Home Beauty The American Manicure Is Taking Over Fall One Nail at a Time

The American Manicure Is Taking Over Fall One Nail at a Time


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The American manicure has been taking over Instagram feeds around the world, and the trend has finally made its way to the streets of New York City. The look works on all sorts of hands, from stubby to long and slender, so whether you’re looking to jazz up your right hand or completely revamp your entire look, check out these photos of the American manicure and get inspired! And don’t forget that this trend also works with natural nails! If you aren’t looking to paint them all at once, try out some nail stickers instead!

An overview of the trend

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You may have noticed that manicures this season are looking less like art, and more like natural nails. And why not? The new, more down-to-earth look is perfect for daytime chic and nighttime glamour, alike. Simply choose your favorite polish colors and pamper yourself with a perfect set of hands.
A solid base of white polish covers your nail tips and acts as a canvas for you to customize with either geometric or flowery designs. Depending on how artistic you are, you can go for elaborate patterns that cover your entire nail—called full-nail art—or stick to simple designs that focus on one section of your nails. If you decide to keep it simple, simply use an eye shadow sponge or dab some glitter on top. In fact, we’re loving metallic gold right now as it adds sophistication and luxe to any design without taking over every inch of your fingers.

How to get it

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Start with clear or white nail polish. Working in one nail at a time, paint the tip of your nail with the clear or white polish and then use the end of a Q-tip dipped in the polish to draw two small straight lines diagonally across the top portion of your nail (imagine making an X). Let dry for about five minutes before repeating on other nails. Next, mix together red and blue polish (a little bit of black is also nice if you have it) to create your base color and start filling in those lines. Hold up your thumb so that you can see the color better and use the lightest shade possible so that when you outline each other color it doesn’t show through.

Why its trending

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Women everywhere are giving their manicures an update by simply adding one line down the center of the nail. Even with their bare nails, women have taken to Instagram to upload photos of their American manicures. In fact, there’s even an account called American Manicure devoted to showcasing other women’s nail art. It’s quickly become a symbol of feminine power and being polished while respecting feminism.

Before and after examples

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After all of the flash and glitter of summer, your nails need some love. The preppy trend, also known as the American manicure, is all about pastel-pink toes, fingertips, and an allover pink hue on the nail bed. This subtle style makes your hands look clean, chic, and polished without being overly festive or callous in the cooler months.

How to DIY (step by step instructions)

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  1. After cleansing and removing any old nail polish, dry your nails with paper towels and let them air-dry for about 20 minutes. (To make them extra strong, use cotton balls soaked in acetone to remove any residual polish remover residue on the nail.)
  2. Prep your nails by pushing back the cuticles with an orange stick, trimming any excess length from your nails with clippers, and buffing them in one direction using a nail buffer.
  3. Apply your base coat, then two coats of color. For extra durability, add a top coat of clear polish that contains less than 10 percent acetone to prevent peeling or chipping.
  4. While nails are still slightly wet, use an orangewood stick to press studs and shapes into your freshly painted nails. You can use studs as is or paint them first with polish (for multiple colors on one nail, alternate base and top coats between colors). Let dry, then seal each nail with two coats of clear polish to prevent any from popping off during wear.
  5. To keep these beauties looking their best, invest in some good quality cleaning supplies like dish soap, polish remover, and cotton swabs to gently clean underneath the tips of your nails after every few days of wear.
  6. Replace your studs every three to four wears—they’ll eventually pop off on their own. (If you’re feeling adventurous, consider customizing them with different shapes and designs.)
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