Nothing polishes off a look like a manicured nail, and these looks can spice up your usual, basic manicure.

Anyone who knows me, knows I live in black and gold; whether it be shoes, clothes, bags, or jewelry, I love a look that combines both black and gold. Knowing this, my friend, Alex (a nail expert who has become my go-to manicurist) came to me with this idea, and I put my nails in her hands. The look is fairly simple, to start off, she applied a black polish to both the thumb and pinky fingers, followed by a white polish on both the ring and index fingers, and a sparkly gold polish to the middle fingers (all of which used two coats). After letting the base coat dry, she used a thin brush to apply vertical, black stripes over the white nails. After letting that dry (for quite awhile due to the many coats) I applied a topcoat, and ended up with one of my all-time favorite manicures.

Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 11.39.05 PMThe next look is a bit more summery, but can still work into the fall season, and colors can be changed to make the look work for any season. I’ve always thought red is a classic nail color, making it my go-to polish all year long, so I started with a bright red as a base. Next, I used a drop of sparkly gold on the tip of each of my middle fingers, which I used a thin brush to form the triangular shape. After letting that dry, I again used the thin brush to outline the triangle with a neon pink, which popped against both the red and gold, and lastly applied a top coat to make them shine.


I used to steer away from black nail polish, feeling as though it looked a bit too harsh against my pale skin, but the more I played around with it, I realized it works when used correctly. The last look is a black matte French manicure, which took a few tries to perfect. The trick to the black matte French is using a very dark gray as the base coat rather than black, because using black doesn’t give enough of a contrast with the shiny black tip. So, start with a dark gray coat, and if it’s not matte, apply a matte topcoat over the base. Next, use a thin brush to apply a shiny black tip, and you have yourself a black matte French manicure.


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