When it comes to nail art, most of us shy away from it because we assume it has to be edgy, over-the-top and done in hues that Rainbow Brite would approve of. But beauty blogger Sophie, of My Awesome Beauty by Sophie, proves that elegant nail art does exist. And although she normally plays with color in most of her nail designs—thanks to her "childish personality"—she was excited to try a more "grown up" look, which she found to be much less boring than she anticipated.
Follow these steps to recreate her classy look.
Step 1: Start by applying a base color, which in this case is white. "This is the color that will show most, so it should be the lightest color," says Sophie. Try Essie Nail Color in Below the Belt. "It's much less time consuming if you do this step the evening before so you don't have to sit and wait for it to dry," she says.
Step 2: Cut strips of silver nail striping tape (try Fashion 18 Color Rolls Striping Tape Line Nail Art Decoration Sticker) in pieces that are slightly wider than the distance from one side of your nail to the other (horizontally). Stick them on the dry white base where you see them in the photo. One side of the tape should stick out beyond your nail—you'll actually remove this first set of tape, so you'll need that extra length to easily pull it off.
Step 3: Have both a black and grey polish (try Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Satin and L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail in Greycian Goddess) handy—you'll need to paint these shades on quickly. Start with the grey, painting it between the two strips of tape. "It doesn't matter if you get polish on the tape because you're pulling it off right after painting," says Sophie, but do avoid getting it on the other polish colors. Once you finish the grey, apply the black polish below the bottom strip of tape. As soon as the painting is complete, quickly remove the tape. "If you wait for [the polish] to dry, it will come off with the tape and you'll get ugly edges," she says.
Step 4: Once the grey and black polishes are dry, place new strips of tape—ones that are cut to fit your nail perfectly—where the original tape was placed.
Step 5: Finish by applying a clear top coat.
The whole process will take about 15 minutes if you paint your nails white the day before, or 30 if you're starting with bare nails.
Photo credit: My Awesome Beauty by Sophie