How to create fashion week nail art trends in the salon

By Sophie Nutt | 04 April 2019 | Expert Advice, Feature

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Helena Linsky, co-director at Q61 Nail and Beauty Studio, reveals her top nail trends for spring/summer 2019 as seen at fashion week and tips on how to incorporate them into salon life.

Rodarte kicked off the bacofoil-effect trend, with models at its Spring/Summer ‘19 Fashion Week show sporting nails adorned in various metallic shades of gold, silver and rose gold. Help your clients get the look of metal-plated talons by carefully applying thin layers of gold-leaf foil, or for a quicker route to foil-effect nails, try a varnish with a metal-look finish. For a similarly mineralised look you could opt for chrome-effect – also a huge S/S19 look – as seen backstage at Kim Shui and Nicopanda. Our advice? Encourage your clients to go for chrome metallic nails in the summer’s hottest shade of icy light blue, which will look incredible against tanned summer skin.

Next season’s nail art is defined by limiting patterns to the tip of the nail, while keeping the base clear and clean. Bold recurring graphic prints have made a fashion comeback – just look at the resurgence of Fendi’s iconic print – and reflective of fashion’s love affair with these graphic clean lines at Kith’s S/S19 show, models’ nails were painted to feature a stunning graphic Greek key pattern on the tip of the nail. Paired against a clear nude base it looked surprisingly subtle and impossibly chic. For a sportier take on this patterned tip trend, try the striped look showcased at Kith x Tommy Hilfiger, where classic white tips were shunned in favour of a sporty-looking two-toned red and navy stripe, against a milky white base. Follow in their patriotic footsteps by combining shades of red, white and blue, or use any combination of three colours that complement each other, painting one shade all over the base, and using the two remaining varnishes to paint a double stripe across the tips. If stripes aren’t quite your clients’ thing, then a mix of graphic shapes, from squares to triangles, over a nude base are also a great talking point this season.

Nail art doesn’t always need to be colourful or obvious; this season we’re seeing a super subtle take on graphic nail art achieved using natural shades, and the effect is just the right amount of eye-catching. At House of Holland, thin white stripes adorned nude bases; at Monse tiny graphic shapes were painted in shiny shades of nude and white; while Oscar De La Renta’s ‘negative space moon manicure’ was a modern take on the French mani, with clear half moons and a milky nude shade across the length of the nail. This is ideal for nail art virgins and clients looking to jazz up their usual nude shades, plus it’s a great look for anyone afraid that nail art isn’t quite appropriate for the office.

Bold animal prints usually reserved for their sartorial offerings were chosen by designers Christian Siriano and Opening Ceremony, as the nail art du choix for Fashion Week Spring/Summer 19. Backstage at Christian Siriano’s show, nails were given a ‘twisted zebra’ print – a modern take on animal print – designed to clash beautifully with the loud leopard print of the designer’s clothes. At Opening Ceremony, nails were painted matt gold before an intricate design of black, leopard-like spots, were hand-painted with an ultra-fine brush and glossy black polish. What makes this animal print modern and fresh is that it is metallic, rather than one-dimensional, making the finished look ultra-glam, uber-glossy and totally OTT – we’re obsessed already. Our top tip for trying this look on clients is to use a toothpick, instead of a brush, to nail the finer nail art detail. Have some fun and paint quirky animal styles onto nails for a more relaxed take on this trend.