A New York Fashion Week veteran, nail tech, and CND education ambassador John C. Nguyen is no stranger to creating over-the-top nails for the runway. Aside from pleasing fashion designers with trend-setting talons, he also knows how to translate those 3-D looks for his clientele. “Avant-garde nails always contain so many elements and layers,” he says. “To make an avant-garde style more wearable, I would suggest selecting a single favorite element or component of the overall design and simplifying it.” From runway to real way, follow these steps for a fashionable winter look. 

1. Prep the natural nail. Apply a thin layer of CND Shellac Base Coat and cure in the CND LED Lamp for 10 seconds. Apply two thin layers of CND Shellac Midnight Swim. Cure each layer for one minute.

2. Apply a very thin layer of CND Shellac Ice Vapor. Cure for one minute.

3. Apply a very thin layer of CND Shellac Azure Wish. Do not cure. Use a makeup sponge to remove sections of Azure Wish from the nail to create an abstract effect. Cure for one minute. Apply a thin layer of CND Shellac Xpress5 Top Coat and cure for one minute. Remove the inhibition layer with 99% IPA.

4. For an embossed effect, use a detail brush and paint the skeleton of the snowflake off the center of the nail using CND Shellac Cream Puff. Start the design by painting an X and add a line down the middle of it. Paint a dot in the space between each line close to the intersection.

5. Connect the lines by painting upside-down V’s using the dot as the peak.

6. Add fine lines to the end of the main lines to finish the snowflake. Do not cure.

7. Apply micro glitter in white to the freshly painted snowflake. Cure for one minute.

8. Use a clean nail brush to remove excess glitter. Embellish the snowflake with Swarovski crystals using your favorite stone adhesive to complete the look.

Follow Nguyen on Instagram: @jcnguyen88

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