Published on November 15, 2012 | by Stephanie Richardson


Nailed: The art of the manicure

A close up of blue painted nails with silver beads stuck on them

Spice up your nails with gems and glitter [flickr]

Fashion blogging has taken the internet by storm in the last five years, and a fashion blog has become the must-have accessory for any young, budding fashionista. A new trend is emerging in the blogosphere however – nail art blogging.

Fashion lovers are taking to the web to show off their nails following the booming trend of adorning the ends of your fingers with glitter, jewels, studs and anything in between.

With this style of blogging gaining popularity at such a rapid rate, what separates the Kate Mosses from the Jodie Marshes in the nail art world?

“I want the nails done to go with the hair and makeup.”– Alexander McQueen

Alex Fox, editor of Scratch – the popular magazine for nail professionals – explained where the trend originates from. “It probably started with London Fashion Week. Alexander McQueen was one of the first designers who said: ‘I want the nails done to go with the hair and makeup.’

“And now pretty much every show has nails backstage.So the fashion world woke up to nails about seven years ago, and now it’s just, ka-boom!”


Since fashion and celebrity culture go hand-in-hand, Fox explains: “You’ve had Rihanna, Katy Perry, all those celebrities suddenly wanting to put nail art on their fingers, and go crazy with their costume.

“We’ve had this explosion on the high street, and now we have nail bars popping up everywhere.”

The nail art sensation was seen in full force at the 2012 Olympics, where nail salons were all over the Olympic Park. Almost every female athlete had her nation’s flag printed on the end of her fingertips by the nail art brand Minx. This rising trend has had an immense effect on the blogosphere.

Ben Logue, 20, Fashion Design and Development student at LCF and keen fashion blogger sums it up: “Nail art blogging has had a huge effect on the blogosphere because people are using it everyday for inspiration on how to look good.”

Since fashionistas like to keep up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, this trend has created a new breed of bloggers.

Amy Astley, Editor-in- Chief of Teen Vogue explains why the trend is so popular: “Colourful nails are a trend that I think girls love because it’s creative, it’s individual.”

It is not, however, only bloggers who are taking to the web to offer their creative nail designs to an international audience. Salons such as east London based, WAH Nails are taking to the web to use their sites to offer their manicure magic and to inspire fashionistas on a global scale.

“I look at nail art websites all the time and like to copy the designs I see on them because they show designs that I never would have thought of myself.” Louise Warren

Louise Warren, 21, Textile Design student at CSM explains why she uses professional nail art sites over blogs for inspiration:

“I look at nail art websites all the time and like to copy the designs I see on them because they show designs that I never would have thought of myself.”

Other possibilities

Alongside the nail art trend, celebrities and bloggers alike are decorating their fingers with the most ridiculous of objects.

Kelly Osbourne was spotted wearing 267 carats of black diamonds on her nails at this year’s Emmy awards and at $250,000 per bottle she is the only person that Los-Angeles based luxury jeweller, Azature would allow to wear the polish.

But if you do not fancy wearing powdered diamonds on your nails, how about sticking fish eggs to your tips? Well, not actual fish eggs, but British nail brand Ciaté have created their signature nail varnish made from hundreds of thousands of microbeads that they call the Caviar Manicure.

Top five manicures

Bottles of green, blue and silver nail varnish with some of each spilled on a mirrored surface

Save some money and re-create the top salon looks at home. [Flickr]

Impressive nails are not as difficult to achieve as nail art bloggers might want us to think.

Arts London News have searched the Internet for some of the most popular nail art designs.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to achieve our top five manicures.

1. Affordable caviar manicure

  • Paint your nails with one coat of a base colour of your choice.
  • Lay your hand on a scrap piece of paper and paint one of your nails with a second coat of the base colour.
  • While your nails are still wet, pour over micro-beads – which you can pick up at any craft store – that are a similar colour to your base coat.
  •  Press on the micro-beads gently to ensure they stick properly.
  •  Repeat the process for each nail.
  • Pour away the excess micro-beads and apply a clear topcoat.

2. Zig-zag nails

  • Apply two coats of a base colour of your choice to your nails.
  • Apply a guide for your zig-zags by painting a grid of small dots – there must be three horizontal dots – on your nails in a different colour of your choice.
  • Connect the two outer dots to the middle dot above them to form V shapes.
  • Connect the V shapes to the outer edges of your nails.
  • Finish with a clear topcoat.

3. Half moon nails

  • Apply one coat of a base colour of your choice to your nails.
  • Apply a French manicure sticker or page reinforcer to the bottom of one of your nails – you will see how far to stick it up your nail to form a half moon shape.
  • Paint just over and above the sticker with a second colour of your choice.
  • Remove the sticker slowly and carefully whilst the second nail polish is still damp.
  • Repeat the process for each nail.
  • When all your nails are dry, apply a clear topcoat.

4. Leopard print nails

  • Apply two coats of a base colour of your choice to your nails.
  • Using a second colour, paint irregular shaped blobs on your nails.
  • Using a darker colour – black works best – paint around the blobs in U and C shapes.
  • Fill in the empty gaps with small dots and lines in the same darker colour.
  • Finish with a clear topcoat.

5. Ombre nails

  • Apply one coat of a base colour of your choice to your nails.
  • Apply a lighter colour of your choice nail polish to a makeup sponge and dab gently to the top of your nail.
  • Start to dab downwards to make the nail look like it is faded.
  • Repeat the process with a different colour polish that is three shades lighter.
  • Continue to dab until your tip is bright and gently fades down into the darker base colour.
  • Finish with a clear topcoat

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