4 Rules for Ditching the Basic Manicure

In gel nail recovery? Itching to ditch "the usual"? Here's how.

By: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Masha Maltsava

If you're a creature of habit, the following scenario is way too familiar to you: on an innocuous weekend afternoon, you swing by your usual nail spot for a polish change or manicure. Upon choosing the usual from an entire wall of rainbow-hued bottles, your manicurist gives you that all-too-knowing look: seriously? This shit again?

If you're guilty of any of the above, we'd like to welcome you to Jin Soon Choi's manicure rehab: wherein one of the salon's talented manicurists, Reiko (who sported a seriously enviable mani herself—check those glittery tips!), broke down for us exactly how to mix things up, DIY-style. Turns out adding graphic lines and shapes to your tips is about a billion times easier than anyone imagined—zero dubious Pinterest hacks needed. 

How to Incorporate

Graphic Lines

Into Your Usual Mani:

— one —

 

"First, choose colors that are close in range to each other: colors from the same family, or similar shades. This way, the angled shapes flow nicely together, and the break in the middle is not so stark. Almost like a geometric ombré effect!"

 

— two —

 

"To keep your lines straight and even, the brush doesn't always have to move. For example: when drawing a line from the cuticle area to the free edge, don't concentrate so much on the moving your brush slowing towards you. Instead, use your hand holding the finger to aid in making the straight line. You can slightly roll or move the finger in the opposite direction of your brush movements. This reduces the amount of movement your painting hand has to do, limiting the chance of shaking or creating an uneven line. It's a tiny tip that really helps."

 

How to Copy This Look:

— three —

 

"The key to this nail art is to keep in mind that every line must be diagonal. Start the first shape on the left side of the nail, about half way up. Remember the nail art is drawn on a diagonal from one side of the nail to the other. If the first shape starts too low or close to the free edge, the nail art will appear small or the second shape will be cut off too soon. Draw a diagonal line towards the center of the nail, stop about half way or in the center. Your second line will go from the center of the nail, at the point you stopped drawing the first line, on a diagonal towards the bottom left side of the nail. Then fill in the shape with color. This line completes the first shape."

 

— four —

 

"Change colors. The second shape should follow in the same form as the first shape, almost like a reflection. The first line of the second shape should run parallel on a diagonal to the second line of the first shape. Be sure to leave a strip of the base color visible between the two shapes. Then following the same direction as the very first diagonal line, draw the last line from the center of the nail towards the bottom right corner. Fill in the shape with the second color."

 

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