When it comes to the Mulleavy sisters, “understated” is not a word in their vocabulary. So when nail artist Michele Huynh accepted the challenge of creating a manicure to pair with the sisters’ medieval fantasy-inspired Rodarte spring 2013 ready-to-wear collection, she didn’t suggest a simple neutral polish. Instead, she dreamed up this elaborate woven, custom-blended manicure. Here’s how to create the look.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Warm khaki nail polish. Try: CND Colour in Desert Suede.
  • Sheer cream nail polish. Try: Essie Nail Polish in Like Linen.
  • Medium brown nail polish. Try: CND Colour in Chocolate Milk.
  • Plastic plate or empty nail polish bottle.
  • Glossy top coat. Try: L’Oréal Colour Riche Nail in Top of the Line.
  • Wax paper.
  • Matte top coat. Try: CND Super Matte Top Coat.
  • Base coat. Try: Essie All in One Base.
  • Small scissors.
  • Nail art dotting tool or toothpick.
  • Tweezers.
  • Patience. Each one of these nails took Huynh and her team 15 minutes to create.

HOW TO DO IT:    

The night before you want to wear this look, do the following:

Step 1: Create a custom-blended neutral shade by mixing (either on a plastic plate or in an empty polish bottle) the three polish colors together. Three-quarters of the blend should be an equal mix of the khaki and cream polishes, and the remaining one-quarter should be the medium brown hue. (If you would prefer to use a color straight out of the bottle, try Essie Nail Polish in Mamba.)

Step 2: To create the strips, paint a layer of the glossy top coat on your wax paper. Let it set for a few seconds. Then cover it with two coats of the neutral shade. Let the polish dry for a few minutes between each coat, says Huynh. Finish by coating the nude color with the matte top coat. Let the polish dry overnight.

Step 3: Before you call it a day, paint your nails with the base coat and two coats of an equal mixture of the khaki and cream polishes. Finish with the glossy top coat. Tip: For the best results, “be sure to apply thin coats of everything, from the base coat, color and top coat on your nails to the polish on the wax paper,” Huynh says.

After letting your polish and the paint on the wax paper dry overnight, do the following:

Step 4: Peel the polish off of the wax paper and cut it into tiny strips (approximately 1/8-inch wide).

Step 5: To complete the look, use your dotting tool to add a bit of shiny top coat to each end of the strips (this will act as the glue). Use your tweezers to place the strips onto your nails in an angled hashtag design, first laying down three strips going in one direction and next laying down three strips going in the other direction. This is the most time-consuming step, so be patient. Tip: “Use a pair of tweezers that are not so sharp at the ends [or they] will tear the strips,” Huynh says.

Will you try Rodarte’s woven manicure?