From lip gloss nails to rosé-inspired polishes, neutral nude manicures are everywhere this spring. If you love a bold nail look, however, fear not, as bright colours and OTT nail art is also still hugely popular – just take a look at the fancy fingertips on the Grammys red carpet early this month, or this year’s Love Island contestants’ scene-stealing manis.
And one statement nail look that you’re going to be seeing everywhere is aura nails. Inspired by the colourful energy fields that surround individuals, this trend involves combining two or more colours of polish into a hazy, diffused effect, usually seamlessly blending one colour around the outside into a second colour in the middle.
The colours picked can be tonal (a bright red fading out into a soft pink, for example) or you can go as bold as you like with a complete colour clash. Further nail art or embellishment can even be added on top for extra wow factor. The finished effect is a little bit mystical, a little bit 70s psychedelic – and very, very cool.
And the celebs are giving this trend a go too. Earlier this year Dua Lipa posted an Instagram story of a super-shiny cosmic-looking manicure in complimentary pink and purple tones. The singer tagged in her manicurist Michelle Humphrey, who then documented the look on her grid with the caption: “Pink aura nails 4 major babe Dua Lipa.”
Fancy trying this trend yourself? Here’s how, whether in the salon or at home (no spiritual powers needed)…
In the salon
For a professional aura nails gel manicure, the nail technician will typically use an airbrush tool to apply fine layers of polish into an ombré effect.
Alternatively the look can be achieved using something called blooming gel polish. This polish gradually diffuses out across the nail until the desired effect is reached, and then it’s cured using a UV lamp to stop this spreading. Checking to see if your salon offers either of these services before booking.
It’s a little fiddly but you can copy the look yourself with a couple of nail polishes and a simple make-up tool. Once your base coat is completely dry, dab a dot of your second colour on and gently blend out into a halo effect using a tiny make-up sponge like these £7.50 ones from BeautyBay, or a sponge-tipped eyeshadow applicator like these £2 tools from Boots. Keep reapplying this second colour and blending out until the desired intensity is achieved.
To copy this pinky-orange look above, we love Barry M Gelly High Shine Nail Polish in Desert Orange, £3.99 here, and Essie Nail Polish in Lovie Dovie, £7.99 here, applied over a nude base.
For a quick fix
For speedy statement nails, press-on nails are trending again – even Kim Kardashian recently revealed that some of her long talon-like manicures are in fact the result of temporary false nails.
To rock the aura look in a flash, we love these Shrine Diggin’ Your Aura False Nails, £6 here, or embrace your inner vamp with these deep purple designs from Etsy, £16.10 here.
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