Graphic. Young. Elegant. Instagram-worthy. These were all the words makeup maven Michelle Phan used to brainstorm an idea for her manicure to rock at the launch party of her new cosmetics line, “em.” Celebrity manicuristMiss Pop let these words of inspiration marinate before presenting Michelle with a slew of options—from lace to crystals to peacock feathers…to the winning design itself: a young twist on a classic half moon.
MDC sat down with Miss Pop and Michelle to understand how to recreate the look.
Pick your colors. With the entire essie collection in front of two beauty gurus, this was not an easy task. Inspired by the black and white “em” logo, Michelle planned to wear a white dress to the event and wanted to capitalize on the hot summer white nail trend as well. Miss Pop recommended a metallic color for the graphic nod. Miss Pop combined the classic essie color “blanc” with the newest essie color for Fall “for the twill of it.”
Shape and buff your nails. Michelle has long, beautiful nails, perfect for the “on trend celebrity oval,” Miss Pop said. This shape elongates the finger for an elegant, sophisticated look that is still young and “vicious” as Miss Pop described it. To achieve this shape, file in one direction. Lay the file on the side wall of the nail and gently follow the edge until it is smooth.
Prime the nails. Miss Pop advised that base is just as important as top coat. Don’t skip it. She explained that there is a natural layer of oil on the nail, so in order to achieve a flawless manicure, one must buff and apply base coat. One coat of essie “first base” will do the trick.
Apply two coats of color. Let’s be honest—white is not the easiest nail color to apply. Miss Pop recommends patiently applying very thin coats of “blanc.” If you glob it on, it will not dry.
Frame the nail. You may have seen this nail trend popping up—the picture frame. Miss Pop explained that this really plays up the beautiful shape of a nail in a chic way. You will need a striper nail polish brush. Miss Pop said to go to any beauty supply store to find one. Clean the brush with acetone and then dunk it in nail polish remover before using it on any color you want to use. Make sure to go up each side of the nail with a steady hand. Edge the French tip and then the cuticle.
Add the half moons. Use the striper brush again to create a rounded half moon shape from the base about half way up the nail. Repeat with a smaller half moon inside. Think of a double rainbow in this case.
Accent as you please. Michelle opted for an “em” shout out on her ring fingers.
Use top coat for the finishing touch. Miss Pop applied essie “good to go” and leaned back to admire her hard work.
Tada! As Michelle said looking at her fresh manicure, “I’ve had many great nail moments, but this might be my favorite!”
Are you going to recreate this look? Tweet us a picture @makeupdotcom!