Simple but stunning; 20 easy manicures that make an impact

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Of all the things to do in our lives, we're ashamed to admit that nail care often comes last. More often than not we dash off a coating of varnish last thing at night and hope it won't have smudged too much by morning; or save important occasions for a trip to the salon. 

But wouldn't it be great if we could create our own beauty DIY nails from home? With a bit of practise and a steady hand, this can actually be done and it's not as tricky as you might think.  

From WAH Nails to Miss LadyFinger, we've consulted our favourite bloggers and industry experts for tips on sensational nails that are a cinch to create.

Come see their step-by-step tutorials for beginner manicures - from French tips to half moons and studs - that promise to deliver a visual punch: 

  • French tip nails

    Give a modern, sophisticated twist to the traditional French manicure, with this elegant light pink on grey combo. Nail Nerd has a nifty trick on using elastic bands to help perfect those slim tips. 

    DIY Tutorial via Nail Nerd

  • Asymmetrical Crescent nails

    For a bold, captivating presence you can't do better than these monochrome beauties. The crescents are dead simple to form, but the end result is original enough to stand out from the crowd.

    DIY tutorial via LuLu's and HannahRoxNails

  • Fishtail nails

    We love the vivid impact of these classic candy-coloured fishtail nails. The process appears fairly painless and involves pinpointed curves layered one on top of each other. 

    DIY tutorial via Chalkboard Nails 

  • Tribal-inspired nails

    For, gloriously minimalist nails that make a statement, add thin black horizontal and vertical lines to a pale pink base. This design is inspired by the tribal ethos of fashion house Tibi. 

    DIY tutorial via Honestly WTF

  • Retro border nails

    For knockout nails with a retro edge, try this brilliant blend of mustard on cocoa (otherwise known as Brownie girl shades). The design is easy to follow for a finish that jumps right out.

    DIY tutorial via Brit Nails

  • Polished up punk nails

    A simple yet sultry winter manicure is created with two coats and a top coat, for a dark-navy-meets-black effect.

    DIY tutorial via Nail Cake

  • Candy Cane nails

    What better way to spread a bit of joy than with a candy cane mani (from Did My Nails). These are easier than they appear to create; apply the red coat, let it dry then add narrow strips of tape and paint over in white. Remove to unveil the striped brilliance. 

    DIY tutorial via YouTube

  • Valentino nails

    Starting with the dreamy stars of the Valentino SS15 collection as its muse, this ethereal manicure is easily built up by applying silver patterns to a full nude base. 

    DIY tutorial via Miss LadyFinger

  • Dotted half moon nails

    Use a hairpin to style the white dots on these deliciously simple half moon nails (courtesy of One Nail To Rule Them All). We particularly like the combination of colours used here.

    DIY tutorial via XOVain

  • Neon nails

    Fabulous rainbow nails are yours for the taking with this tutorial on a neon colour spectrum mani. Fun and as easy as can be, we promise. 

    DIY tutorial via LuLu's and HannahRoxNails

  • Disco stud nails

    Create a roller girl mani by using tweezers to apply a selection of multi-coloured studs to glossy black nails (use glue or base coat to stick). You can play around with the formation, or use gold and silver rhinestones for a more bling look. 

    DIY tutorial via She Knows

  • Patchwork colour nails

    A clever application of scotch tape and three different colours of your choosing are used to sculpture this funky patchwork look. 

    DIY tutorial via The Nailasaurus

  • Glitter half moon nails

    These sparkly half-moon nails really are as easy to craft as they look, for an instant hit of glamour.

    DIY tutorial via WAH Nails

  • Polka dot nails

    Get handy with a dotting tool to make your own version of this neat 'n chic mani. Use black on pink, or add in sparkle dots for a sense of drama. 

    DIY tutorial via The Glitter Guide

  • Lightning bolt nails

    This self-styled "tape mani" uses regular stationary tape fashioned into the shape of a lightning bolt, for an easy template with which to apply silver polish.

    DIY tutorial via Nailside

  • Double tip nails

    Add a certain je ne sais quoi to your mani with this double tip design. It's easily achieved using thin striping tape and deep blue versus sparkly silver is an especially nice fusion.

    DIY tutorial via Wacky Laki

  • Newspaper nails

    Arty and cool, this newspaper print manicure is easier to follow than you might think at first glance. It basically involves imprinting alcohol-soaked newspaper onto dry white nails, then sealing it with a top coat. 

    DIY tutorial via All Day Chic

  • Glitter gradient nails

    This glitter gradient look is timeless and will guarantee you a dash of razzle-dazzle. It's easy to re-create, as long as you know what you're doing. 

    DIY tutorial via Lucy's Stash

  • Valentine's nails

    This subtle nod to romance uses a dotting tool to form basic heart shapes; you put a small blob on your nail and pull it down into a point, then do the same for the other side of the heart.

    DIY tutorial via Fundamentally Flawless 

  • And finally...

    Put all the skills you've learnt in this gallery to the test by adding vertical lines and square studs to a glossy base.

    It's simple and stunning = all that you need. 


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Stylist Team