Sure, nude nails are sticking around as a huge trend for spring, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t bold pops of color and genius designs backstage during New York Fashion Week. Ahead are our seven favorite manicures so far, with tips on how to re-create them at home from the lead artists themselves!
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“It’s a twist on the half-moon,” lead nail artist Miss Pop says backstage at Charlotte Ronson. “We’re showing these cutout half-moons on three nails, and the filled-in half moons on two nails, then the opposite on the other hand.” The way to get this look at home? Miss Pop recommends cleaning your nails with nail polish remover, applying a paper hole reinforcement sticker to the base of each nail and pressing it into your nail with a paper clip or bobby pin. Then, just paint over with the color of your choice (she used OPI’s Nail Lacquer ($10) in That’s Hula-rious, a soft mint green), wait for it to dry, then peel off the sticker.
“Tibi is about a more artistic, hand-crafted look with a modern, clean aesthetic,” lead manicurist Jin Soon says backstage at Tibi. “There are also a lot of textures—like woven, crèpe-finish fabrics. I wanted to match that texture—I call this polish finish ‘texture in a bottle.’” The polish she’s referring to is eponymous line’s shade Georgette, which will be available later in September. For the black stitched lines, she freehanded the short strokes with another soon-to-be released leather-finish polish from her line called Chamonix. No topcoat necessary—she says it will detract from the textured finish of the manicure.
“This look was inspired by the first days of spring,” explains lead manicurist Jan Arnold backstage at Opening Ceremony. She used CND’s Vinylux Weekly Polishes and Additives to create a pixelated, watercolor effect. Fun fact: because of the time-consuming process, the CND team created these masterpieces on press-on nails days before the show, then adhered them to models’ natural nails for a uniform effect.
Taking inspiration from the free-spirited vibe of Nanette Lepore’s S/S 15 collection, lead manicurist Julie Kandalec created a seafoam-inspired ombré nail look using Essie’s Blanc ($9) and Mint Candy Apple ($9). First, she used Essie’s First Base Base Coat ($9) on clean, filed nails to create a smooth base. Then, she applied two coats of Mint Candy Apple, followed with Blanc, which she dabbed on the top half of the nails with a makeup sponge. Finally, she finished with a coat of the brand’s Good to Go Topcoat ($10) for a shiny, light-reflecting finish.
With all of the nude nails and pastel colors, it was refreshing to see a pop of bold color backstage at Karen Walker’s S/S 15 collection. “You see a lot of different greens, but this is a new version of green—we can call it a deep teal,” lead manicurist Jin Soon explains. “There isn’t a name yet, but it’ll be out in spring of 2015.” Because Karen Walker’s line was inspired by English gardens, Soon chose a garden-inspired hue that’s flattering on all skin tones. “Finish with a high-gloss topcoat to really bring out the shine,” she advises.
Lead manicurist Michelle Saunders used three Essie nail polishes ($9) to create this Van Gogh-esque, blurred look: Bikini So Teeny, Turquoise & Caicos, and Lollipop. But first, to make the colors really pop, she applied a coat of Essie’s Blanc, then applied Bikini So Teeny at the nail bed halfway up the nail. Next, she followed with Turquoise & Caicos, starting at the middle of the nail and painting towards the end. Finally, she took a nail brush and used it to paint a “line of demarcation” between the two colors using Lollipop.
Saunders says the key to copying this watercolor manicure is to apply the topcoat before everything has dried. “It’s the opposite of what you’re trained to do,” she says backstage. “You want the colors to bleed into each other like a watercolor. Today, each nail is not a nail—it’s a canvas. Every single nail will feel different, unique, and special.
Essie lead manicurist Rita Remark did some product cocktailing to create the perfect lilac tone at Alice + Olivia. First, she used two coats of Essie’s Go Ginza ($9), followed by one coat of Limo-Scene ($9) to create a white-toned lilac shade that perfectly complemented the Marie Antoinette-reminiscent collection.
Which of these manicures is your favorite? Tell us below!