How to Have Fun With Your Nails, for Grownups

Nail art: Cute on teens, but you’re a grownup—does that mean you can’t have any fun? We reached out to Deborah Lippmann, founder and creative director of her namesake line of nail polish, to get the scoop on creative nail ideas that aren’t too juvenile. “I think a woman should wear whatever color she loves and feels most confident in, no matter her age,” says Lippmann. Here are three of her favorite easy-to-wear trends:

New Neutral Nail Trend

1. Non-Nude Neutral

A neutral-toned nail is always sophisticated, but you can push the boundaries of what you consider “nude” beyond flesh tones. “It isn’t about light beige anymore! I love a warm camel, a dusty mauve or a blue-grey,” says Lippmann. “They work for almost everyone and are great for everyday.” You could also try a sheer nail color (like her pale blue Misty Morning or bisque Like Dreamers Do) for a hint of color without the impact of an opaque color.

Shown here: Deborah Lippmann Terra Nova at the Narciso Rodriguez Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show.

Nail Duet Nail Trend

2. Nail Duet

Younger women—who are still experimenting with their style and expression—tend to try more dramatic nail art, but a pared-down design works for a woman who’s more confident in her look. “Try a simpler design, just two colors or single accent finger in a design or a different hue,” says Lippmann. “Go bold and bright if you like more of a statement and are feeling playful, or more subtle with soft neutrals or pastels.”

Shown here: A black-on-white design at the Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show.

Negative Space Nail Trend

3. Negative Space

Consider it a twist on the French manicure: Keeping some parts of your nails nude and adding color to others. “You can go from understated and simple to more intricate and layered,” says Lippmann. It’s easy to do: Paint your nails with a base coat, then use French tip guide stickers (or thin pieces of scotch tape) to mark off the areas you’d like to paint. Fill them in with a nail detail brush, add another coat if necessary, and remove the tape for a crisp design. P.S. If you still like the French manicure, consider doing the tip in a color other than white for a creative take.

Shown here: French manicure inspired nails at Band of Outsiders Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion show.

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