Nail It!

Given the catwalk’s love of all things ’80s over the past few seasons, it’s not surprising nails are the next big thing. But when the fash pack turned green with envy over Chanel’s Jade nail polish, showcased in their spring/summer 2010 collection last October, nail bling quickly became the hottest trend going.

Alexa Chung, Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Rihanna and Karen Gillen all recently showed off fab finger designs. But you know a trend will stick when it becomes the hippest thing on the high street. That’s what’s truly genius about fashion’s latest obsession: Anyone can get the look.

Nail Art Styles
One of the country’s hippest nail salons, Wah Nails, is cleaning up with its hipster nail looks. Think fire-hued animal prints, singular nail ladybug designs, clouds and cupcakes. Whatever you can dream up, Wah can paint it on your nails.

If it’s shiny gold nails a la Samantha in “Sex and the City 2” you’re after, a new technique called Minx uses transfers to, in this case, put a sheet of gold foil over the nails. Minx allows you to put a transfer replica of virtually any design you like on your nails, such as dollar bills, fishnets, lace or houndstooth.

Sophy Robson, whose nails have appeared in many places, from Elle and Vogue to Tom Ford and YSL ads, says the top nail trend of the coming season is gradient nails. With gradient nails, you paint each nail a different colour from a complementary colour palette.

DIY Nail Art
Can’t make it to the salon? Grab some polish pots and paint your way to top talons with these simple steps.

1. Soak a cotton ball with acetone-free remover and hold it firmly against the nail for 15 seconds to loosen any old polish. Gently wipe the nail in one direction as many times as needed. To prevent dry, brittle nails, look for remover with soothing properties.

2. Apply a cuticle remover to the skin around the nails to soften them up. Gently push back the skin with a cuticle stick wrapped with a little cotton wool, then dip the stick in remover and wipe under the nail to remove hard-to-shift dirt. Apply a little nail oil to moisturise and nourish the skin and nail.

3. Shape your nails using a quality emery board. Lightly file the nail from the outside in and only file in one direction -- never seesaw, as this will shred the nail.

4. Wash your hands to remove any oil and nail dust, and dry thoroughly. If you have weak nails, brush on a coat of nail hardener. Apply a protective base coat over the entire nail surface.

5. Now here’s the fun part! Choose your favourite colour -- or colours if you are working next season’s gradient nail trend -- and brush over your nails. Start by lightly dabbing at the bottom edge with enough polish to coat the entire nail -- dipping back into the bottle makes for streaks and uneven application -- then sweep out to the sides. Let the polish dry, then apply a second coat. If you’re feeling steady of hand, check out nail queen Sophy Robson’s Rainbow Nail Tutorial on YouTube for hipster nails in minutes.

6. Clean up any untidy edges with a cuticle stick wrapped with cotton wool and dipped in remover.

7. Apply a long-lasting topcoat. This will keep nails looking glossy, fresh and chip-free for days.