7 Incredibly Easy Hacks To Give Yourself An Extra Fancy Manicure

Simple tricks, big payoff.

By Caitlin Miller, Self

Class up your basic polish job with these super simple upgrades. Top manicurist and Butter London Global Colour Ambassador Katie Jane Hughes gives the simple, one-step hacks to copy these Instagram manicure inspirations.


Stripe it up.

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"I love a nude manicure with a skinny silver stripe—it's clean and cool with a little pop of something graphic," says Hughes. Adding thin vertical or horizontal stripes with a nail art pen, like Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pen, is a quick way to add detail to any basic one-color polish. (A single stripe can have just as much impact.)


Or get geometric with some shapes.

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Color blocking squares or triangles is a quirky way to add visual interest to your mani. To recreate this center square manicure, Hughes suggests painting your base color, letting it dry, then using painter's tape (it keeps lacquer from seeping underneath) to block out your design.


Add an accent color.

Pairing interesting color combos adds eye-catching contrast and makes your manicure look like a salon job. This one also calls for painter's tape—cover all but a thin edge of your nail and paint that a bold shade. Once the dark shade dries, cover it with tape and paint the rest of your nail.


You can go ombre—seriously.

Painting a color gradient looks sophisticated, but the effect can be done at home. "Take your time, and start with similar shades—without too intense of a contrast," Huges advises. Butter London Colour Hardware Nail Art Tool Kit contains a brush designed to create the effect. But a cosmetic sponge can also create the look. Cut the tip off the sponge and paint your selected ombre colors, lightest to darkest, directly onto the sponge. Dab any excess polish onto a piece of paper and then press the sponge onto the nail. Reapply polish to the sponge for each nail.


Half moons are 100 percent awesome.

A trip to the office supply store is all you need to paint this design. Use circular binder-ring stickers to cover the half-moon area. Then you have two options: Paint the rest of the nail a single shade and leave the half-moon portion clear. Or leave majority of the nail clear of color and only paint the half-moon portion at the cuticle.


Negative space is a lazy girl's best friend.

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Low-maintenance nail fans will love the negative space look. Use nail art pens to create a clean design that leaves the majority of the nail bare (like Jin Soon Choi's X design here). Just don't forget to prep the bare nail before with a ridge-filling, clear base coat. Try Nails Inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat.


Or check out this deceptively easy marble effect.

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A smoky or marbleized mani looks deceptively complicated. You just need two polish colors and a piece of plastic wrap. Apply a coat of your base color and let dry. Place a few drops of your smoky, marbling color on a piece of paper and dip a crumpled piece of plastic wrap in the polish. Lightly press onto your nails for the effect. Hughes says this is an edgier effect with metallic polish.

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Women's Magazine: 7 Incredibly Easy Hacks To Give Yourself An Extra Fancy Manicure
7 Incredibly Easy Hacks To Give Yourself An Extra Fancy Manicure
Simple tricks, big payoff.
Women's Magazine
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