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Nailing it: your at-home manicure masterclass

Chloe Street
·4-min read
 (DryBy)
(DryBy)

The evenings are getting colder and darker and there’s only so long you can sit in a pub garden before the hypothermia kicks in.

Rather than nursing your next sourdough baby, why not lavish some of your new-found free time on your talons?

We spoke to five of the city’s manicure maestros to get their advice on the designs to nail while watching Netflix.

1. Tortoise shell

(@sadiejnails )@sadiejnails
(@sadiejnails )@sadiejnails

“Tortie nails have taken over this season. It’s the perfect combo of autumn colours all in one look,” says Daisy Kalnina, founder of The GelBottle Inc and Peacci.

You’ll need: the Peacci Tortie Kit, which contains the 2-in-1 base coat, polishes in shades of Jet Black, Papaya and Cacao, and a round gel brush (£43). You’ll also need a Peacci Gel’ous top coat.

Apply the base coat then mix three blobs of base coat and one of Papaya together to create a semi-translucent colour. Use the round gel brush to apply one coat to the nail. Allow it to dry for 2-3 minutes.

Mix two blobs of base coat and one of Cacao together and, with the same round gel brush, start dabbing the mixture randomly to create tortoiseshell shapes and let it dry for 30 seconds. Repeat this step, layering on the designs you’ve just created. Let it dry for 30 seconds.

Mix three blobs of base coat and one of Jet Black and lightly dab a small amount of the mixture on top of your pattern for a shadow effect. Let it dry for 30 seconds, then repeat this step.

Apply a layer of the Gel’ous Top Coat.

2. French Mani Noir

@Laurenmichellepires
@Laurenmichellepires

“I love this black take on the classic French manicure,” says manicurist Lauren Michelle Pires. “It’s chic, simple and easy to do yourself at home.”

You’ll need: Chanel Le Vernis La Base (£22), Boy De Chanel Le Vernis in Matte Black (£31), Le Vernis Le Gel Coat (£22; all chanel.com) and a striping brush.

Apply nail polish remover on a cotton round and wipe all nail beds to remove any moisture.

Apply a thin layer of Chanel Le Vernis La Base and allow it to dry.

Put a small amount of Boy De Chanel Le Vernis in Matte Black on a striping brush and carefully swipe the brush over the tip of the nail, following the shape. Allow it to dry for 15 minutes.

Apply a thin layer of Chanel Le Vernis Le Gel Coat and leave it to dry.

3. We’ll bring you flowers

HOLM
HOLM

“They are as current as they are expressive and fun at this challenging time. They bring a bit of light and self care to your life,” says Laura Southern, founder of House of Lady Muck.

You’ll need: a base coat (I recommend Peacci base coat; £8.50; peacci.com), a colour of your choice and a nail art dotting tool (or a kirby grip).

Apply the base coat and wait for it to dry. Then dip your tool into your chosen colour and place a circle of dots on your nail to make a flower. Finish off with a Peacci top coat (£8.50) and you are good to go.

4. Gone dotty

Dry By
Dry By

“This is a really easy at-home manicure because base colour is a sheer nude, which means the edges don’t need to be perfect at the cuticle area,” says Krisztina Van der Boom, co-founder of Fitzrovia salon DryBy.

You’ll need: CND Vinylux Winter Glow (£11.95; lookfantastic.com), colours of your choice, CND Vinylux top coat (£11.95) and a nail art dotting tool.

Apply a base coat of CND Vinylux Winter Glow.

Once it is dry, use the dotting tool to paint the small spots using your preferred colours. We used CND Vinylux‘s Winter Nights, Blue Moon and Lilac Eclipse (all £11.95).

Once dry, you use CND Vinylux top coat to seal and make it shine.

5. Big hitter glitter

London Grace
London Grace

“A glitter mani is a lovely way to add some sparkle to your winter wardrobe and looks great with lots of chunky gold jewellery and stacked rings,” says Kirsten Hazell, founder of the London Grace nail salon chain.

You’ll need: a base coat, a polish, a co-ordinating pot of glitter (I recommend Mo You glitter pots; £2; moyou.co.uk) and a top coat.

Buff the nail until smooth then apply a base coat. Next, paint two coats of your chosen colour and, while wet, dip your nail into a pot of glitter. I love a nude polish with gold glitter or burgundy polish with a red glitter. Ensure the glitter is applied evenly and get rid of any excess by shaking the nail onto a tissue.

Apply a top coat to seal.