Our cosmetic philosophy states that ‘if you can’t do it on a budget, it’s not worth doing’. You’re probably thinking it’s more or less impossible to update your look for a couple of quid, but we’re here to tell you otherwise. While it may cost a little money to revamp your cosmetic cabinet completely (not too much though, we’ve done it for less than £20), it’s perfectly possible to refresh your look for less than a return bus ticket – we’re talking about nail art.
When they hear the phrase ‘nail art’, some women immediately think of the words ‘tacky’, ‘juvenile’ or even both. As with all fashion trends however, there’s both a right way and a wrong way to approach nail art, and if you stick with the former and avoid the latter, you can give your look an injection of style for very little outlay indeed.
A quick glance online will show you that there are literally thousands of different nail art designs and techniques you can try (or avoid like the plague), but our advice would be to start out with the subtler, classier styles like gradient or ‘ombré’ nails and pretty crescent nail looks. Take a look at our walkthrough guide and try these looks yourself from home.
1) Start off with a dark, gloss basecoat and apply as normal – remember; three strokes with the brush should be all it takes. Try black or deep red nail polish for a really striking look.
2) Using a makeup sponge, gently dab nail polish around the tip of your nail – use a slightly lighter shade to your basecoat and fade the colour out towards the end of the nail, giving the gradient effect.
3) Use a third, even lighter colour and carefully dab onto your nails until you’ve achieved an even, gradual fade. This isn’t a fast process, so be prepared to take your time.
4) When you’re happy with the gradient of your nails, apply a topcoat to give the nail an attractive, glossy finish and an even blend of colour.
5) You can work a nifty cheat for gradient colour blend nails by applying tape on the surrounding finger, painting a sponge in the desired
Half-moon crescent nails
1) To achieve this classic, simple look start off by applying a base colour as in the previous tutorial.
2) Apply a manicure sticker to the base of your nail just above the cuticle, spacing the sticker out to give the desired crescent size.
3) Using a second colour, paint the forward portion of your nails to create a striking two-tone crescent.
4) Remove the sticker whilst the polish is still wet, but wait until it’s dry before applying your top coat.
Experiment with different polish shades and colour combinations to reinvigorate your look with these cheap, easy and effective nail techniques. Take a look at our full range of budget nail products here for inspiration, and don’t forget to share our tips with your friends using the social share buttons below!