Nail Art Inspiration 2017
Curate Your Claws!
You know what’s an instant mood-lifter? Manicures. Whether you’re having one done or doing it yourself, there’s a profound and basic comfort in the ritual. A reassuring bit of pampering. An opportunity for meditative creativity. It’s a deliberate reminder of self-care and a fun act of self-expression. As a writer, I spend a lot of time looking at my hands - seeing my fingernails flash across the keys in brilliant colors never fails to brighten my day.
Also, there’s just a lot of confidence in a well-painted claw. Never doubt that.
There are some exciting and unusual nail art trends emerging for the next couple of seasons, and they are phenomenal! And, lucky for you, we’ve got the inspo post you just realized you wanted - read on for our favorite, on point 2017 nail art designs.
Asymmetrical Partial Nudes
Asymmetrical designs are always a great choice, turning your fingers into a curated mini-gallery of modern art. This trend is working splashes of color to great effect, here achieving a partially Cubist look. Geometric slashes in bright colors or off-center stripes (particularly black) over a nude or naked nail are simple, fashionable, and striking - just ask Opening Ceremony and Vera Wang.
The inclusion of metallics and jewels - both also in vogue - give these nails the final flourishes of sophistication.
Nail 'Em With Decals and Jewels
One of the best shortcuts to elaborate, gorgeous nails is to add decals - yes, stickers! - to your paint job. There is a truly remarkable and probably endless supply of nail stickers out there, and they’re everywhere - you can pick some up from your local drugstore or have decals custom-made online. (And if you’re no good at painting your nails, you can can just snag appliques: perfect nails just a press-on away.)
If you want bedazzled claws? You’ve got just as many glittering, sparkling, glitzy options.
It’s lucky you have such a selection easily available, because clusters of jewels are one of those hot new looks - alongside graphic art stickers and abstract decals. Artfully arrange a profusion of pearls and gems on a few of your mono-colored nails, as in the design from a Yakutsk nail artist above. Or pick up some solid metallic triangle decals, and apply them to the center base of each nail, pointing toward a decorative tip design. Messy sketch stickers of hearts or stars are also popular, and really stand out when applied on a nail painted a different color from the rest - like on a white-painted nail amid fingers tipped with moody blue.
Cuticles Crowned and Ready to Rule
If you haven’t heard of the glittering gold cuticle crown yet, let me fill you in: during New York Fashion Week, manicurist Tracylee set a Rodarte model up with nude nails and the cuticles just around the nail painted with a thin, golden glitter chain - intended to resemble jewelry, it was an instant hit.
Not about painting your skin rather than your nails? At least not on purpose? No problem! The cuticle crown trend isn’t just that one idea - there are many to play with, from pastel scallops or stripes at the bottom of a nude nail to outlined nails with a faded-out center. Or even delicate designs blooming just above your cuticle, like that created by Japanese nail artist Maiko Kabashima above.
The Neo-French Manicure
French manicures are a classic, and no one’s going to argue with that. But it’s always fun to play with a classic, and that’s exactly what the forward edge of fashion in 2017 is inviting us to do! Forget about nude nails tipped in a thick arc of white - imagine full-color nails with scalloped tips in a complementary or even clashing shade! Think of metallic bands tipping your naked nails, or even blue clouds floating at your fingertips.
Experiment with thin bands of black, arcing across neutral-shaded nails. Do dual-color tips in geometric black and white. Do alternating arcs of powder and midnight blue, filling in a third of your nail to one side. Indulge in a different color for every nail! Don’t be afraid to trick them out with stickers either - Mia Nail from Korea certainly wasn’t!
Treat Your Nails Right
Of course, to get the best life out of your nails, you’ve got to take care of them. Tricking out your claws and parading them with confidence is the result of mindful care, so we’ve got some basic tips to make sure your nail art foundations are solid and healthy.
Keep your nails clean and dry. Not only will this protect against possible bacterial growth, but it’s just good sense. You must be as careful to clean under acrylic nails as your natural ones, both for your own health and that of others (if you work in a service or health industry).
Acrylic nails can be damaging to your natural nails- you may want to opt for gel over acrylic, and take regular breaks from artificial nails.
Keep your cuticles neat, and your nails trimmed - always use a good pair of trimmers, especially when hangnails are involved. Never chew or rip your nails, since these activities can lead to split nails or painful damage to the nail bed.
The skin around your nails can be delicate, and benefits from moisturizing and protection just like your lips or face do. Improving your cuticle health can be as simple as rubbing lotion over them every day, or luxuriating with an argan oil rub.
Most importantly of all, when you’ve got your nails healthy and you’re ready to play with nail polish and decorations - make sure you ask for and purchase the healthiest non-toxic nail polishes available. Look for products advertised as at least “5-free” - this indicates the nail polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Using 5-free nail polishes (or better!) exclusively is better for you and for any nail technicians you might work with.
Alright, you’re ready. Go play, and show us what you love!