We’ve always loved nail polishes that we can get full coverage from in just one thin coat. (Shout out to YSL Beaute’s Bronze Aztec – a one coat wonder I have just discovered.)
Any nail polish that goes on sheer is automatically left to rot and dry up at a corner of our shelves ‒ but not anymore.
Sheer nail polishes are all the rage now ‒ from coloured tints to nudes, they lend just a little hint of colour. It’s almost like no-makeup makeup, except that it’s now on your nails. And it’s appropriate for any occasion.
Gel nail fans, sheer colours are also a great way to soften the look of harsh lines that usually appear when you’re growing your nails out.
Here are five ways different ways to pull off the trend:
#1 TINTED NAILS
For a healthy nail, barely-there look, apply two coats over a clear, protective base coat. Bobbi Brown’s Limited Edition nail polishes ‒ in Nude and Naked, $29 each, out in June at all stores and counters ‒ for its summer range is perfect if you want the nude, mannequin look. It gives the illusion of longer fingers.
Pink tinted see-through polishes can make the pinks of your nails “pinker” and your nail tips look whiter. Almost like an instant French manicure. Try Dior’s Nail Glow, $38, available at all Dior Beauty stores and counters. You can apply this without a base coat. The brand is also offering a pink Tie-Dye Top Coat (#869) this June, $40, so you can apply it above other polishes, too. (Try pastel!)
#2 OMBRE NAILS
No more struggling with sponges and messy cuticles for ombre nails, the process becomes much easier with sheer polish.
Paint your nail polish in layers, with each subsequent one starting further up the nail for an ombre effect.
WATCH: Korean beauty vlogger Hoversjelly teaches you how to get ombre nails using a sheer orange polish
You can even pair two complementary or clashing colours together for a fun combination.
Try YSL Beaute’s La Laque Couture, $38 available from June at all YSL Beaute stores and counters, in the combination of Fuschia Rain and Orange Drop, then top it off with Sally Hansen’s Gel Shine 3D top coat for extra shine, $13.90, available at leading personal care stores and BHG.
Etude House offers a whole range of neutrals ‒ $3.90 each, available at all of the brand’s stores ‒ if you want to tone down the look, too.
#3 THE UPDATED FRENCH MANICURE
Use the sheer nail polish as a base for your french manicure. But if you’re bored of the classic french mani, there are plenty of other modern designs (think the reverse french mani and half-moons) you can do, too. Just look at the mary jane and sheer tights inspired look nail artist Miss Pop did for the Jeremy Scott FW15 show.
Image: OPI's Facebook page
#4 LAYER IT OVER NAIL ART
Sheer, milky-type polishes can help to “soften” the look of nail art. Miss Pop did this at Rachel Antonoff’s fashion week presentation, in which she used a sheer peach polish over a floral design.
#5 AS A BASE FOR GLITTER NAILS
Or mix them! You can mix translucent polish with clear, glitter nail polishes for easy application – just one coat and you’re good to go. For slightly more opaque colour, mix your regular nail polish with a glitter top coat instead.
We’re absolutely crazy about the cute Sephora x Craig & Karl top coats, $12 each at all Sephora stores, coming out this June and July. Hi Street is a blue and neon green mix, while Mayfair is a warmer combination of oranges, pastel yellows and blues.
WATCH: Vlogger nailchatter demonstrates how to make your own jelly glitter nail polish.