The resurgence of nails as a key part of a look was one of the most tangible reactions of high-end fashion to the recession. The desire to buy into a trend was infinitely more achievable when a luxury investment was a £20 Chanel nail varnish in Particulere, the ‘it’ shade of the lacquer revival, rather than a £2000 handbag. Thanks to Tumblrs such as fuckyeahprettynails and celebrated YouTube stars like luxuriousnails, the nail revolution has blossomed into an impressive network of original designs, using cheap and readily available materials to produce creative and inspiring results.
This DIY spirit is exemplified by the widespread use of liquid eyeliner as a rough-and-ready nail art pen, one that every girl has in her make up bag. Ingenious uses include blogging superstar Gem Fatale’s leopard-print look; incredibly easy to do and when layered on top of a clean nude or mushroom polish, expensive-looking to boot! Alternatively, try cobalt blue spots over a red base coat for a fun and eye-catching pattern.
American mega-site Refinery29 has latched onto the nail art movement, with editor Connie Wang obviously a personal convert. She posts regular videos demonstrating new trends, and while we can take or leave some (stiletto nails? Eurgh!) others are original and fun. These newsprint nails are punchy, more so if you follow readers’ alternative instructions in the comments, and could be adapted to transfer subtle patterns without paying a fortune for Minx stickers.
Borrowing from the catwalks has been a long-time tradition of DIY, and nails are no exception. Bare half moons were first seen at Dior AW09, and there’s an easy way to adapt this without needing steady hands. Using hole reinforcers, found at any stationery shop, part of the nail can be easily masked to produce an original and nail-lengthening effect – check this beautiful tutorial at Wayward Daughter. It could be varied by layering another coat of polish underneath the bare half moon, producing a two-tone look.
There are plenty more surprising nail designs to be found online, especially in the nail art communities on YouTube and Tumblr. Look for marbled polish, crackle topcoats and more to get in on this mini-trend.