Get the look: Statement nails
Published 15/11/2012 | 10:43
Nails are no longer about just a quick slick of polish.
Talons have become a fashion accessory all on their own, and the latest techniques are guaranteed to dazzle.
Take the world's most expensive manicure. Already flaunted on the fingers of Kelly Osbourne, Azature's black diamond polish will set you back a whopping €198,693 a bottle. Selfridges in London sells both the 267 carat pot, plus a more affordable €21.11 version.
Whether you want bling, texture or colour, pick a polish to wow this season.
"To wear these more dramatic winter trends, make sure your nails are short and square with rounded corners," advises Athena Skouvakis, make-up artist for Collection.
"This will avoid any darker colours or high-impact designs looking too O.T.T."
With nude nails set to make a talon takeover next spring, now's the time to make an unashamed statement.
Velvet, beading and leather aren't just for party frocks. The same wardrobe effects are being used to dress up fingers.
"Nails have caught up with fashion with the use of fabric, materials and textures," says Zoe Pocock, creative director of Nail Rock.
"It's evolved into what I would say is 'dimensional nail art' with the likes of caviar and crushed velvet manicures."
You simply polish, sprinkle, and wait for your chosen 'material' to set. The results should be luxuriously tactile and attention grabbing nails.
Best reserved for those who avoid washing up and household chores, 3D has transferred from cinema screens to talons.
Pocock says: "You can create a 3D effect easily and inexpensively with gems, rhinestones, crystals or even delicate chains."
You can even go one step further with stick-on embellishments that come in the form of fruits, buttons or Christmas candy canes. Simply add your favourite nail applique while your base colour polish is still tacky.
"Use tweezers to apply the embellishment and experiment with a single statement nail or go for a full-on 3D manicure," Pocock suggests.
Lay out the red carpet for the glitterati equivalent of nail polishes.
Glitter-packed polishes are the perfect party season accessory and can either be worn as a top coat to jazz up any colour or layered up to really pack a punch.
"The effect of crystal polishes is a glossy and glistening 'wet-look' effect of bejewelled nails," says Adam Dargan, creative director of Filthy Gorgeous nails.
Go one step further and sprinkle on the glitter yourself with Nails Inc's Bling It On Rocks.
You can opt for shimmering dip-dye effects or full-on encrusted nails. Forget uniformity and try blinging up just one ring finger nail for a subtle accent.
If you're missing precious gems from your jewellery collection, wear them on your fingernails instead.
Opulent jewel colours are a strong look for the season; think emerald, sapphire, ruby or amethyst.
"Try metallic nails inspired by shades of precious stones," says Kim Treacy, Collection nail expert, "you could even mix up contrasting shades."
Metallic jewel polishes vary from vibrant to nearly-black. Consider your outfit; if you're wearing something dark, opt for brighter tones to add a strong injection of colour to your look, but if your ensemble is pale then go dark and dramatic.
When it comes to the holiday season, Santa red is never going to go out of fashion.
Estee Lauder has even paid homage to the classic shade with a new Red Hautes collection of polishes.
"Red has universal appeal as there is always a shade to match your mood, style and skin tone," says Susan Tompkins, founder of Belle Gel nails, "it can be classic but wicked, elegant but with a touch of risque."
No need to go on red alert over tell-tale chips with the latest in at-home gel manicure kits. Reacting with UV light the polish remains high gloss for up to two weeks on fingernails and even longer on toes.