While fashions buffs were contemplating which spring nail art to try out this year – French tips, multicoloured digits, or retro swirls – Kylie Jenner, it seems, thought miles ahead. The American diva combined them all into one seriously enviable design.
Last week, Jenner revealed her latest manicure (as churned out by nail artist Chaun Legend) on TikTok and Instagram Stories. A recent article in Vogue Arabia revealed that this look is painted on what appears to be gel extensions or acrylicsin the lengthy, rectangular shape Jenner’s long been known for. Each nail has a multi-coloured retro swirl design that’s only on the tips — and each nail’s swirl pattern has a different colour scheme.
The shape, the colours, the negative space? Truly, the only way this manicure could get more trendy was if Legend stuck some flower designs or dots or crystals on there.
Achieving this exact look at home is going to be difficult without the help of a nail technician and extensions of some sort — and you absolutely should support your local nail artists if you feel safe going to a salon. That swirly pattern, however, is definitely doable. As nail artist Sigourney Nuñez puts it, it’s more about the technique than the product or tool you use.
Her process is to soften the bristles of a fine-line brush with some acetone, and then pour a drop of nail polish onto a piece of foil. Instead of dipping her brush straight into the polish, she drags the brush through it, going in different directions to fully saturate the bristles. After practising her line work on that same piece of foil, she begins drawing her squiggles from bottom to top.
This whole thing just gets one thinking about what other nail-art trends one could combine. Calligraphy and polka dots? Stripes and foils? Colourblocking and negative space? The possibilities are endless…
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Dua Lipais a fan of a low-key nail look after seeing the subtly ’90s nude manicure (Bio Sculpture’s gel formula in Heart and Soul, if you’re wondering) she sports in British Vogue’s February issue.
The truth is that Lipa is a nail chameleon and oscillates between all manner of designs on her nails, courtesy of her manicurist Michelle Humphrey. “Usually Dua has a look that she fancies and she’ll pull images,” Humphrey explains over Zoom. “And then we’ll either do that, or sometimes I’ll add something or take something out, then it becomes its own thing.”
From glitter-loaded tips for Lipa’s recent Studio 2054 performance, to crystals for an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show or music video-ready orange floral patterns, the duo’s creative trademark is nails that are pure joy to look at.
“I love [nail] appointments with individuals like Dua or actresses and other personalities – something where they want a look. It’s so nice and rewarding when you can be creative,” says Humphrey. “There’s a transformation, and you can see a real before and after. A manicure is always a transformation anyway – nails will be cleaner, tidier and neater – but when you put some boujis glitter on it and make it fun, that’s what it’s all about.”
Other than Lipa, who she sees every one to two weeks whenever schedules allow, Humphrey’s fun designs (and the more simple ones) have appeared on the nails of everyone from Adele to Lily Allen, Naomie Harris to Cate Blanchett, and she’s also a regular on editorial shoots.
How does she come up with ideas? “I’ve always been very artistic – something will pop into my head, I will visually see it in my brain, and then I play with it,” she says of her process. “Sometimes I’m inspired by a product, brand or trend, or sometimes it will be something on Instagram that looks fun. I always like to put an original spin on things, though.” Either way, she says, nails are all about expressing your personal self – find inspiration from where you can: “It’s free and easy!”
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