The 10 Best Nail Art Looks at New York Fashion Week

Nail art fans, get inspired!
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Michelle Villett
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Nail art fans, get inspired!
Nicole-Miller-FW12-nails

Can I talk about nail art (a.k.a. "nart") even if I don't wear it myself? Because just like I can appreciate the artistry behind a fine Hèrmes fragrance—yet stick to my tacky J.Lo Glow for real life—I'm fascinated by the designs that are adorning nails these days. (Too bad my nails would chip and ruin them in less than 24 hours... which is why I don't really ever stray from the solid pale pink/bright red manicure palette. Maaaaybe a coral in the summer when I want to live it up.)

Anyway, even though I never got into this trend, and the people at Style.com said they've already moved on, one look at the F/W '12 runways will tell you: it's not over yet. And won't be for a while. If you're looking for some fresh inspiration, here are 10 runway looks to inspire you.

1. Fishnet tips at Joy Cioci

Joy-Cioci-FW12-nails

Look closely at the tips—not only are they that new almond shape I've been talking about, but that's actual fishnet material! On the base, the models wore CND nail polish in Putty, and then Blackjack "iced" on top of the fishnet.

2. Velvet nails at Ruffian

Ruffian-FW12-nails

Oh Em Gee. That's velvet! It was a custom job by M.A.C, but hopefully they (or some other brand) will come out with velvet nail stickers for the masses soon.

3. Metallic tips at Behnaz Sarafpour

Behnaz-Sarafpour-FW12-nails

I feel like tone-on-tone contrasting tips is the next evolution of nail art. It's less in your face than the moons, you know? This version is by CND, and you can get the look with either Gold Chrome or Silver Chrome.

4. Polka dots at Kate Spade

Kate-Spade-FW12-nails

Fun! These are a Deborah Lippmann creation that I really think you could do at home—see how the dots are all different sizes? They don't have to be perfect. The shades are Fade to Black for the base, and I'm Not Innocent (which is a peach) for the dots. Make sure to keep the tips rounded.

5. Starry night nails at Rachel Antonoff

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This is the first of two amaze looks from this show (apparently the designer is a nail fanatic herself). To get the look, use CND Colour in Midnight Sapphire, and then "sponge" both Eclectic Purple and Studio White on top, followed by CND Effects in Sapphire Sparkle. Sounds labour-intensive, but I love the result.

6. Fern patterns at Rachel Antonoff

Rachel-Antonoff-FW12-nails

FASHION already has a how-to of this look here. The shades are CND Colour in Flashpoint (for the red) and then hand-painted ferns (to match the ones on the clothes) using Brilliant White and Anchor Blue.

7. Stripes at Betsey Johnson

Betsey-Johnson-FW12-nails

Did you know that Betsey is partnering up with Sephora and OPI to launch a nail polish collection? (I think it's just in the U.S., and will hit stores next month.) These nails were created with one of the shades, Sparkling Personality (the silver), and then black (not sure which brand) for the base.

8. Custom-made Minx prints at Calla

Calla-FW12-nails

You could argue that this is too matchy-matchy. And you wouldn't be wrong. However, let's just appreciate that the beauty world is even capable of manufacturing such a thing: custom-made Minx prints that are replicas of the fabrics in the collection.

9. Razzle dazzle nails at The Blonds

The-Blonds-FW12-nails

This show actually had 20—TWENTY!—different sets of nail tips, all from CND and each made to match a different model's outfit. The theme was "'60s Playboy glamour infused with razzle dazzle." I don't know about you, but I'm kind of digging it.

10. The time machine mani at Nicole Miller

Nicole-Miller-FW12-nails

Nicole always does a cool nail look, and this one was meant to look hand-crafted with the colourful swirls. You'll need an eyeliner brush to DIY, along with CND Colours in Plumville, Electric Orange, Bicycle Yellow and Anchor Blue.

Tell me:

Are you pro nail art or sticking with solids?
Which of these designs (if any) would you actually wear?
What's your go-to nail look?