Festival Nail Art: Dance The Summer Away With These Bright And Quirky Designs

Let’s be honest, festival season fashion is just as important as who you’re rocking out to on the main stage. So, whether you’re in hippie chick-style get-up or denim cut-offs and a cropped tee, make sure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your nails, and show off your fashion know-how all the way to your fingertips.


The Look: Eye-catching neon
Best suited to: The SW4 raver who can’t help but put their hands up to the sound of a dirty dance beat.
Your style: When you’re not sunbathing in Ibiza, you can be found in a pair of denim shorts and a loose, bright tank – with hair slicked back in a stylish ponytail ready for easy raving.
How you can do it: If you want a mani that lasts three weeks, pop to a salon that styles with Bio Sculpture Gel, or if you prefer to create the look at home, paint all nails in two coats of white polish (we love OPI’s Alpine Snow) and allow to dry. Pick up a pink neon striper polish or a neon pink and a normal paintbrush, and go crazy with geometric shapes across your fingertips. Add a touch of sparkle to highlight the shapes and hide any messy lines – try Nubar’s Silver Glitter Nail Art Striper – and allow to dry. Finish with a top coat. We love the neon shades from China Glaze; mix them up to match your outfit.

Image courtesy of Bio Sculpture Gel

The Look: Animalia
Best suited to: The Zoo Project fanatic who wants to show off their wild side but still stay super-chic.
Your style: You’re partial to a good party but you wouldn’t call yourself an animal – you love nothing better than getting dressed up in a cute print dress and pairing with some edgy ankle boots. Complement this sweet-meets-rocky style with pastel nail shades and splashes of leopard print detailing.
How you can do it: Pick out five pastel shades that complement and paint each nail in a different shade, applying two thin coats of polish. Allow to dry and add several dots of a contrasting shade onto the nail. Repeat with a different shade on each nail and allow to dry. Note: don’t ‘blob’ the dots on, paint them quite thinly as they’ll never dry. Grab a black nail art pen – Topshop offers a handy one – and line each dot with two to three lines, leaving some areas of the dot exposed. Add a few black dots for good measure, allow to dry and seal those claws with a top coat!

Image courtesy of Bio Sculpture Gel

The Look: Subtle with stripes
Best suited to: The Coachella honey who loves nothing better than swaying in the sunshine to some tunes with a glass of Pimms in-hand
Your style: Chilled, cute and seriously fashion-focused: you’re all about the accessories and your nails must be bang on trend. Opt for this season’s must-have nail shades; mint green and white, and pack a girly punch with a touch of pink.
How you can do it: Paint all nails in Orly’s oh-so appropriate Coachella Dweller green shade, then grab a white polish and a Sugar Styler nail art tool or a thin brush and carefully paint vertical lines from the nail cuticle to the tip. Allow to dry and grab an even thinner brush and a pinky polish (try Essie’s Splash of Grenadine) and carefully paint line inside the thicker white shade. Allow to dry for around 10 minutes before sealing the design with a top coat.

Nails by Sam Biddle

The Look: Geometric and gorgeous
Best suited to: The V Festival vixen
Your style: You love to be comfy and dance the day away, so for you, it’s casual clothes with a focus on accessories. Don a headband, a chunky pair of hoops and make your look all about the nails with a popping kaleidoscope design. Bring on the colour clash!
How you can do it: This design is most effective with two super-bright shades, a calming nude and a rock-chick black. Using nude as your base colour, apply two thin coats to each nail. Then, using a steady hand and a thin brush, paint a ‘V’ shape (appropriate!) on the nail starting from a central point. Fill this in with your brush once you’re happy with the outline and alter the design on each nail for maximum effect. Then, do the same with your second bright shade and finish with the black. Seal with a top coat when fully dry; nails must be dry or the colour will run when top coat is applied.

Nails by Sophie Harris-Greenslade aka The Illustrated Nail

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