Makeup & Beauty

Tutorial: Textured Black French Manicure

One of my favorite nail looks is a simple black manicure (usually Essie Licorice), but I’m the first to admit that it’s not the most exciting choice in the world. Sure, black nail polish used to be kinda unexpected (back in the ‘90s, at least)…but now it’s made the jump straight into “classic” and is about as earth-shattering as pale pink.

But the black manicure they showed on the Kaelen Fall 2013 runway? That was something else entirely. It was like a mashup between a straightforward black manicure and a traditional French one, and incorporated matte and glossy finishes to create a look that’s simultaneously elegant and – yes – a little bit edgy.

Also? The look was apparently inspired by The Craft. Obviously I love this.

Also? It’s so easy.

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SPF moisturizer, black nail polish, a matte top coat (I use Butter London’s), and a glossy top coat.

black glossy matte manicure what you need

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1. Before we get to the manicure, a little beauty must: always always always remember to moisturize your hands with a product containing SPF (I use Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF on both my face and hands). Your hands are one of the body parts that need protection from the sun the most, but they’re frequently overlooked. An easy way to remember to keep the delicate skin safe and avoid signs of aging: when you’re putting moisturizer on your face, just rub the excess into the backs of your hands (paying extra attention to your cuticles so they look nice and smooth for that pretty manicure you’re about to create).

matte black nail polish

2. Next, apply 2-3 coats of black polish, allow to dry, and then add one layer of matte top coat.

black french manicure matte

3. Final step: once the matte polish has dried, use the glossy top coat to rim the tip of each nail, as if you’re creating a French manicure. A tip: if you finish off with a final swipe that angles the top coat slightly under the nail, you’ll give the manicure extra staying power.

matte black manicure glossy tip

black matte glossy french manicure

Simple; striking; (subtly) spectacular.

For more information on how to protect your skin from the sun’s rays (yes, even in the winter) and sensitive skincare tips, visit the Simple Skincare website. 

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