Nail It: Perfecting the Spring 2014 Manicure

by Emma Leuman, Fashion Writer

Kate Spade
Kate Spade

Unavoidable and inescapable, your nails are nearly impossible to hide. Unlike your hair, which can quickly be pulled back on a bad hair day, your nails are always there.  They’re in your sight while you type, whilst you write, and when you shake someone’s hand.  For this reason, your nails are a distinct part of the impression you make on others, whether you like it or not.

However for the past few seasons nail trends have not exactly been appropriate for business, or even for day-to-day use.  Models sporting feathers and gigantic jewels on their crazily pointy fingertips, made it seem as though the only way to be on-trend was to emulate pop icons like Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.

Fortunately today these ideas are being tossed aside as designers have recently sent their models down the runway with decidedly “normal” nails.  Nail art has been given an everyday twist and neutrals are being utilized in innovative ways. Because of this, hesitancy to adhere to runway trends can be dismissed. Instead, it’s time embrace the trends and adapt them to your own personal style.

Tracey Reese
Tracy Reese

Simple Silver

Unless you’re inexplicably creative, patterned nail art may seem a little out of your league, and, for many, painting nails without going outside of the lines feels barely manageable as it is. If you find yourself identifying with this notion, this trend is for you.  Simple silver accents on a nude background like the looks seen at Tracy Reese, Tibi and Honor, take nail art from crazy to classic. To replicate this look, try a simple streak across the top, like a futuristic French manicure. Depending on your skill level you can also try experimenting with thin lines in multiple patterns for a more multi-dimensional look.

Helmut Lang
Helmut Lang

Naturally Nude

Neutrals have been a staple on the runway for years, but this season they were given a DIY feel.  Theyskens’ Theory simply swiped a clear-coat on their models’ nails, making them glossy but natural.  Similarly, designers like Carolina Herrera and Helmut Lang used opaque nudes similar to the model’s skin tone to create a natural and subtly glamorous look. Simple application not only allows for this trend to be accessible to women with any style, but it also allows for a low-maintenance and highly versatile look. Surely when paired with a soft, round shape, these nails won’t be the first thing people will notice about you, but they will definitely help you achieve an overall polished look.  No pun intended.

Kate Spade
Kate Spade

French Twist

The classic French manicure seemed stuffy in light of past seasons’ bright colors and bold embellishments, but this season this nail classic was given a whole new look.  At Holmes & Yang, the shape of the navy blue tip was diagonal, giving this style a much-needed edge.  Kate Spade added a pointy shape to her opaque white nails, painting the tips in dark shades and accenting them with a strip of neon color.  Wes Gordon created a typical French manicure, but swapped the colors for a fresh lilac with a nude tip.  Thus, by taking a classic design and tweaking it just a bit to reflect modern trends, this manicure was made current.

Honor NYC
Honor NYC

Elegant Embellishment

Nail embellishment doesn’t need to be outrageous.  A bit of sparkle or a strip of metallic can take a boring manicure to the next level while still maintaining a level of sophistication.  Marios Schwab embraced the shine of metal by applying a glistening gold streak to the tips of models’ nails.  At Jenny Packham and Honor NYC, glitter and jewels were used, respectively, to add a bit of glamour to their manicures.  As long as embellishments are applied with a light hand, the result will be luxe instead of loony.

 

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