Expert Manicure Tips

The Beauty Dept /Expert tips for the ultimate self-made manicure.


Expert tips for the ultimate self-made manicure.

Expert Manicure Tips

Monty interviews Fiona Kamale, London celeb (and civilian) manicurist, to bring you expert tips on how to D-I-Y your nails this autumn-winter…

MONTY: Seriously now, why is a spa manicure always so much more professional-looking at the end than even the most painstakingly-executed DIY attempt?

FIONA: Time. Think about it. A professional manicure is really an hour of time (half an hour of somebody multi-tasking on each hand) spent making your nails all equal length, shaped the same way, buffed, rid of ridges, visibly cuticle-free, and then base, colour and top coated and sufficiently dried. (Wait twenty minutes please, before you reach that freshly finished glossy manicure into your wallet). It’s completely doable, but few women really have the discipline for great do-it-yourself nails.

MONTY: Right so, some practical tips?

FIONA: I file first. Before I soak. And I like to hold the hand upside down (or right side-up really, but the opposite of how you usually wield a nail file) so I can see that the nails are really all the same length, which is the most important starting point if you want to look professionally polished. If you’ve got two nails that are longer than three others, that’s just a non-starter. It’s also key to strip your nails and cuticles and the surrounding area of oils before you apply base coat – so a good thorough rub with nail polish remover on a piece of medical gauze*- before your base coat goes on- is a must.

* Fiona avoids using cotton, unless it’s lint free, because of the peripheral fluff.

Expert Manicure Tips
Expert Manicure Tips

MONTY: What key trends are you seeing or creating for nails right now?

FIONA: At Autumn-Winter Fashion Week, French-style polish was everywhere. Classic French manicures, reverse French manicures - where you have the cuticle cut out and then you have a classic French tip - classic nude French with metallic tips. You name it. It was a French-fest. There was also a lot of foiling, which is really really cool, and super easy to do. (You can get a layer of foil, pat it onto a layer of glue, then brush a top coat on to seal it.) The hold and the shine are amazing. And then there’s always the can’t-go-wrong classic black cherry, and I saw quite a bit of navy blue.

MONTY: What about ‘nail charms’. I saw a lot going on with ‘nail charms’ and geometric polish…

FIONA: You’re not going to have chains and trinkets hanging off your nails unless you’re a performance artist, or a belly-dancer, right? But geometrics can be really cool. Mixing great red nail polishes and nudes and looking at negative space. You can use scotch tape to create negative spaces, clean lines, cool patterns. You just cover the areas you don’t want painted, then paint your nails, wait for the colour to dry, and peel the tape away for an on-trend do-it-yourself mani.

MONTY: I met a PieGirl recently, and she took our upcoming Foil Rush Shimmer Shadows, rubbed them on top of her nails, added top coat, and had instant metallic polish. So if you don’t have a chrome polish…

FIONA: …you can use foil eyeshadow under a top coat and totally nail it.

Fiona used scotch tape to create Abby’s half moon nail look using Beauty Pie Wondercolour Nail Polish in Riot Act Red, and Charlotte’s geometric look using Beauty Pie Wondercolour Nail Polish in Le Milk and Supernude.


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