Perfect summer nails

Gone are the days when you just painted your nails with your favourite colour from a pot that lasted years. With nail trends changing every few months, our Beauty Editor Justine Brennan’s guide will keep your well-groomed fingers on the pulse!


The new French

A muted French polish – a pail pinky nude on nails with white tips – on shorter nails has always looked neat and feminine. So here’s our guide to creating the perfect home manicure…

1. Get prepared – you will need:

An emery board
An orange stick
Cuticle cream
Base colour
Tip colour
Top coat
Nail polish remover
Very fine paint brush or a cotton bud

2. Remove any residue polish with polish remover. Shape your nails into neat, even ‘squovals’. Soak the cuticles in warm water, dot on cuticle cream and gently push them back with an orange stick. Wipe the nails again to remove cream residue.

3. Wipe one side of the polish brush on the side of the pot and dot the base colour on the lower half of the nail near the cuticle. Wiggle the brush gently so that it eases close to the cuticle, then using light, sweeping strokes draw the colour up the nail until the nail is entirely covered.

4. Leave to dry and apply another thin coat. Leave thumbnails until last so you can use them to gently ease the skin away from each nail as you paint. This stops those annoying smears on the skin.

5. Once the base colour is entirely dry, use your tip colour to paint a very fine line along the edge of the nail right down to where the nail meets the skin. This will require a steady hand and if you’re a little unsure you can buy sticky markers to prevent mistakes, but ensure the tip is dry before you peel them off.

6. Oops! Made a mistake? Dip a fine artist’s brush into nail polish remover to gently remove.

7. Finish with a quick-dry top coat for a long lasting finish.

Colour combos to try

Nude with a dark navy tip

Grey with a pastel pink tip

Dark with a light tip

Dark matt nails with a shiny version of the same colour on the tip

Natural with a neon tip

Chocolate with a nude tip

Which shape are you?

Squoval – shortish nails, straight across the top with rounded edges. A flattering shape that elongates small nail beds and short fingers.

Square – a blunt square shape with the sharp edge gently smoothed away. Most fashionable when short and square – long, square talons are very 90s. Perfect for elegant hands with long nail beds.

Rounded – a round oval tip on shortish nails. It’s a neat and flattering shape that grows out elegantly. Suits all nails and hands.

Ovals – a long oval shape with a slightly more pointed tip than the rounded shape. Beware, this makes the sides of the nails weak and vulnerable. Suits fashionistas and those who love the 80s!

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