In her new weekly column, beauty contributor Andrea Karr tries the latest products on the market to give you the real deal on what to try and why. Check back every Wednesday for her take on the finds worth adding to your beauty cupboard.
Unless you’re super skilled (read: a professional manicurist) or you have a lot of time for trial and error, most of the nail art seen on the runways is a little out of reach. To make the manis attainable, try nail appliqués or take a few short cuts. The Galaxy Glam mani created by CND for Nicole Miller Spring 2013 was a multi-step process that resulted in a swirl of colours at a diamond centre lined with crisp black. The creation of the nails required the sponging of several polishes to get the effect. However, with just a sparkle lacquer and CND’s Blackjack polish, I achieved a similar effect that was less time intensive and required fewer shades of nail polish—and resulted in the ideal mani for a night out.
Tool Kit: Impress Press-On Manicure in Text Appeal, $9, at mass market retailers. OPI Nail Lacquer in Which Is Witch?, $11, at professional salons and spas. CND Nail Polish in Blackjack, $14, at professional salons.
Whether you apply polish to your own nails or to a faux set is up to you. I chose to use faux nails, since my nail beds are quite short. There are three main perks of using faux nails (in this case, stick ons). One, you can dress and do your makeup while the nails dry without worrying about smudges. Two, if you love the design, you can save the nails and glue them on again next time you go out. Three, fake nails are easier to paint than real nails, because you can always use your dominant hand.
I started with black nails to make things easy, but you could use any colour and paint them with a coat or two of black.
Next, I added three coats of OPI’s Which Is Witch? polish from the new Oz The Great And Powerful collection. It’s a silver sparkle with some iridescent shimmer, so it’s perfect for creating the galaxy effect of the Nicole Miller nail. On a black background, it looks like a starry night sky.
Once the coats of glitter dried fully, I used CND’s Blackjack to paint the corners of the nails, creating a sparkly diamond shape in the centre. If you’re painting on your own nails, you might want to use a nail art brush to avoid smearing polish all over your fingers.
Leave the nails to dry for several minutes, then press them on. Seal the colour and add shine with a top coat.
Last week’s test drive: Matte duo-tone lipstick