Getting those fancy nail designs doesn't take a PhD in art theory and an industrial airbrush system. You can get a runway-worthy manicure with things that you already have lying around the house. Here are a few of the ideas we scoped backstage at Nicole Miller, Rachel Antonoff, and L.A.M.B.:
What you need: Toothpick
What it does: Let's you create lines, intricate designs, dots, swirls, and more! We saw CND manicurists using toothpicks backstage at Nicole Miller to make "time machine" circular shapes with three colors on top of each other (see above).
What you need: Makeup sponge
What it does: Grab a triangular makeup sponge from your vanity drawer and dab polish onto your nails to create a gradient effect. CND used it to blend a few colors together at Rachel Antonoff, and to create a beigey, tricked-out ombre mani at Christan Cota.
What you need: Scotch tape
What it does: Tape can be used to section off the nail so that you cab create a half-moon or reverse half-moon shape at the base or the tip of your nail. Color Club manicurists used tape at the L.A.M.B. show to create a "noticeable chipping" effect. Try the "chipped-look" by first applying a base coat and letting it dry. Then lay down the tape, paint the entire nail (even over the tape) with polish, wait a few minutes, remove the tape, and paint the top coat.