Treat your nails this Valentine's

By Jade Burke, Professional Beauty intern

With February looming, this is a great opportunity for you to explore new nail designs and colours in your salon, for clients to try out this Valentine’s Day. As always pinks and red will be popular, however, looking into new styles and designs will give your clients more choice to impress their other half.



Half and half

The unusual half-moon has been popular, as seen at the Milly NY spring/summer 2014 catwalk collection; models wore nude nails with a white half moon, creating the illusion of a floating nail. This style will be a great alternative to a plain nude nail for Valentine’s; otherwise you can offer your clients something a little more dramatic by using a rich navy against a bright white.


How to:

1) Coat the nail in the desired colour for the half moon, and cure for five minutes.

2) Then, place a French manicure paper reinforcer near the cuticle to mark the half-moon shape.

3) Using the second desired shade, paint the whole nail, ensuring you reach the edges of the sticker.

4) Remove the sticker, and after another five minutes of curing paint the nail in a clear topcoat to seal.




Spot on

Polka dots will also offer clients a pretty ensemble to showcase this Valentine’s, either using clashing colours such as pink and red or a classic white and black style, as seen at Charlote Ronson's S/S14 display.


How to:

1) Coat the nail in the colour of choice, and cure for five minutes.

2) Using a napkin, place a few drops of the desired colour for the dots on top.

3) Place a toothpick into the drops of polish, being careful not to clog the toothpick with too much polish.

4) Carefully use the toothpick to create dots on top of the nail. If it becomes too clogged, re-place the toothpick to create fresh polka dots.

5) Cure for another five minutes, and finish with a clear topcoat to seal.

All that glitters

Opting for something a little more elegant for the romantic day, such as a nude polish, will also be very popular among customers. However, by adding a little sparkle into the mix takes a plain nail out of dull territory, as seen at Jenny Packham’s S/S14 collection.


How to:

1) Apply a pale nude to each nail, and allow curing for five minutes.

2) Using a gold polish, with an assorted range of sparkles, paint either the tips of each nail or just the base.

3) Finish with a clear topcoat to seal in the gold glitter.



(Bridal Musings design -

sam biddle

Nail it nail art

If you wanted to offer your clients something a little more technical this February, Sam Biddle, masternail tech and founder of Be Creative, has created a tulip inspired nail design.

How to:

1) Paint each nail in a French pink, and coat the ring finger in a white polish, leaving to cure for five minutes. (Optional French tips can be painted on using a reinforcer.) 

2) Then, using a fine-tipped nail art brush, dipped in a black polish, to create the stem and leaves of the tulip.  Keep the lines loose to create a floating, sweeping motion.

3) Finally add in some red polish to create the tulip shape, either at the base of the nail or at the top.


ibdHearts for you 

Give customers a makeover by embellishing their nails with a delicate heart, balanced alongside pretty pastel pinks or a bold fuchsia for a sweet valentine’s nail design.  

1.  Apply a clear basecoat to nails and cure in lamp.  (30 seconds in LED/ 1 Minute in UV).

2. Apply the chosen base colour in thin layers capping the free edge and curing in between (30 seconds in LED/ 2 Minutes in UV), 2-3 coats should give you good coverage and you can start your design.

3. Using the desired colour for the heart design and a dotting tool, create two dots side by side to create the top arch of the heart, and then use a nail art brush to join them into a point creating the heart shape at the bottom.  Freeze cure.

4. Repeat the little hearts all over the nail freeze curing so they do not move. Then once you’re happy with your design cure in the lamp. 

5. Apply a clear topcoat over the design, and cure for five minutes. 

If you want to offer your clients something a little special this Valentine’s day, try out some of these designs to help them impress their partners. 

(Picture credits: Orly, Lauren Hudson, Bridal Musings, Sam Biddle, IBD)