens the nail polish and fades its color.
- Scrubs: "You know how scrubs slough off skin? They'll do the very same thing to your nail polish," says nail tech Deborah Lippmann. Avoid exfoliates when wearing polish, or apply them with rubber gloves.