The A-to-Z of Accessories: Nails

Nail art by Mx KatzWhen I mention accessories you might not think of your nails as fitting that category, but adding a splash of colour to your fingers or toes is fast becoming big news for those who like accesorising. Nail varnish is now outselling lipstick and coloured polish, gel, foils, wraps, gems and glitter are more easily available than ever, whether or not you have the time/money to visit a salon. It’s a great way to add a splash of colour when your outfit has to be toned down, and it’s perfect for adding a bit of personality to any ensemble. You can co-ordinate or clash, pick out a single colour from a print or highlight many, and sometimes a touch of sparkle is all it takes to turn dull nails into show stoppers. There is more good quality polish out there at the moment than I could possibly list here, but my personal favourites are Nails Inc, OPI, EssieModel’s Own and Rimmel.

If you fancy something a bit more adventurous, Instagram is awash with impressive nail art to offer you inspiration. My personal nail art hero is mxkatz (see image above) who creates some stunning geometric designs with excellent use of matte finishes and negative space. It’s great looking at someone else’s experiments with colour to inspire your own attempts, and you can then scour YouTube for the relevant tutorial to recreate the effect yourself. There are plenty of shortcuts too. If you don’t have the skill to hand paint designs onto your nails, why not try a nail stamping kit? Or perhaps choose some printed foils or wraps – Essie stickers and Umberto Giannini nail wraps are available from high street stores like Boots. If all else fails, quick and easy artificial nails are better than ever now, so why not try something unusual like some gorgeous Victorian style cameo nails.

Whatever method you choose, remember that the only route to a really great DIY manicure is practice. If you’ve got any top tips or favourite products, please share them in the comments. I’d love to find out what you all use!