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An Easy, High-Fashion Way to Dress Up Your Nails

Carly Herbst's picture

For this week’s tutorial, I had a bit of a hard time since something catastrophic happened to me this weekend.  I broke a nail on both of my hands!  So, until they grow out a tiny bit before next week’s post, this week I’m showing you one of the hottest new trends in nail polish on a nail wheel which looks better than on my short little nails. The following nail look is called a Ruffians and it first popped up at New York Fashion Week (at the Ruffian show of course) back in 2010 and it’s a great way to dress up a manicure!



I’m going to show you this manicure in two different color combinations but you only need 2 nail polishes to do this manicure.  From left to right is Illamasqua Collide, Illamasqua Nomad, OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and OPI Just Spotted the Lizard.  For this kind of manicure, I like to use contrasting colors or contrasting finishes to really make it pop.


First start by painting your base color.  It helps to make sure that the color you are doing on the top is more opaque than the bottom.  For the bases of this manicure, I chose the hot pink Collide since neons tend to be a bit thin and OPI Just Spotted the Lizard so the metallic would be on the bottom layer.



Now once the base is mostly dry, usually a few minutes is long enough to wait, it’s time to start the ruffian, which is basically like a French manicure that starts at the base of your nail and goes around to the tips, rather than being at the tip of your nail.  Paint a line down the center of your nail, starting a bit away from the base so that the base color shows for at least a millimeter (or as much as you like!)

Next, make another line connecting to the one you just did so that the polish doesn’t quite go all the way to the edge and so there is a slight gap of the base color, in this case the hot pink, that goes all the way around the nail.


Repeat the previous step on the other side of your nail so you have a nice gap all the way around that lets the base color show.  If necessary, reapply the color you put on top to make sure it’s opaque and you have an amazing Ruffian/reverse French manicure! 








Add top coat and then you’re done!  As you can see, I try to let the gap get smaller the closer to the tip of the nail but you can keep in the same all the way around, it’s just personal preference!  This is a great way to touch up a chipped manicure, to add something new to a manicure that’s been on a few days or to just start a whole new manicure!

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