These days, getting a manicure is all about nail art and playing with existing or on-trend colours and adding more depth to polish designs.
"Nail art has come a long way, but this is the first time it's a conversation piece," says beauty expert Dana Caruso.
She explains decking our your fingers with crazy colours and fun designs are the "it" way to alter your mood and show off your personality. We chatted with Caruso to get her top five nail trends for spring/summer. Check out her step-by-step guide to get each look below. (One tip: if you have a flat nail bed, a trend like magnetic nails or gem nails can give your nails a 3D shape.)
Here are five trends to try this season:
What It Is: A nail polish with iron particles that can create a signature design using a magnet.
How To: Working with each nail individually, apply one to two coats of magnetic nail polish and let sit for 10 seconds. Next, apply the magnet applicator (the cap of your nail polish) and hover it over your nail, holding still for 15 seconds. Add a top coat to finish. (Pictured: Ionic Indigo by Sally Hansen)
What It Is: Glitter on your tips will add just the right amount of bling for spring.
How To: Start with a base coat and add two layers of a nude or light pink nail polish. For the glitter, you can use a nail polish that already has glitter or you can buy loose glitter pigments and dip your nail tips into glitter flakes. Finish with a top coat and add an extra layer to your tips. (Pictured: Gold Boom Boom Pow, Turn Back Time by Deborah Lippmann)
What It Is It's like adding tie-dye to your nails. Note: the gradient look works better on long nails.
How To: For this look, you can add as many as four colours to your mix or keep it simple with two shades. Apply two layers of the lightest shade first. Next, place a few drops of your other shades into a plastic plate and use a foundation sponge to dab the remaining colours on your nail, creating a gradient effect. You should go in order from lightest to darkest. If you feel like this tutorial will get messy, you can also use clear tape to guide your fingers through the design process. To finish, use a top coat and add glitter flakes or diamond studs at the tip for a 3D effect. (Pictured: Aruba Blue, Barbados Blue by Essie)
What It Is: Similar to the gradient look, ombre nails (like the hair) flows in colour from light to dark. This look, however, is done on one hand as opposed to one finger.
How To: First apply a base coat. Starting with your pinky apply the lightest colour in your spectrum then gradually paint your other fingers a darker shade (your thumb should be the darkest). To finish, use a top coat. (Pictured from pinky, Pamplona Purple, Lucky Lucky Lavender, Got A Date To-Knight, Elephantastic Pink, That's Hot Pink by OPI)
Nail Gems And Prints
What It Is: Nail gems, stick-ons and studs look complicated, but will give your nails depth.
How To: Always make sure you start with a base coat. For gems and small diamonds, use a pair of pointy tweezers and carefully place each gem onto your nail. The one thing you do need to have for this look is patience. To finish off, add two layers of top coat -- this will seal in your gems. (Pictured: Sephora Gems, Butter London top coat, YouTube newspaper tutorial.)
Check out these other products we've put to the test:
What We Thought: At first I was weary about wearing fake eyelashes out in public (my daily beauty routine is super simple), but it was nice to have really thick and full lashes for a night out. They looked natural, and they looked great on my best friend who also tried a pair (she has shorter lashes than i do). I really liked the fact these lashes were self-adhesive -- I didn't have to deal with globs of glue accumulating on my lash line. I even slept in them -- they were still on and looking good in the morning! Pretty impressive.
What We Thought: I tested this product before bed and it gave my hair a perfect I-just-stepped-out-of-the-ocean-look. It's perfect for summer. Unfortunately, the look didn't last until morning, which means every a.m. you'll have to redo the above process if you want to maintain a seaside hairstyle. Read the post here.
What We Thought: After using the brush four to five times I did notice a few things. For starters, it actually does the job of collecting excess water from your hair. I tried it once getting out of the shower and after drying my hair with a towel -- in both cases there was less water dripping from my hair and all over my clothes. Secondly, this brush does an amazing job of untangling locks. My hair is naturally straight so it only took me one to two strokes to achieve smooth straight hair. The brush is also very light, so you don't have to worry about it getting heavy as it fills with H2O.Read the post here.
What We Thought: With the changing season, my hair tends to dry out. After using the oil about seven to eight times every other day (and washing my hair) I did notice my hair felt more hydrated and, generally, softer. My roots and ends were in better shape, too -- even after using a heated iron. The oil is very lightweight, which won't make your locks look or feel heavy. Read the story here.
What We Thought: My lashes are not that long in length and also tend to fall out. For the most part, I didn't notice any change in the length of my lashes, but they did feel thicker. When I applied regular mascara my lashes were fuller and after two weeks, fell out less.Read the post here.
What We Thought: If you're like me, your hair is destined to be oily. I often forgo conditioner or anything moisturizing for my hair. I also stay away from gels and hairspray. I wanted to use dry shampoo to save time and to avoid washing my hair everyday. For the most part, it worked -- and because it's LUSH, it smells fantastic.Read the post here.
What We Thought: It was fantastic to have the most blinged out nails at a party. It caught people's eyes and had them asking questions about "how" -- and sometimes "why" -- our nails got so bedazzled. Without nail polish underneath the stickers, the whole look seemed a little strange, though. Read the post here.
What We Thought: This was the easiest instant nail lift we've ever had. The entire process took about 10 minutes, and we didn't have to fret about trimming the press-ons in various shapes to fit our fingers (they were the perfect size!). Due to the sheer simplicity of the process, this pack is perfect for when you're running behind schedule and don't have time to actually paint your nails and wait for them to dry. Read the post here
Here are some other nail tutorials from our friends at Stylelist.com: