5 on-trend ways to dress up your manicure

Just in time for the party season

A nude nail is great for most days of the year, but your social calendar is about to get busier than ever with all the Christmas parties, end-of-year get-togethers and New Year’s Eve coming up. It’s time to step up your manicure and give your digits a festive makeover. Take your cues from this season’s newest nail looks – fresh from the runway, of course.

French navy

Seen at: Tanya Taylor

The classic French manicure is back, but this time we’re swapping the well-worn white tips for navy. Depart from the ’90s original to play with scale and push colour to new heights— the modern variation is paired with bare nails to keep it chic. “Nice clean lines and different angles can spice up a basic manicure,” says Betty Rose, manicurist for Smith & Cult. To create a cool, contemporary contrast, “use French [tip] strips at different [widths] on the nail”.

Product to try: Bobbi Brown Nail Polish in Navy; Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Colour in Soothing Sapphire

Tanya Taylor

Bobbi Brown Nail Polish in Navy

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Colour in Soothing Sapphire

Celestial sky

Seen at: Anna Sui

Consider grown-up glitter—in every metallic shade—your new go-to polish. “[It] throws light, so [it] will hide any imperfections,” explains Rose. The intentional irregularity of this sparkly cover-up also guarantees a foolproof paint job. The key to steering clear of teenager territory is to ignore layering techniques of the past and work with your natural nail as a base. If you can’t resist wearing colour underneath, stick to cool grey tones and avoid brights entirely.

Product to try: Smith & Cult Nail Glitter in Glass Souls; OPI Nail Polish in Coalmates

Anna Sui

Smith & Cult Nail Glitter in Glass Souls

OPI Nail Polish in Coalmates

Dotty detail

Seen at: Preen

This fun new take on polka dots is feminine and a little bit flirty—just how we like it. But be warned: it can easily skew too cutesy. Getting the balance right lies in combining unexpected colours—such as coral, mint and cherry—with random placement. Add dots in different shades and sizes, then seal with a clear top coat. Each nail should be unique.

Products to try: CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Rouge Essentiel; Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in Cha-Ching

Preen

CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Rouge Essentiel

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in Cha-Ching

Silver lining

Seen at: Delpozo

Geometric lines are moving from eye makeup to manis this season and are an easy way to update your look. “Chrome is huge at the moment,” confirms Rose. “A stripe down the centre of each nail is chic and edgy.” Master the art at home with a fine-tipped eyeliner brush or beauty tool.

Product to try: Scout Cosmetics Nail Polish in November Rain; Essie Nail Color in Getting Groovy

Delpozo

Scout Cosmetics Nail Polish in November Rain

Essie Nail Color in Getting Groovy

For skin that's ready to take on summer, try these facials.

Find more trend predictions from InStyle at instylemag.com.au

How are you planning on stepping up your mani game this party season? Share with us your go-to nail looks or any festive designs you're currently experimenting with.

Image credits: Getty; @tanyataylor

After a decade in the industry, Laura's career spans across four of the biggest women’s magazines in the country; InStyle Australia, OK!, NW and New Idea, plus an online editorship at popsugar.com.au. An established expert in beauty, she also holds a wealth of knowledge across the lifestyle sector, with experience in fashion, health, wellness, TV and video. Laura has featured on morning TV multiple times and interviewed some of the biggest celebrities in the world, from Kim Kardashian West to Miranda Kerr. After freelancing for titles such as Gritty Pretty, Australian Traveller and Fashionista, Laura is now Fashion, Features & Beauty Editor of Hello May- Australia's largest independent wedding magazine and website.