Get a handle on summer's biggest nail trend: negative space, keep it classic with a modern French mani, or play it up with some star-studded nail art.
Over five years ago, nail art was introduced to beauty lovers everywhere and manicures have never been the same. Beloved classics, like the French manicure, found updates with colour and designs while new patterns, like negative space, emerged as the latest and greatest nail trend. We caught up with Essie Canada's lead nail artist, Rita Remark, for a tutorial of the best nail trends for the summer.
IF YOUR ESTHETIC IS NAUTICAL
Think negative space or nail art won't work for you because you have short nails or a wonky shape? Then this is the design to try. "The beach-blanket stripe plays on the nail-contouring trend," says Rita Remark, Essie's global lead educator and lead nail artist for Canada. "The idea is to polish only the parts of the nails that flatter your hands." This linear look is an exaggeration of that concept, as focusing down the middle of the nail can give your hands a lengthening effect. Nail art difficulty level: Intermediate
IF YOU ADORE FRENCH MANICURES
It doesn't get any more feminine than this milky roster of pastel polishes perched at the tips of a manicure—except, of course, when they're "melted" together to create an ombré effect. At first glance, it may look like a French manicure but unlike the traditional mani, a negative-space design doesn't require a base colour, giving the illusion of lacquer floating against a naked nail plate.
Remark used reinforcement stickers (as in office supplies) as a stencil to create the curved lines of this French mani. Nail art difficulty level: Beginner
IF YOU'RE A MINIMALIST
Dip your digits into these edgy verdant hues with a negative-space manicure that has more bare nail showing than enamel. The two-tone green border acts like a frame, showcasing your nail and grabbing even more attention. "I feel like it's a play on positive space that's changed. Now it's all about what can you add to the nail that's as minuscule as possible," says Remark. A precise line around the cuticle is one of the biggest trends in nail art right now, though it's difficult to master. "It highlights the cuticle, which I really like because it puts focus on cuticle care," she says.
Ragged cuticles with nail art is a big no-no. "It's like putting a Picasso in a jacket frame—you have to honour the art," says Remark. She suggests applying cuticle oil whenever possible. Nail art difficulty level: Expert
IF YOU LOVE POLKA DOTS
Inspired by star prints in fashion, this mani is vivid but not over the top. "It's playful and youthful," says Remark. "The colours and the placement of the stars make it more wearable." She adds that this look would be too much if the stars were on top of the polish.
Make these polish stencils: paint two panels of polish on a sandwich bag, wait 12 hours, then remove with tweezers. Using a star-shaped hole punch create little twinkles. Nail art difficulty level: Beginner