Having the perfect manicure is just the thing to make you look and feel fantastic – but we don’t all have the budget to go to a salon every week. Here are a few easy trends that you’ll be able to try yourself at home.
Nail art is a great way to add flair to your look – and it’s also an amazing creative outlet. Why not try your hand at one of these looks?
Before you start with your nail art fun, you’ll need to get your nails prepped. Start by trimming your nails all to the same length with a good set of nail scissors, and then rounding them off to the shape you want with an emery board (Dis-Chem nail buffer, R19.95, Dis-Chem). If you’re wanting more space to do nail art on, consider adding tips (Nailene calcium gel tip kit, R144.95, Clicks). Push back your cuticles with a cuticle tool (from R5.95, Dis-Chem), and apply a cuticle cream (Mavala cuticle cream, R155, Dis-Chem) to soften and beautify your cuticles. Smooth out any ridges in your nail with a buffer, apply a good base coat (Morgan Taylor React base coat, R184, Dis-Chem) and then you’re good to go!
OMBRE NAIL ART
The ombre technique allows you to create very subtle gradients in a single colour – or go wild and do two contrasting colours! To do it, you will need a make-up sponge (Cosmetrix foundation wedges four-pack, R33.99, Pick n Pay), and polishes in colours of your choice. To get our look, try Essence The Gel nail polish in 09 (R26.95, Dis-Chem) or Essie nail colour in Status Symbol 26 (R125, Dis-Chem).
Apply two (or more) colours of nail polish onto your make-up sponge, then dab this across your nails. You want to be as quick as possible as the make-up sponge absorbs a lot of the nail polish. Apply more coats until you're satisfied with the opacity.
Apply a top coat (Rimmel Finishing Touch Ultra Shine top coat, R59.95, Clicks) as this will help further blend the colours as well as sealing in your design.
PERFECT POLKADOT NAIL ART
A dotting tool allows you to create perfect-sized dots. Play around with your patterns, and you can do anything from polkadots to flowers!
Start with a coat in the colour of your choice – we like L.A. Girl Colour Pop in Cornflower (R24.95, Dis-Chem) and Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy nail enamel in 320 Full House (R199.95, Dis-Chem). Once it’s dry, begin adding polkadots in a contrasting colour, in the pattern of your choice. Make sure to reapply the polish onto your dotting tool after every second dot.
Nail technician’s tip: If you can’t find a dotting tool, try using the tip of a hairpin or pencil. Alternatively, try a nail art pen (Amazing Shine nail art pen, R49.95, Dis-Chem).
SPLENDIDLY STRIPEY NAIL ART
A striper brush (Essence manicure brush, R34.95, Dis-Chem) allows you to create various designs, from straight lines to more intricate nail art.
Once you’ve painted your base colour – we like Naillusion everyday nail polish in Blue Ivy (R23.95, Dis-Chem) and Essie nail colour in Viva Antigua (R125, Dis-Chem) – place your elbow firmly on the table to ensure that you have more control over your movements. Use the length of the brush (rather than only the tip) to easily draw straight lines in a pattern of your choice.
MORE FUN WITH NAIL ART
If you have fun with these techniques, also consider trying nail art manicures with stickers (Kiss nail art stickers, from R10, Clicks), stencils (Kiss nail art paint and stencil set, R40, Clicks) stamps (Essence nail art stampy set, R59.95, Dis-Chem), and gems (Elegant Touch pre-glued nail gems, R39.95, Clicks).
DO YOUR OWN NAIL ART MANICURE
Let your creativity run wild, and give yourself a manicure like no other. Get all the bits and pieces you need to do your own nail art from Clicks or Dis-Chem, with a simple swipe of your RCS Card. Don’t have a card yet? Find out more about it here.