Best nail polishes to give you the perfect home mani this summer
CND Gummi Vinylux Long Wear Polish, buy it here for £8.95
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A new collection of six bright shades, ranging from red to violet. The formula promises ultra-shiny results and seven days of chip-free wear when paired with the Vinylux Shellac Weekly Top Coat, £8.95 here.
Our tester says: "I really like the violet Gummi colour, and it did indeed give a glossy finish – but I think most of that was the top coat. It took a little longer than I’d have liked to dry but was a nice professional result when it did. Two nails chipped after five days but I just filled them in."
Mavala Poolside Nail Colour Cream, buy it here for £5.20
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Launching into the existing Colour Cream range, this range of six bright shades for summer includes a pigmented royal blue and a fiery coral. All claim to deliver glossy, gel-effect finishes.
Our tester says: ‘"These are very bright shades, and the deep blue Santa Monica looked great with my (fake) tan! The brush was quite small so it wasn’t the easiest polish to use as it took a couple of goes to get an even layer, but the finished effect, after two coats, was nice. Not the shiniest, though."
Barry M Green Origin Nail Paint, buy it here for £3.99
These are suitable for vegans and made with 70 per cent natural ingredients, like potato, corn and wheat. They promise a high-shine, long-lasting finish and there are 13 shades to pick from.
Our tester says: "The shine the polish gives is very impressive.Two coats was enough to give my nails a pigmented and even finish, and the polish was quick to dry. They chipped quickly, though – within two days. My favourite shade is the glossy Red Sea."
Essie Expressie Quick Dry Nail Colour, buy it here for £7.99
A new range featuring 20 shades of brights and nudes, with speed-dry formulas that promise to turn smudge free in as little as one minute.
Our tester says: "Anything promising a quick dry is right up my street because I always smudge my polish. The brush was a good size and shape to coat my nails in two goes, and two coats gave a pigmented result. It took five minutes for my nails to be fully dry which is amazing. The nude Crop Top and Roll shade is great for a DIY French mani."
Le Mini Macaron Gel Manicure kit, buy it here for £30
This comes with one shade of gel polish, a mini USB lamp, a nail file and cuticle stick, and acetone wipes. Choose from 10 shades for your starter kit, and then you can buy 52 other colours as singles.
Our tester says: "This is now my favourite home nail lamp. It only sets one nail at a time, and you need two layers, so it takes a little time but I like that the base and top coat are built into the colour polish as it saves a few steps. I love the nude shade Fairy Floss, which gave me a good week of wear without chipping (that’s great for my nails)."
Leighton Denny Back to Nature Nail Polish, buy it here for £12
The collection has six polishes in nude and muted tones, and boasts a formula made with 75 per cent plant-derived ingredients. The polishes also have extra-wide brushes for easy application.
Our tester says: "I loved the wide brush, which almost coats the whole nail in one swipe. The formula is quite runny so it doesn’t give that thick, gel-like effect, and a couple of coats are definitely needed, but the colour is bold and streak-free. I love Peony, a soft, grown-up dusky pink."
Nails Inc Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Duo, buy it here for £15
Fresh in for summer, this is a pair of ‘vitamin C-infused’ nail colours in juicy shades with fruity fragrances to match.
Our tester says: "These claim to smell like orange and watermelon and they really do… assuming said fruits had been dunked in nail polish. I have no idea why you’d need a polish with added vitamin C – are nails at risk of scurvy? – but it’s a cute gimmick and the cheery, juicy shades are nicely pigmented. 100% fruit concentrate, in fact. Do they count as two of my five a day?"
TRENDS TO TRY
The mani experts at London’s Townhouse nail studio have picked these three gorgeous designs that are simple for you to copy at home
- Coloured tips
Apply a base coat, then a thin coat of a sheer, natural polish and let that dry. Choose a colour for your tips, imagine you’re drawing a smile and gently drag the brush from the left side to the right.
Top tip: If you’re struggling to paint a smooth smile line, use the short curved end of a plaster and stick it just below the tips of your nails, leaving a thin line free to paint polish over.
- Delicate dots
Start with a base coat, then apply 1-2 coats of your chosen base colour. Once dry, choose a colour for your dots. Gently dab the edge of your brush on the nail and steadily drag it in a clockwise circular motion to form a circle. Finish with a topcoat.
Top tip: Use a dotting tool or the round end of a small make-up brush to create the dots if you want them smaller or neater.
- Pastel pebbles
Apply a base coat and leave to dry, then select five shades of polish (one for each nail). Choose tones that complement each other – like pastels – and apply two layers of each polish. Finish with a top coat.
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