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Nails: an exhibition of art


Nails have been basking in the beauty spotlight for the past few seasons and with a dedicated nail art exhibitions having just closed in London and New York, outré manicures on the autumn/winter catwalks, and hordes of celebrity fans including Lauren Conrad, the popularity of the statement nail shows no sign of abating.

These two releases make easy work of nailing the trend at home.

> Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips, €9.55

I've been begging anyone heading Stateside to bring these home to me for years and badgering the brand's PRs for an Irish release date for nearly as long, so I'm beyond excited that Sally Hansen Salon Effects will finally hit these shores at the end of the month.

Self-adhesive strips of real nail polish, they're perfect for DIYing statement nails on the go and are simple to apply following the instructions provided. A variety of finishes and patterns (including florals, fishnets, houndstooth, leopard, and zebra print) are on offer, and you can expect to enjoy close to a week of compliments and chip-free wear (and longer still if you use a topcoat over them).

TIP: If you get busy with a nail scissors and apply these carefully, it's possible to get two or more nails out of each strip. Open the sealed packets only as you need them: these nail polish strips have a very short shelf life and really have to be used immediately.

> Gosh Nail Glitters, €6.99

If you weren't quick enough to snap up these screw-top pots of finely milled glitter during the summer before they sold out, fret not: all 10 shades are due back in stock at the beginning of November.

For full coverage sparkle, paint nails with your choice of clear or coloured polish, dip into the glitter while still wet, and brush off the excess. Or try experimenting with the placement of glitter on the nail to create different effects. Black polish with graduated gold bling at the tips, as seen at the Yigal Azrouel autumn/winter show, is a pairing I'm fond of and it's one that's been spotted on Kelly Rowland's fingers, too.

Prefer more understated paint jobs? Look to Alexandre Herchcovitch and spring 2012 for inspiration: sprinkle a little silver glitter down the middle of clear or nude polish for a subtle shimmer fix.

TIP: Once the base polish has dried and the glitter's adhered fully, simplify the clean-up process by rinsing hands in running water to remove any stray sparkles.