23, who works in the social-media marketing sector, agrees that there's no point being well-dressed if you have neglected your nails. And these days, it's not enough to paint them a strong colour, not when nail art has gone from kitty-party staple to style essential.
From suede finish nail polish to half-moon manicures, and designs from polka dots to flag designs (female athletes at the 2012 Olympics were given special manicures), the fashionable set are now using their nails as a new canvas to boost their cool quotient. Says Akansha, "I enjoy getting various types of nail art done - right now I really want a caviar manicure and metallic nail art stickers." Deepika Thakur is already a veteran of new nail treatments. "I have got acrylic flowers as well as glitter done on my nails, and really enjoyed the newly introduced ice cream manicure and pedicure," says the 24-year-old college student. "It has some fantastic flavours like strawberry and chocolate, and it was really difficult not to think of eating ice cream while the manicure was getting done. Plus, my hands felt so good after that."
That's a great tip
Nail art is popping up everywhere, on the hands of female celebrities like Katy Perry, Beyonce and Rihanna, and at fashion weeks worldwide. "Creative nail designs were all the rage at the recent New York Fashion Week, and the stress was as much on the designs on the nails as it was on clothes," reveals makeup artist Ishika Taneja, who has worked with several international fashion weeks. "Rebecca Minkoff's models showed off reverse French manicures backstage, and Kate Spade sent her models down the runway with polka-dot nails,"
Taneja adds that whether it is reverse French manicures, where colours like red, black and maroon adorn the tips of natural/white-painted nails, or going all out with bead embellishments and glitter, there's no limit to nail art these days. "From tie and dye, polka dots, newspaper print to using salt for a crystalised texture, white pearls, gold leaf, metallic-cracker nail paint, three to four coloured swirls, feathers and fur, 3D bows, tattoos and jewels - there are many styles you can have fun with," explains Taneja.
Nail art is also no longer considered to be frivolous. Instead it's now being seen as an expression of one's personal style. "Today, women experiment with different nail colours and textures. That's why we introduced nail stickers. They are convenient, chic, and do not hinder a woman's daily responsibilities," says Manashi Guha, marketing manager at L'Oreal Paris.
Nail polish has always been the easiest way to lift your mood. And today, all you need are a few strokes to create interesting concepts on your nails without professional help. Also, "with brands paying attention towards the nourishment of nails, you can colour your nails more frequently without compromising their health," explains Smita Baisakhia, senior brand manager at Colorbar.
Pro Nail Lacquer: This is long-lasting and boasts magnified shine and nourishing care. Available from Colorbar, Inglot and OPI.
Nail Crackle: This creates textured designs. Apply one thick coat of regular nail enamel and wait for it to dry. Then, apply one thick coat of Crackle Top Coat in one stroke, and avoid going backwards. Available from Oriflame and Colorbar.
Metallic paint: These give nails a metallic sheen. Available from Lakme, Tips&Toes.
Glitter: In the mood for bling? This formula has glints of glitter suspended inside an irresistible clear topcoat. For a subtle jewelled effect, apply one coat. For extra sparkle, apply more coats. Available from Oriflame, Inglot and Colorbar
Magnetic colour: Metal dust in the polish responds to a magnet and lets you create patterns on your nails easily. Available from Faces.
Minx nails: This is a flexible polymer that is heated and applied to nails like a sticker. They last for two weeks. There are over 100 designs and colours, but the most popular options are metallic gold and silver. At 1010 Nail Spa, Delhi
Diamante art: Crystals are used to create designs. Accentuate one nail or all of them. It lasts for about 10 days. At VLCC Spa, Delhi and Nail Spa Experience, Khar, Mumbai
Nail wraps: These nail stickers are available in a variety of colours and styles. From Faces and L'Oreal Christian Louboutin-inspired nails: First seen on Adele in 2012. Her nails were coordinated with her shoes, so the back of the nails were painted red and the front the colour of her shoes. Nail extensions are needed for short nails. This lasts up to two weeks. Done at 1010 Nail Spa
3D art: Designs are sculpted with a brush, and created on acrylic or fake nails. The process takes 30-45 minutes and stays on for as long as a month. At NailSpa Experience
Nail art stickers: These ready-to-use stickers are available in eight variants, in 2D as well as 3D patterns. Just peel and apply. They last upto 10 days. From L'Oreal Paris
Nail extensions: These include acrylic, gel and even French nails. A lightweight plastic plate that follows the shape of the nail is glued to the tip of the natural nail in order to add length. Acrylic, gel, fibreglass or another mixture is then applied on top of the extension and is usually 'cured' in order to secure the extension and add strength and shine.
Good for people with brittle nails
New age manicures
It's not just nail art, exotic manicures are also the new rage in salons
Ciate Caviar Manicure: Done in mother of pearls, black pearls and rainbow, it's a 3D manicure with caviar-like balls stuck on a nail. It lasts for four days. At 1010 Nail Spa
Ice Cream Manicure: After soaking hands in a scoop of chocolate fizz, skin is exfoliated with a strawberry-kiwi scrub. A mask and massage with vanilla whipped cream follows. At Nailspa Experience
Nails Inc Rock on Bling: The Bling It On range from Nails Inc has two other sets – Bling It On hologram and Bling It On Midnight, that has different shades of glitter. These last for four days. At 1010 Nail Spa
Perfect Sense Paraffin Manicure: A paraffin wax glove is used that provides hydration and protection from dryness and cracking. At VLCC Spa
Ciate Velvet Manicure: The Velvet Manicure gives nails a finished effect unlike any other. Available in three colours – grey, purple and blue – and have a lasting effect of over a week. Done at 1010 Nail Spa
Reverse French Manicure: A sought-after treatment where the tips shine in a bold colour and the base is paler in comparison. At Alps Cosmetic Clinic
Crystal Exfoliation: Deep exfoliation is done with cooling mint crystals that heal cracks and give hands a shiny tan- free smooth texture. At L’amour Spa, Gurgaon
From HT Brunch, March 17
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