The Tip: Sometimes you need more than a steady hand to get these moon shapes looking crisp. A nail art pen offers you more control if you can't manage a brush!
The Tools: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, $7.48, available at Ulta; Butter London Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy, $14, available at Beauty.com; Butter London Nail Lacquer in Union Jack Black, $14, available at Beauty.com; CND Nail Polish in Washed Down White, $9, available at Time To Spa; CND Nail Polish in Putty, $9, available at Time To Spa; CND Nail Polish in Blackjack, $9, available at Beauty Brands. Ruffian photo via CND. Vena Cava photo by Mr. Newton.
Metallics & Gold Foil
The Tip: Paint a layer of clear basecoat and messily apply gold foil onto your nail tips with a tweezer. Wait until dry, crumble the excess gold foil off, then secure with a layer of clear topcoat. To rock the look with gold polish, use a small piece of plastic to block the parts of your nail you don't want to paint, and randomly reposition it on your nail as you apply gold polish to the tips with short strokes.
The Tools: Dashing Diva Nail Lacquer in Golden Opportunity, $8, available at Dashing Diva; CND Nail Polish in Copper Shimmer, $11, available at Beauty Brands; Revlon Nail Anamel in Gold Get 'Em, $3.89, available at Target; Charlotte Russe Two-Way Nail Art Brush and Pen, $3.99, available at Charlotte Russe.
Pop Art Graphics
The Tip: For really precise graphic nails, we recommend a good Minx salon (find a location here). If you're confidant in your nail art abilities, invest in some opaque nail precision pens and go wild!
The Tools: Butter London Nail Lacquer in Cheeky Chops, $14, available at Beauty.com; Butter London Nail Lacquer in Royal Navy, $14, available at Beauty.com; Charlotte Russe Two-Way Nail Art Brush and Pen, $3.99, available at Charlotte Russe; OPI Nail Lacquer in Who the Shrek Are You? and Yodel Me Cell, $8.50 each, visit OPI.com for stores.
A Study In Neutrals
The Tip: Don't match the nude shade too closely to your skin tone, lest you want to look like you have mannequin hands. Go a few shades lighter or darker, and choose a color with a high gloss.
The Tools: Priti NYC Nail Polish in Dawn Rose, $12.50, available at Priti NYC; Zoya Nail Polish in Purity, $7, available at Zoya; Sally Hansen Nail Polish in Peachy Keen, $7.99, available at CVS; Dashing Diva Nail Lacquer in The Met, $8, available at Dashing Diva; Ginger + Liz Nail Polish in Reality Check, $12, available at Ginger + Liz. Jose Duran photos courtesy of Dashing Diva/Ann Lawlor. Tracy Reese photo courtesy of Sally Hansen. Prabal Gurang photo courtesy of Sally Hansen.
The Tip: Some heavy-duty nail glue will ensure your decals stay put. Layer a fast-drying topcoat over to set everything in place. If you want the look but aren't ready to commit, look for polishes with large pieces of glitter for some subtler razzle dazzle