Just like makeup, hairstyles and the clothes you pick from the wardrobe (or up off the floor, ahem) every day, painting ones nails has become a true expression of personality.
Some people like to keep things simple and classic, but sometimes a lick of pastel pink or the classic red manicure just doesn’t quite cut it.
Enter: nail art. The perfect way to let your creativity run wild all over your hands.
And while there are certainly some more extreme nail art trends that exist in the world (think: fingernail piercing and building tiny succulent gardens on your nail beds), some of us just want our fingers to look pretty and still be able to get our most important work done.
Gallery: Fun but totally NSFW, check out ‘bubble nail art’. Post continues…
Here are some ideas for totally adorable, and totally work appropriate, nail art.
1. Go with a French manicure…with a twist.
It’s one of the most classic nail designs in the world: a clear or subtle pink nail with a perfectly sculpted white tip.
But if you’re feeling adventurous, why not change things up? The options are endless: change a light tip for one darker, pair a coloured nail with a sparkled or metallic tip or even try a design using complementary colours like blue and orange.
2. Re-create the half-moon trend in neutral shades.
The half-moon trend involved painting the crescent-shaped whitish are at the base of your nail in a different colour to the rest of your nails.
The best way to describe it is to think of it as a reverse French tip.
While painting your half moon is its own stand-alone form of nail art, keep things super subtle by using neutral shades only, or keep the rest of your nail clear.
3. Try a pastel or glitter ombré.
You’ve heard of ombré for your hair, but did you know you can also do it to your nails?
Softly blend a darker shade of one colour to a lighter one, and you’ll be the envy of everyone in the office.
Using soft shades of pink or even blending glitter across your nail will keep things super chic.
4. Monochrome is always in style.
We always have that failsafe black and white ensemble that we wear when we’re pitching to new clients, or have an important meeting with the boss, right?
So, why not do the same to your nails?
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Keeping things black and white (or mix things up with shades of grey) will let you be a little more adventurous with your nail designs while keeping things work safe.
5. It’s all about geometry.
Want a bit more colour in your life? Try a geometric design.
That way, you’ve still got something a little unique going on, plus it’s a great way to show off your nail-painting skills.
Play around with contrasting and complimentary colours, and use a bit of thick and thin lines.
6. When in doubt, single one out.
Sometimes, you really really just want to get your creativity on.
We totally get it.
So, if you’re looking for a design that’s a little crazy and a little ‘out there’, why not just try it out on a single nail on each hand?
To make your design stand out even more, keep the rest of your nails neutral.
That way, your design will stand out even more, and if the art comes with gems or other add-ons, you won’t risk destroying them all while typing away at your desk.
7. Combine two trends in one with nail contouring.
Did you know there is a way to make your nails look extra long (even if you’re a frequent nail-biter)?
And that it’s a form of nail art, so you’re getting two trends for the price of one?
It’s called nail contouring, and it’s all about using ‘negative space’ to make your nails look thinner and longer…and all it takes is one swipe of the brush that comes with your polish.
Listen: This Glorious Mess asks, should little girls be allowed to get manicures?