Perhaps you know the “lipstick effect” – the idea that we switch to cheaper discounts in times of economic stress.
Expensive lipstick is thought to become an acceptable feel-good alternative to, for example, a designer handbag that offers a touch of luxury at a much lower price.
Given that we rarely leave the house these days, experts are finding that nail polish has become a beauty delight.
NPD UK market researchers have seen an increase in basecoat, topcoat and nail color sales during lockdown (file image).
According to market researchers from NPD UK, sales of base and top coats have increased by 102 percent since the country's lockdown, while nail color has increased by 18 percent.
"Consumers are turning to home and home beauty treatments like manicures to improve wellbeing and mood," said Emma Fishwick of NPD UK.
Of course, foregoing nail appointments in a salon in favor of do-it-yourself work can lead to different results. Help is available with online tutorial videos by experienced manicurists and technicians. Here is our selection of the best.
BACK TO ESSENTIAL
Celebrity manicurist Jenni Draper, who has nails stars like Kate Winslet and Adele, has shared her advice on Instagram (image)
Prominent manicurist Jenni Draper, who works for fashion magazines like Vogue and did the nails of Kate Winslet and Adele, started uploading videos to Instagram at @ jennidraper77 in the first week of the ban.
"I am aware that inexperienced people with limited resources must be able to follow the videos," she says.
Her advice includes everything from nail filing tips to creating pretty, subtle, shimmering stars by dotting pale white or pink polish where you want and using a very fine brush to create the star shape and then adding a clear top coat.
TRY THIS: For the perfect square nail shape, place your hands flat and work with the nail file at right angles to the tip of the nail. File the nails in one direction. A rocking action causes them to splinter.
IT'S PARTY TIME
Metta Francis, founder of the London-based nail service Nails By Mets, has been hosting “Insta Nail Parties” since the restrictions began (pictured)
In normal times, Metta Francis, founder of the London-based nail service Nails By Mets, visits customers like Olympic cyclist Laura Kenny and British tennis player Katie Swann in their homes.
Since the beginning of the restrictions, Metta has been organizing free "Insta nail parties" every Saturday evening. For an hour she has been demonstrating nail looks on Instagram (@nailsbymets) with viewers who paint. You will also find many tutorials there.
"I spend a lot of time on social media and I can usually tell where people’s weaknesses are, for example that it’s difficult to clean their nails at home," she says.
TRY THIS: It's easy to recreate Metta's "rainbow nail art". Use a fine brush, light polishes and a small tray. Put a drop of each polish on the tray so you don't overload the brush by dipping it in the bottle.
After a clear foundation, start halfway up the nail and draw each color in a fine line to the tip until you get a clear foundation.
Michelle Humphrey, who worked with Cate Blanchett and Kylie Minogue, shows off his nail art on Instagram (image)
Michelle Humphrey's Instagram account @nailsbymh is a renowned nail artist who has worked with Cate Blanchett and Kylie Minogue. It shows ambitious, creative looks – 3D ombre leopard print, who? – painted on stick-on nails. "I try to keep my videos clear and precise," she says.
TRY THIS: Experts generally agree that the application of gel nail polish is best left to manicurists. However, if you can't wait until a salon appointment, protective strips are essential.
Like nail-shaped sellotape pieces that form a protective barrier between your nail and the gel polish, they make removal easier because they can be peeled off gently. Michelle uses Elegant Touch Nail Guards to press on the nail manicure (£ 3.99, amazon.co.uk).
The leading nail technician Marian Newman shares her trend-driven nail art on Instagram (in the picture) under the handle @mariannewman
Marian Newman, probably the world's leading nail technician, has worked with top photographers, designers and make-up artists as well as stars from Joanna Lumley to Angelina Jolie.
Your Instagram account at @mariannewman is full of trend-driven catwalk inspiration.
You will find fun ideas, such as one from the Roland Mouret Fall / Winter 2020 Runway Show, where Marian Models gave bright gold "statement" nails while the rest was ox blood – surprisingly chic. There are also gems of advice on healthy nail care.
TRY THIS: Choosing a contrasting texture like glitter or matte for a nail with a statement will make the overall look of your mani more striking.
CLASSIC WITH TWIST
Michelle Lee, who has worked with actresses such as Julianne Moore and Tina Fey, shares her nail on YouTube and Instagram (image)
Celebrity manicurist Michelle Lee (@misspopnails), who lives in New York, creates whimsical but wearable designs with subtle details such as a fine gold line over a burgundy nail.
If she's not working on fashion shoots with actresses like Julianne Moore and Tina Fey, you can find her on YouTube, where she offers alternatives for products that you may not have – for example, hand sanitizer is a good replacement for cuticle softener.
TRY THIS: To easily create a trendy “negative space” effect (if you leave part of the nail unpainted), wrap tape around the nail to cover the bottom half.
Apply the primer to the bare tip, followed by two layers of one color. Finally, apply a clear topcoat, wait until it dries and then remove the tape to give it a striking appearance.
Michelle Class, who made Jennifer Lawrence and Olivia Colman's nails, offers educational and creative nail tutorials for £ 10
Michelle Class, who worked with Jennifer Lawrence and Olivia Colman, started 90-minute workshops on Instagram (@michelleclassnails).
For £ 10 you can watch themed demonstrations, from preparing the nails for polishing to nail art techniques. "My tutorials are educational and creative," she says. "And I will always create a" how to "from my celebrity looks on the red carpet."
TRY THIS: Apply a soft white tip and then shimmer pink over the nail (and not the other way around). So Michelle Margot achieved Robbie's natural look with a chic touch for this year's baftas.
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