''The spring/summer 2013 shows embraced a more sophisticated take on nails. Tom Bachik, global nail artist for L'Oréal Paris explains how to work the tonal trend in our step-by-step guide...'
Photography: Ted Humble-Smith
The Modern French
Tom says: "The French manicure can be ageing if the contrast between shades is too stark. Keep it modern by over-extending the tip down the sides of the nail bed."
Dip a thin eyeliner brush into Nail Lacquer in Blanc, £7.99, Essie and trace a thin line across the tip of your nail extending down the sides, tapering at the edges.
Leave to dry for two minutes, then taking Color Riche Nail Polish in Opera Ballerina, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris carefully paint over the nail bed. This softens the white lines making them appear less harsh. Wait two minutes then apply a second coat.
On the middle and ring finger nails, apply sheer patterned nail wraps like Le Nail Art in Diamante Éternal, £8.99, L’Oréal Paris.
Glue on tiny pearls to add a dimension. Try Pearl Studs, £5.99, Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique.
Peaches & Cream
Tom advises: "Mix up the tones. Using different shades in an ombre effect makes it easier to carry off and doesn’t look so in your face."
Choose five shades in the same colour family. Start with a pale peach on the thumb like Color Riche Nail Polish in Sex On The Peach, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris and graduate through to true orange on the little finger – Nail Polish in Peach Melodie, £12, Lancôme.
Carefully apply small crystals such as Strazz Stones in Silver Rain, £10.50, The Make Up Store, using nail glue applying them in clusters to the corners rather than the centre of the nail for a more subtle look.
Finish with a light application of a gold shimmer top coat, like Color Riche Topcoat in Diamond Lurex, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris applied around the crystals to add extra hold and a hint of added dimension.
Tom says: "Lilac is an effortless colour to wear on nails. It’s uplifting and eye-catching, a suits-all shade that makes skin appear brighter."
Choose a pale lilac, we like Nail Lacquer in Go Ginza, £7.99, Essie or Forever Strong Pro in Lilac Charm, £4.09, Maybelline New York and paint an even coat on the thumb, index and little fingers.
Take a foam eyeshadow applicator dipped into a darker shade like 1 Seconde Nail Polish in 09, £5.99, Bourjois, pat any excess off with a tissue and lightly tap onto the tip and downwards to create an ombre effect.
Repeat step one on the middle and ring finger nails using complementary colours. We used Pure Color Nail Polish in Lilac Leather, £14.50, Estée Lauder and Nail Polish in Pukka Purple, £5, Models Own. Finish with Color Riche Topcoat in Confetti, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris.
"It’s hard to make pink nails look edgy. Too pale and it looks childlike, too bright and it looks Barbie-esque," explains Bachik. "But when you strike the right shade it looks modern and tasteful."
Take three varying pink polishes – light, medium and dark. Start on the thumb using the darkest, Color Riche in Shocking Pink, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris. Make sure no two neighbouring nails have the same base colour.
Once the thumb is dry, use the medium shade, Color Riche Nail Polish in Sassy Pink, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris to paint a sunken triangular shape on top. This nail polish brush is perfectly formed to create shapes.
To finish, take the palest shade, Nail Lacquer in Youthquaker, £14, Intensae and paint the same shape over the first two colours. Leave to dry for a good 10 minutes and then finish with a quick-dry top coat. Each nail should look slightly different.
The New Nude
"It’s possibly the strongest nail trend I’ve seen in my career," Bachik says of the new nude, "nails are growing up." He suggests choosing a shade lighter than your skintone to elongate your fingers.
Choose a nude nail polish one shade lighter than your skintone, such as Cuppa, £13, Butter London. Paint one thin coat, wait two minutes then paint a second coat making sure there are no streaks.
Take a slightly darker tone – try Color Riche Nail Polish in Soft Chinchilla, £4.99, L’Oréal Paris – and wipe the brush against the neck of the bottle removing excess polish that may smudge. Trace a thin line starting at the mid-point of the cuticle outwards to the left then right, finishing with the tip.
Once you have completed the outer circle, leave to dry completely then seal with a quick drying glossy top coat. We like Gel Effect Top Coat, £12, Nails Inc.
Tom Bachik is the global nail artist for L’Oréal Paris. Make-up: Louise Bryan using L’Oréal Paris. Models: Lauran Larente and Nicola Clackson at Hired Hands. Stockists: Andrea Fulerton (superdrug.com), Bourjois (superdrug.com), Butter London (butterlondon.com), Essie (boots.com), Estée Lauder (esteelauder.co.uk), Intensae (intensae.com), Lancôme (lancome.co.uk), L’Oréal Paris (0800 030 4032), Maybelline New York (boots.com), Models Own (boots.com), Nails Inc (nailsinc.com), The Make Up Store (020-8 834 4702).