• The July/August 2013 cover of <i><a href='' target='_blank'>Nail It!</a></i> Magazine<br />
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All images courtesy of Nail It! Magazine
  • Mod-inspired black and white nails are fresh, bold and perfect for summer<br />
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All images courtesy of Nail It! Magazine
  • Frost suggests pairing multiple mega-bright shades together and embracing the color-blocking nail trend that's on fire this summer<br />
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All images courtesy of Nail It! Magazine
  • Frost loves textured nails with flashes of neon peeking through for summer<br />
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All images courtesy of Nail It! Magazine
  • Textured nails coupled with neon shades are eye catching yet chic<br />
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All images courtesy of Nail It! Magazine

Perfectly Polished

From glow-in-the-dark polish to three-dimensional charms, it seems like your weekly manicure has become a grown-up art project, an exercise in creativity with endless options for nail shape, color, texture and beyond. With so many new developments in technology and sources for design inspiration online, it’s handy to have a go-to source to sift through the noise for the greatest finds. Enter Nail It! Magazine, the recently launched publication serving up expert advice on the latest nail news, trends, tips and tricks. We talked to Karie Frost, Beauty Director for Nail It!, about some fun nail trends to try this summer and a few styles to look out for this fall.

What color do you have on your nails right now?

Unfortunately, what I'm wearing I can't talk about—it's embargoed. Under lock and key. Suffice it to say, it's a new gel by a big name set to debut later this year. But that's all I can divulge. I'm actually rocking it in color blocks: a diagonal of mint green and a diagonal of burgundy. Sounds like a strange color-combo, but it's very fresh and eye-catching.

Tell us a little bit about Nail It! Magazine.

Nail It! is a consumer beauty magazine that views nails through a 360-degree lens. We look at how nails fit into your health, your fashion, your lifestyle. We’re about education, trend forecasting and product discovery—and we can’t forget makeup, hair, skin and fashion, so that’s all included as well! We aim to appeal to both DIY polishers and salon devotees, as well as to nail art obsessives and polish classicists. It truly is the first of it’s kind.

How often do you paint your own nails?

I manage Nail It! Magazine’s Instagram account, so I’m constantly taking pictures of my manicure. I always need to show our followers something new and fresh. That being said, I paint my nails one to two times a week—sometimes more if I find the time or feel a little antsy.

Who are some nail bloggers to follow for nail art inspiration?

I have a few Instagram obsessions: Nail Swag, Spifster, The Illustrated Nail, ThisIsVenice, Fleury Rose, Britney Tokyo, Madeline Poole, Naomi Yasuda, Christina Rinaldi, Mei Kawajiri…the list goes on. You can really go down a rabbit hole of amazing artistry between these ladies. I’m basically drawn to either super-intricate detailing or unusual shade combinations in simple color blocks. These women all deliver the goods.

Which celebrity is always on point with her nail art?

Hands down, Katy Perry. If we’re talking nail art, when she does indulge, she chooses designs that echo her fashion point of view. I’ll always love the Joan of Arc nails manicurist Pattie Yankee created for Katy for the 2013 Met Gala; they’re like Renaissance art.

What are some hot nail trends for summer?

When it comes to nail art, black-and-white designs are tops, despite the fact that they buck the trend of typically bright, summertime colors. The trend actually borrows from the spring/summer 2013 runways, such as Marc Jacobs and Balmain. The look almost has a mod feel, and I think it works on nails because the two non-colors crisply contrast for intense visual impact—even if you’re simply doing a black half-moon on an opaque white nail. It’s simple, chic and can read elegant or trendy—the choice is yours.

Color-blocking is another hot summer nail art trend. Pairing mega-brights, like lemon and fiery coral, with grounding hues, like beige, black or deep navy, in simple geometric patterns is a fun way to dress up nails. Think: four-square checkers, three diagonal sections or repeating curved lines. Color-blocking is so simple in its makeup, yet the visual payoff is incredible.

As for polish hues, I’m all over the newest vivid pastels being offered, especially peaches; they all have this underlying brightness that really hasn’t been seen for this hue when it comes to nail lacquer. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Purity has a cool dusty quality to it, but it’s still unbelievably bold. Floss Gloss in Pony is a bit brighter and looks amazing with a tan. And China Glaze Sun of a Peach is a truly neon pastel; it’s definitely for women who take risks with their manicure colors. There’s something about vivid pastel peach that feels both sweet and sexy.

Finally, texture is big—and for summer, blending texture with neons is where it’s at. We created a black “concrete” nail with slashes of gradient neon running through it. The gravelly texture plus streaks of color is definitely an eye-catching—yet totally unique—design for summer.

Other trends to look out for: tribal patterns, negative space and glitter gradients.

What are some simple rules to keep in mind when DIYing nail art at home? Any tricks of the trade?

The trick I’ve learned is that you must anchor your wrist, no matter if you’re painting more intricate designs or simply polishing your nail in three swipes. The best way to anchor it is to rest your arm, from the elbow to your wrist, against the table you’re using; this gives you more control. Sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but not everyone does it. Once you do, you’ll see the difference.

Also, practice makes perfect. Your hand becomes steadier with time and repetition; your lines become straighter; your concept of space should become stronger.

And if you’re flummoxed over what colors to pair together on a nail, just look to fashion. Designers are known for marrying nervy shades with one another, and using their wares as a visual cue can be a great help.

Why has nail art become so popular? How has it changed the industry?

Not until the last few years did nail art really explode with the masses. I trace the obsession back to Tumblr’s beginnings: As soon as Tumblogs devoted to intensive nail art hit the scene, I’d hear about beauty obsessives (who aren’t in the nail industry) flocking to them on a daily basis. Think about it: Gifted nail technicians now had images of their nail art collected into one flowing stream that everyone—no matter their proximity—has access to: their handiwork wasn’t just relegated to their salon and their town; in fact, it was being shared and lauded. Some of the more enterprising nail obsessives who viewed these Tumblogs thought: “Maybe I can try that at home.” Over time, blogs devoted to step-by-step nail art hit, then Pinterest boards filled with nail art images to take to salons or try at home, and it has snowballed from there. I think this technology really helped first foster and then spur along the madness. (And I love it!)

What are a few of your new favorite nail innovations?

Even though it’s not entirely new anymore, I’d have to say that gel polish has really transformed the way we wear manicures and pedicures. Gel polishes just have this high-shine finish that regular polish can’t touch. And the longevity—well, who doesn’t want their manicure to last them two weeks? Especially when you’re on vacation…

I’m also digging the new glow-in-the-dark polishes. Ciaté Corrupted Neon Manicure packages together everything I love: mega-bright color, neon glitter and a glows-in-black-light clear top coat. Yes, you need a black light to power-up the glow, but you can always pop into a club or two this summer!

I also spotted an innovation that I don’t have all the details on yet, but it seems pretty promising. Let’s just say: It’s a polish that creates raised stripes for a matte and shine pattern. Instant nail art is always a hit, so I’m really excited to try this one out!

Any fall trend predictions?

Glitter gradation will still remain a strong trend, but you’ll start seeing it done with inky hues like ebony, navy and hunter green. A cool take would be stippling your loose glitter from the middle of your nail outward to create a galaxy-like effect.

If we’re to take a cue from the runways, nail art will incorporate frisky plaid, herringbone and houndstooth patterns—but you’ll want to do a unique spin, like using plaid as a background to some hand painted roses or creating your houndstooth with gold leaf.

As far as color, the most exciting hues—the ones I haven’t seen before—are creamy blue-purples. This color has a richness that you associate with fall, but also this beautiful radiance that’s very uplifting. You know how brilliant cobalts took over for the past few seasons? These are this season’s answer. Butter London Giddy Kipper is the brightest and has just a touch of iridescence. SpaRitual Midnight Stroll and Zoya Sailor are both full-coverage, opaque creams that are true standouts.

Finally, expect some truly innovative glitter formulations to bow this fall. I’ve seen everything from multi-shape-and-color holographic glitter suspended together in sheer jelly bases to full-coverage duo-chrome polish (think: liquid metal-like) that boast holographic glitter in a complementary hue (like, a gold base with purple glitter). Just when you think every glitter polish has been made, a new one comes out and leaves you breathless. Now, all we need is a glitter polish remover…I’m sure if the demand is there, innovation will prevail!
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