SS2014 catwalk nail looks for less

After some very grey, wet and miserable weeks it’s time to get a bit more ‘Spring Summer 2014’. There have been some gorgeous nail looks accompanying the pick of the designer fashions, and I thought it would be fun to recreate these using options from the high street that punch well above their tiny price tags.

Everything here is under £6 – and prices start from a teensy £1 – so you can treat yourself without blowing up your budget. The biggest colour story this season is all the orchid and lilac shades so let’s start with that.

SS2104 catwalk budget nails lilac orchid nail polish

From left to right:

  • L’Oreal Color Riche in Nouvelle Vague – part of the Les Blancs collection (all of which is beautiful and VERY expensive looking), this is a white-lilac and great value [£4.99, and currently in the 3-for-2 offer at Boots]
  • L’Oreal Color Riche Nails in Flashing Lilac – this is more of a pink-purple and leans pink so would perhaps be better described as an orchid shade [£4.99 and in the Boots offer mentioned above, although the colour swatch isn’t showing up properly on their site]
  • MUA Nail Polish in Lush Lilac – an easy to wear soft pastel shade that’s great for the price [£1 at Superdrug]
  • GOSH Nail Lacquer in Wild Lilac (shade 571) – intense colour, glossy finish and wears well [£3.99 at Superdrug]
  • Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Prickly Pear (aka Lilac) – a cool toned light lavender [£3.99 and in the offer at Boots]

The catwalks were also awash with so many nude nail looks. This included shades from the palest cream to darker beiges and taupes, and just about every finish from barely-there sheers to glossy opaques, and full-on shine to totally matte.

SS2014 catwalk nails budget high street nude natural neutral nail polish colour

From left to right:

  • NYC Expert Last Nail Polish in Carrie’d Away (shade 165) – the best value sheer nude on the high street, bar none. It’s a true nude shade, and adds a healthy looking sheen [£2.49 at Superdrug]
  • Barry M Silk Nail Paint in Truffle – this is very ‘now’, a beige shimmer polish that dries to a matte finish. Use one coat for a subtle sheen or two for the full effect. The Pearl shade in this range is lovely too [both £3.99 and in the 3-for-2 at Boots]
  • Maybelline Forever Strong in Rose Poudre (shade 130) – a mauvey colour from their Nudes range that looks amazing on, but needs a good top coat to prevent wear at the fingertips. If you have a darker skintone try Rosy Sand or Taupe Couture in the same range  [all £4.49 and in the Maybelline 3-for-2 offer at Superdrug]
  • 2True Fast Dry Nail Polish in Shade 11 – a mid-toned beige opaque colour that’s perfect for creating that almost-plastic ‘mannequin hands’ look [£1.99 at Superdrug]
  • Models Own HyperGel in Nude Glow – a very glossy pale beige from their newest range [£5.00 and also in the Boots offer]

If barely-there plain colours aren’t your thing, there was also another type of nude nail accompanying the designer collections this season. These are what you could describe as embellished neutrals, or nudes with extra detail. Nude Plus? Hyper Nude?

Thin silver or black stripes were painted on horizontally or vertically as nail art. These colours were also used in unusual French manicure designs at the nail tips and the half-moons at the nail base. In other nude looks, large clear crystals were scattered over the whole nail, or smaller ones were clustered around the cuticle.

SS2014 catwalk nail budget cheap high street embellished nude neutral looks crystals glitter nail art polish top coat flakes

From left to right:

  • Barry M Nail Art Pens in Silver and Black – the best cheap nail art pens, nice opaque finish and easy to use [£4.99 and in the offer at Boots]
  • Revlon Nail Art Extremist in Silhouette – lovely nude opaque colour plus champagne glitter with a fine brush, great for summer [£5.99 on offer at Superdrug]
  • Models own Artistix Duo in Cloud Drops – a pretty cream base shade plus a chunky gold glitter that’s a quick alternative to applying crystals. Also in Nude Jack – yes, it really is called that – which is a nude taupe plus an iridescent sparkly top coat with tiny hexes and microglitter [both £6.00 and in the offer at Boots]
  • Models Own Wonderland Polish in Snowflakes – my pick of the bunch, this is a top coat with really big holographic flakes in it and it’s the lazy girl’s way to get an all-over-crystal manicure look. You could also try the top coat in Blizzard from the same range – chunky silver hexes and squares of varying sizes. [both £5.00 and in the Boots offer although one swatch is wrong on their website, and the Superdrug offer]

All these nail art products can be mixed into other manicures too, and in particular the glitters and flakes will look great over dark and bright colours.

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back soon with some more fashion inspired looks, including interesting textures and strong colours.

Which one of these looks is your favourite? Fancy any of them for daytime or evening wear? Let me know if you’ve seen anything similar for a bargain price.

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