Creative art goes digital

THERE was a time when highly decorated nails were considered a little declasse.

No more.

Nail products are now the strongest growth category in cosmetics, with $768 million in sales in the United States last year, says Sally Hansen manicurist Alison Bowhill-Hayes.

She says this situation is also true in Australia where more and more women of all ages are experimenting with nail colours and nail art.

"I've been working in the beauty industry for 28 years and, over the last two years, things have really changed," says Alison.

"There was a time when nail polishes were slow sellers but that's certainly not the case today."

Alison says as soon as women see celebrities with fine nail art, they want it too.

"Instagram also means that they can instantly show off their look.

"Plus the fact that there are lots of different tools, polishes and accessories means many more looks are achievable."

This autumn, Alison says the key colours for nail colour will be luxury-feeling blue based colours that fall under plums and burgundies.

"My picks from the new Sally Hansen range are Complete Salon Manicure Red Zin, Right Said Red, Plum Luck, Plum's the Word, and Pat On The Black," she says.

"Also for some "Sass" and a bit of metal I love Mermaids Tail and Shoot the Moon! "This season is vibrant and glamorous; lots of mystery with finishes that illuminate in different light -try the new Lustre Shine Collection."

Once you get good a manicure or pedicure basics, it's time to try something new, says Alison.

That could include an accent nail where one nail, usually on the ring finger, is a different colour.

"Gold is favoured."

The French manicure is on its way back but, this time around, it's with a twist.

"A nude nail with a black tip looks sensational.

"Other options - a hot pink nail with a gold tip or even a tip with dots on the white to match the pink.

"Or what about cobalt blue with the moon of the nail in white."

Trends to look out for include the 3D nail achieved using a magnetic polish.

"It contains lots of filings in the paint and, after you have done your two coats, while the polish is still sticky, you hold the magnet in the lid over the polish.

"It draws the filings to the surface and the end result is a 3D polish."

Some women dip their nails in sand or sugar to attain a textured look but, later this year, Sally Hansen will release a Sugar Coat to achieve the same look.


Alison's tips

  • You need about 1cm of nail if you want to make nail art look good. If your own nails aren't good enough, you can have gel nails or use stick on nails.
  • For polish to look good and last, you need to start with a good, clean nail that has been filed and buffed.
  • Wiping the nail over with nail polish remover before you start will help polish stick.
  • Use a toothpick with a little cotton wool dipped in nail polish remover to clean up cuticles after a polish.
  • The squobal nail - square with a rounded edge - is still on trend.
  • Never skip base coat as it anchors polish and reduces colour staining of the nail.
  • Always use two coats of polish and a top coat.
  • Don't paint nail's at night because the bedsheets will crinkle your polish, no matter whether you think they are dry or not.
  • Always wear gloves when washing the dishes or doing the housework.
  • You can use Scotch tape on nails wherever you want nice, neat edges while you are doing nail art.


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