Nail art trend provides easy way to show off stripes

Nails_ThomasAllison

Thomas Allison

Textiles and apparel senior Kin Song is one of many people embracing the trend of fingernails as fashion accessory. Song enjoys incorporating not only a variety of colors, but materials like glitter and fabric into her designs.

Jessica Lee

The word “trend” can immediately set off a sigh or palm-to-face motion as fashion lovers recall those horrible style mistakes that seemed right at the time. Anyone who embraced gauchos pants, the poncho or moon boots, you know the feeling.

But the latest trend is something you won’t agonize over in the future: nail art. Nail art is a simple way to transform your look, and really, have you ever regretted what color you painted your nails?

This isn’t the typical one-color manicure. From polka dots and stripes to more intricate designs such as cheetah print, nail art is an inexpensive and fun way to set yourself apart.

Textiles and apparel senior Kin Song was ahead of the curve when it came to jumping on the nail art trend.

“I’m the kind of person who really likes artsy stuff,” Song said. “I think it’s an interesting hobby that is easy and really fun.”

The key is to use colors that complement each other. Song suggests colors that will brighten your look, such as yellows, oranges and reds. After letting the base coat completely dry, apply the design to each nail.

Design ideas are endless. For beginners, it is best to start with basic designs, like chevron stripes, color blocking and glitter.

Inspiration can be easily found on the Internet. Hello Giggles, an entertainment site geared toward women, features a segment called “Nails of the Day,” which allows readers to show off their creative nail designs.

Style blogger and upcoming Texas Style Council speaker Veronika Placek of Tick Tock Vintage has recently been showing off her nail art to readers.

“I always have to be doing something with my hands while watching TV or browsing the Internet, so nail art is a fun way to keep my hands busy,” Placek said. “It’s cheap, pretty easy and a great way to be creative.”

Placek is proof that you don’t have to make a pricey trip to the nail salon to get this look. A basic manicure can cost up to $20. Add a design, and suddenly you will find yourself spending a lot of money on something that will only last a few weeks.

Take a quick trip down to the local drugstore or beauty shop and grab a variety of nail polish colors. Prices vary depending on the quality of the product, but brands such as O.P.I. and Essie are always a safe bet (and run around $6-8). Be sure to pick up a clear nail polish as well to use as both a base and top coat. This will allow your nail polish to last longer and prevent staining.

More detailed design can be done with a thin paintbrush. Simply pour a small amount of nail polish on a disposable plate and paint onto your nails in the same manner you would paint onto a canvas.

The key is practice. Painting a design on such a small surface can be difficult. It just gets worse when you try to paint using the hand you don’t normally write with. Don’t expect to get it perfect the first time (or the second).

Actress and singer Zooey Deschanel has been seen rocking nail art on the red carpet. At the Golden Globes, Deschanel had little tuxedos painted on each nail.

Journalism senior Carson Lane also uses nail art as a means to enhance her personal style.

“I always like to do my nails a little differently, whether I paint them with a unique color or paint on some sort of design,” Lane said. “I think of it in the same way as I do clothes or shoes. I wouldn’t buy a boring shirt when I have the option to pick one that stands out.”

And wouldn’t you rather look down at fun, vibrant nails while working on that never-ending pile of homework?

“If my nails are going to be painted for a while at a time, I want them to at least be interesting to look at,” Lane said.

There are simple ways to mix it up for those who are afraid to jump on board with the nail art trend. Try painting your ring fingernail a different color than the rest of your nails, or try painting over your manicure with “shattered” polish. This type of polish is applied just like regular nail polish and creates a unique, crackled look.

“Don’t be afraid to experiment,” Song said. “I mean, it’s just your nails. If you mess up, you can take it off and try again.”

 Printed on Thursday, March 1, 2012 as: Nail art gives simple outlet for creativity