When British company Nails Inc announced their Paint Can spray-on polish a couple of months ago, nail art lovers and beauty hackers the world over went a little nuts. The idea of a quick, easy polish job delivered via an aerosol can seemed too good to be true.
According to early consumer feedback, that might just be the case but darn it all if we aren't still ever hopeful! To get the best out of the colour, you need to apply base and top coats, which makes the “spray and go” idea kind of a lie. Plus, you’d need Banksy-level spray paint skills to get even coverage.
But all is not lost! Nails, like hair, are fun to play with and supremely Instagramable. There are heaps of other (easier) trends for you to try.
Ombre sponge nails
There are seemingly endless video tutorials for this look, but here are some tips for the simplest method.
Apply a base coat first to ensure even coverage. You can also layer down a coat of white to make colours really pop. Grab a clean (preferably new) makeup sponge. (Grab a bag of cheapies from Chemist Warehouse and you’ll be in stock for ages.)
Cut the sponge so one side is approximately the size of your biggest nail. Apply the polishes you want in two, three or more blocks or stripes. It’s best to use opaque polishes, as sheers will be sucked up by the sponge.
Lightly dab your coloured sponge onto your nail, repeating to build up the colour. You may need to apply more polish to the sponge as you go along. If you’ve got short nails, stick with a two-colour gradient.
Use a Q-tip or fine brush dipped in acetone to remove spillover from your fingers. Once your ombre-cure is dry, add a top coat to secure the colour.
PRO: You probably already have colours at home you can use. Or you can pick some $2 varieties up to experiment with until you achieve mad nail skills.
CON: This will probably get messy. Lay down some paper towels or an old t-shirt before getting started.
Forget Tupperware; Jamberry parties are the hot new direct marketing trend. These American nail wraps have exploded across Facebook since becoming available in Australia on October 1. That’s mostly due to their innovative technique of encouraging consultants to host Facebook nail parties for eager clients. Once added to a week-long party, you get all the fun of the traditional in-home demonstration party – games, special offers and host rewards – from the comfort of your own home.
Jamberry wraps themselves are trumpeted as more durable and easier to apply than the nail decals you might pick up at the chemist. Each sheet is $22, and claims to have enough wraps for two manicures and two pedicures, which should last for two and six weeks respectively.
Apply by heating the wrap with either a hairdryer or rice bag to activate the adhesive. Once positioned, you apply more heat to secure it. If you’re anything like me, your lack of hand-eye coordination will require the sacrifice of a few wraps before you get the hang of it. But don’t fret: consultants will happily post you sample sheets and this can be a good way to try them out and maybe perfect your skills before forking out for your own wraps.
Jamberry’s range is where it truly shines. The colours, patterns and even textures are truly breathtaking, and many are practically works of art. Even if you end up with some leftovers, you could always pair them with a matching polish and have accent nails.
Tip: When using polish, it’s generally advised to use your non-dominant hand to paint your dominant hand first to reduce the chance of smudges. However, if you’re new to wraps, I’d suggest doing your non-dominant hand first to get the hang of it as the wraps won’t shift if applied correctly.
PRO: An amazing range and they look super professional.
CON: They’re on the expensive side, so keep an eye on those parties for deals on postage and bulk orders.
This catwalk trend has yet to really spill onto the street, so you could dismiss it as too trendy or embrace it as fashion-forward.
The idea of the drop colour is to forsake painting the entire nail and instead focus on highlighting one part of it. For example, using square appliques at the base of the nail, or an inverse French polish where you play up the crescent moon of the nail in white and leave the tip a soft pink.
Use a fine brush to paint a straight line down the centre of the nail, or a cross or windowpane shape. Or drop a couple of dabs of matching colours onto different parts of the nail so it looks like dew drops.
PRO: There are no hard and fast rules, so this trend is great if you’re looking to experiment.
CON: The uninitiated might think you’ve let a small child do your nails for fun.
Every time I’ve been to Asia in recent years, I’ve come back with half a suitcase full of cheap acrylics in colours and styles unimaginable in Australia. Now department stores are jumping onboard this trend, with pre-printed acrylics available from $4 a pack at places such as Kmart and Big W. Some are even designed as short nails, which suits those of us who either have petite nail beds, or don’t want talons. Spend the money you saved on some good-quality glue, and you’ve got a cheap and cheerful solution for a few days of glam fingers.
PRO: Cheap as chips and quick to apply.
CON: Sensitive or flaky nails might suffer from repeated use of glue, so use them for special occasions and give your nails a break and some pampering in-between applications.