What happens when real people try catwalk nail art.

I have a confession to make: by setting myself a challenge to replicate the nail art I’d seen on this season’s runways I thought for sure it would spell disaster.

“Ha, this is going to be hilarious,” I thought to myself when I began setting out my nail polishes. Expectation vs reality here I come.

RELATED: 21 minimalist nail art designs so simple anyone can try it

Except then something unexpected happened – aside from the French mani sponge disaster below, my DIY nail art didn’t look that bad. Heck, it almost (almost) resembled the real deal. Believe me when I say no one was more surprised than me.

So I figure if I can do it (I’m really uncoordinated) then really anyone can do it.

Attempt 1: Glitter lines

Step one: It doesn't look like it but the model on the left is wearing a neutral matte base coat underneath the glitter. Since I figured it doesn't really look like she's wearing a base coat I can skip this step, and so I did.

Step two: In the backstage beauty shots I saw,  the nail artist was painting it directly onto the nail with a brush – no tape or anything. So I figured, I can totally do that too. Which, as you can see above, is sort of half correct.

Step three: Paint on a thin (as you can) line of gold glitter polish. I used Ciate's Party Shoes, a holographic gold glitter. But I thought that didn't give enough oomph so I went over it with the only other glitter polish I had on hand - my daughter's Seed for kids gold glitter polish. That's when things got a little messy because the glitter was chunkier and the polish way gloopier.

Step four: If do you this right (and maybe use tape), you might want set the line with a gel top coat. I like both Revlon's Colorstay Gel Envy and Mecca Cosmetica's Enhance Gel Effects Topcoat. 

Attempt 2: Blue negative space diagonals

Step one: Hunt around house trying to find some sticky or masking tape. Momentarily give up, then remember there's Washi tape in your toddler's craft box. Steal it.

Step two: Rip up pieces of Washi tape, ain't no one got time for scissors. Place tape over nails at haphazard angles. Don't do this on your pinky finger, I have no idea why.

Step three: Smash on a thickish coat of mid-blue nail polish. I used one from Essie's newest collection called Style Cartel, which I'm imagining the name inspiration was 'a nail polish Kanye West would wear'.


Step four: Wait for it to dry. I literally waited 30 seconds because I am impatient, and that was the above result. If you have the time and the patience you could definitely do this one better.

If you don't have the time and need to quickly neaten it up, try using a corrector pen instead of a clunky cotton bud drenched in nail polish remover. I like the Revitanail Precision Corrector - you seriously can't muck it up!

Attempt 3: Smudged French mani.

Related: An investigation: Are French manicures cool again?

So the look on the runways right now is all about a natural French manicure but with a twist. The twist here is to make it look like a mistake. Should be easy, I thought.

Step one:  Since I can't find any nail polish remover and the nails on my left hand are covered in all manner of glitter and blue nail polish I'm going to have to paint my right nails with my left hand. But you know, this is a smudgy look so it should be fine... right?

Step two:  I paint my nails with one coat of MAC's Lightness of Being polish, it's a creamy pale peach colour. I manage not to completely stuff it up.

Step three: To me it looks like the catwalk nails have been sponged on. I go into the kitchen and cut off a small square from the sponge resting on the sink. I put a couple of drops of polish (Essie's sheer white Marshmallow) onto the sponge and dab it on my fingertips. This does not look good.

Step four: I find the better technique is to slather some polish onto the tips of my nails then use the sponge to bring it down the nail a bit.

Step five: I check back to the picture to see how close I've got to replicating it. Oh...

So clearly this is my worst attempt at recreating a catwalk look, but maybe it's just because I don't have an embellished emerald gown as a backdrop...

If I have inspired you (and SURELY I have) to try out some nail art this weekend, check out this gallery for some inspiration.