Source: Corbis; Shutterstock
Although the standard manicure is still a staple beauty ritual for most women, the days of plain old polish have been replaced with of-the-moment manicures, like the chip- and fade-resistant gel manicure (which goes on like regular polish but requires a few rounds of in-between light-assisted drying) as well as a whole slew of others that are on trend.
From snakeskin to magnetic effects, these manicures will be your best new accessory. Not only will they keep your nails looking youthful, but can help bring out a bit more of your wild side. Browse through these hot new nail trends and learn about the nail essentials you need for a flawless at-home manicure.
Trend: Instant designs
What it is: Do-it-yourself nail art that doesn’t require a time-consuming process. Plus, it looks as good, if not better, than the real thing. Celebrity manicurist Patrician Yankee of Dashing Diva says nail appliques, like the Design FX Dashing Diva ($35) ones, come in a variety of amazing designs, and unlike traditional polish, are instantly dry. The nondamaging peel-offs are easily removed with cuticle oil, a manicure stick, acetone and some cotton balls.
Shades to choose from: 36
How long it lasts: One to two weeks
Trend: Magentic effects
What it is:Three-dimensional nail color that makes use of a magnet (built into the top of the cap) for an intense and original pattern. Just apply one coat of Layla Magneffect Nail Polish ($16) and hover the magnet above your nails for five seconds to create a design.
Shades to choose from: 12
How long it lasts: 10 days
Trend: Peel off polish
What it is: A dual-end polish (one side houses the nail color, the other is a topcoat) that eliminates the need for nail polish remover, Sula Paint and Peel Duo ($9) can literally be peeled off the nails without damaging, dehydrating or stripping them.
Shades to choose from: 14
How long it lasts: A few days
Photo: Robert Sadler
Trend: Snakeskin Manicure
What it is: An en-pointe manicure that employs authentic precisely cut pieces of python skin as the last step of the treatment (a faux version is also available for half the price) to create a runway inspired fashion forward look. To secure and seal the skin onto the nails, Monterey, CA, manicurist Terri Siacci, who created this trend, paints on a layer of a safe, nontoxic clear flexible gel that, when removed, doesn’t damage the nail itself. It typically costs aroun $300.
Shades to choose from: Unlimited
How long it lasts: Up to eight weeks
What it is: A professional ultrashiny, all-gel manicure that looks and feels like regular polish. OPI GelColor (starting at $35) cuts down application time from about 12 minutes plus per nail to about four minutes. “UV lights are LED and there are specific photo initiators in GelColor to cure it at a faster wavelength, meaning it dries in 30 seconds per coat,” says OPI executive VP and artistic director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.
Shades to choose from: 30 of the brand’s most popular colors plus base and topcoats.
How long it lasts: Two to three weeks
Trend: 3-in-1 gels
What it is: A vitamin-packed three-in-one gel manicure that provides nails with strength, protection and, of course, long-lasting color and megawatt shine. The best part? Because the Orly GelFX ($45) colors correspond directly to mainstay polish colors in the brand’s portfolio, you can always find the shade to touch-up regrowth.
Shades to choose from: 38
How long it lasts: Two weeks
At-Home Manicure Essentials for a Flawless Manicure
For Hydrated Nails
The cuticles can get dry and rip, which is why a hydrating cream or oil is necessary. Just a drop of the ultramoisturizing Deborah Lippman Hydrating Cuticle Treatment ($20) protects and soothes dry nailbeds.
For Softer Skin
AHAVA Dermud Intensive Mineral Hand Cream ($28) contains major moisture restorers like aloe and jojoba seed oil for perfectly hydrated hands and nails.
For Bleed-Free Color
Dark colors can bleed into the cuticle and surrounding skin. But Liquid Palisade ($22) prevents that from happening. Just brush on the clear liquid prior to painting your nails to create a barrier—when your nail polish is dry, just peel it off.
For Stronger Nails
With keratin, as well as thickening and strengthening ingredients, CND ToughenUp ($9) is a clear basecoat polish that helps thin nails grow. As an added bonus, it protects nails from becoming brittle and thin.
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