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Fall’s Hottest Nail Trends


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As seen on: Kelly Osbourne and Julianne Hough

DIY: Nail appliques, or stickers, are all the rage right now and are an easy way to get the glitz without the goo. “Nail appliques are so simple and last just like regular nail polish,” says celebrity nail designer Patricia Yankee, who has worked with Rachael Ray and P. Diddy. Be sure to buy ones that are made with real nail polish for staying power and apply them to clean, dry nails. Then smooth out any wrinkles by rubbing with your finger, and use a file or nail clippers to trim off the excess. Try a product such as Sally Hansen nail polish strips in Glitz Blitz ($5; at drugstores), which usually lasts for up to 10 days. Once you’re bored with your look, use regular nail polish remover, and they’ll come right off. Or, if you want to go with real polish, check out this step-by-step guide to mimic Kelly Osbourne’s $250,000 manicure at the 2012 Emmy Awards.

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As seen on: Tina Fey and Julianne Moore

DIY: You can never go wrong with nude, especially if you don’t want your nails to overpower your outfit, Yankee says. She recommends suggests taking any off-white polish—sheer or opaque works—and adding tiny pinches of mineral makeup in your personal skin tone to the bottle of polish. Shake to mix and add more if needed to reach your desired shade. Use as you would regular polish, and finish with a clear topcoat.


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As seen on: Fergie

DIY: You don’t need to be a rocker to rock a domino design. Celebrity manicurist Gina Eppolito, who has worked with Tina Fey and Julianne Moore, says to choose a neutral base color. Then use a dotting pen and black nail art brush or a nail art pen (all found in most drugstores) to make six small dots on the top half of the nail. Draw a horizontal line across the middle of the nail, then paint six more small dots on the bottom of the nail to mirror the top dots, and finish with a clear topcoat.


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As seen on: Sarah Hyland and Jena Malone

DIY: Iridescent nails add a sophisticated and glamorous accent to almost any look, Yankee says. Plus metallics are the new neutrals—they go with everything! For effortless sheen, Yankee recommends a press-on-nails product such as Nail Bliss Metallic Nails. They can even be applied over existing nail polish for the night and then removed for work the next day without peeling off your original mani. If you prefer real polish, choose a silver, gold, rose gold, or bronze shade.

Oxblood Red

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As seen on: Rihanna

DIY: The deep, dark reddish hue dominated fall runways: It’s clearly the new red. “It mixes well with almost any other color and looks great on all skin tones,” says Carol Ientile, marketing rep for Duri Cosmetics. “You can’t go wrong with it.” Just be sure to apply a clear base coat to protect your nails from staining or yellowing, then apply your chosen shade. Ientile recommends Duri’s Pinot Noir. For Rihanna's exact color, use Red Carpet Manicure in Draped in Rubies ($10, ULTA stores).

Colorful French

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As seen on: Lady GaGa

DIY: If you think the classic francais manicure is boring, then try this twist. Eppolito says to start by polishing the base of the nail a neutral color, and then finish off the tips with a strip of forest green or shimmering bronze. Worried about a straight line if you don’t have a steady hand? Use a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to blot away any mistakes or try a French manicure stencil.


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As seen on: Christina Aguilera

DIY: Why take the time trying to draw a tedious pattern on your nails when you can use the real deal? Just follow this step-by-step from Eppolito: Cut a long strip from a (cheap) pair of fine-mesh fishnets and cut that strip into 10 roughly nail-sized pieces. Working one nail at a time, paint a coat of polish and then, while the polish is still tacky, gently press a piece of the stockings onto the nail and cut around your tip for a perfect fit. Once all 10 nails are done, top off with a shiny clear topcoat.

Black and White

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As seen on: Cher Lloyd, in her Want U Back music video

DIY: This trend is as fun as a black and white cookie, without all the calories! First polish the base of the nail white, Eppolito says. Then, using a small brush or nail art brush, create a black S shape on half of the nail. Finish with glitter polish on the tips. Eppolito suggests Red Carpet Manicure in White Hot and Black Stretch Limo.



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As seen on: Katy Perry (here, at the premiere of her Katy Perry: Part of Me movie)

DIY: A huge, expensive ring isn’t the only way to bling up your hands. All you need is polish, tiny rhinestones (found at craft stores), an orange wood stick, and Eppolito’s how-to: Working on one nail at a time, add a neutral or dark base color. While the nail is still tacky, dip the orange stick into clear polish, then use it to pick up rhinestones and gently place them on the nail close to one another so you end up covering almost the entire nail. (The pattern is up to you—make all 10 nails uniform or have a different design on each finger.) Finish with a shiny, clear topcoat to hold the stones in place.