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Negative space manicures are here to stay
This fall, nails are back to traditional cold-weather hues. “For the past few seasons, fall/winter has been random,” says Rita Remark, Essie Canada’s global lead educator and nail artist. “I was telling people to wear white and glitter shades. This season, however, we are back to working with very traditional, quintessential fall/winter shades like deep red and dark charcoal, mixed in with metallic accents.” Other trends you can expect to be wearing come September? Negative space and matte top coats. “They’re not going anywhere,” says Remark.
See the six nail designs she created for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week below, along with step-by-step instructions to master the look yourself (or, uh, just show your favourite nail technician the photo).
1. Evan Biddell
The concept: “The concept for the show was very surreal,” says Remark. “We wanted to do something that wouldn’t compete with how wild the collection was. We created a straight line that kind of points at either end, so it resembles a cat’s eye. We also added a shiny top coat because I wanted it to look patent.”
Get the look: Apply a base coat, followed by two coats of Essie nail polish in the shade Licorice. Using a striping brush, draw a line from the cuticle to the end of the nail with a gold hue like Essie’s Good as Gold. Finish with a glossy top coat.
The nail look at Evan Biddell Image by: Essie
The concept: “The show was really rock ‘n’ roll. The girls looked like a girl band, and there was a lot of metal and leather and suede, so I wanted the nails to look like studded grommets. I didn’t want to be completely matchy-matchy with this. If it’s rock ‘n’ roll it has to have some kind of punch to it!”
Get the look: After applying two coats of Essie’s Smokin’ Hot, grab a dotting tool and place four small dots at the base of each nail with a silver polish. On the index finger of the right hand and the thumb nail of the left hand, extend the dots up to the tip of the nail.
The nail look at HENDRIXROE Image by: Essie
The concept: “The collection kind of crossed between streetwear and sophistication,” says Remark. “So we chose classic colours and used them in a contemporary design. We used Essie’s cherry red shade A-List and melted it into Wicked.”
Get the look: “We did this look with cosmetic wedges,” says Remark. “Blend the two colours on the wedge and then stamp it onto the nail. You are going to get a lot on the cuticle, but just clean it off with a bit of nail polish remover. What really melts the two together is adding the shiny top coat, and if you slowly drag the top coat down the nail it will blend them even more.”
The nail look at KQK Image by: Essie
4. Rachel Sin
The concept: “The whole collection was inspired by the way fabrics move, dance and ballroom. She had a lot of wrap dresses. This nail was inspired by the ballerina cardigan that they wear in rehearsal.”
Get the look: Apply Essie’s Topless and Barefoot to the nail, leaving a negative space chevron at the cuticle. Take a striping brush, and trace the line of the chevron, letting one of the lines extend to the tip of the nail using Essie’s Between the Seats. To complete the look, mattify the nail by either buffing down the polish or using Essie’s Matte About You topcoat.
The nail look at Rachel Sin Image by: Essie
The concept: “I don’t really see negative space ever going away. It’s almost like the first time anyone used a brow pencil, it’s just not going to go anywhere. It is a new way of expressing nail art! The best thing about negative space is you can make a statement by removing something, rather than adding.”
Get the look: “We just used Essie’s Licorice and a striping brush,” says Remark. “Start at the cuticle and meet at the end of the nail in a diamond point.”
The nail look at Roch Image by: Essie
6. Stephan Caras
The concept: “You’re not going to want to polish your entire nail silver, or your entire nail gold anymore. You want to kind of add it like adornment. For Stephan Caras, the show was very ornate and lush. Lots of rolling fabrics, lace and beads. So I wanted to add this line of gold with a negative space look. It caught the light in such an elegant way. It has that negative space so it is a bit racy, but at the same time it is very classic.”
Get the look: Paint on a black polish like Essie’s Wicked, stopping mid-nail. Using a striping brush and gold polish, trace a line over the middle of the nail, leaving the cuticle area bare.
The nail look at Stephan Caras Image by: Essie