How to nail your bridal manicure at home

Let’s be honest, from floral arrangements to fizz, planning your dream wedding can feel like a never-ending stream of quick-fire decision making (think a ‘this or that’ Instagram story that looks like intricate morse code). With an abundance of well-meaning ‘wedding inspo’ on Instagram, TikTok & Pinterest, it’s easy to feel increasingly overwhelmed with choice. One thing that shouldn’t be hard, is choosing your bridal manicure.

Many brides are opting for fun, stylish and meaningful manicures. From floral nail art, intimate designs and even you & your partners initials, coordinating your nails with your wedding is the bridal trend du jour. But where do you start and how much will it cost?

Luckily, we’ve teamed up with expert nail technician Katy Rae Meyer to share the 5 top bridal nail trends for 2022. From a twist on the classic french to funky pearl add-ons, Katy reveals how to pull off your preferred nail style, whether you’re leaving it up to your favourite nail tech, or how to cut costs and do it at home.

#1 - Glazed donut nails

Perennial style icon, Hailey Bieber broke the internet when she debuted her glazed-donut-inspired nails on Instagram in July. Quick to become a viral TikTok trend, nail art enthusiasts flocked to social media to find out exactly how to steal Hailey’s pearlescent look. The classy, clean and modern look is perfect for fashion-forward brides.

Katy suggests: “Glazed donut nails are a stunning way to add something different to your wedding mani without being overpowering on the day. This style is modern and will give them that glam yet effortless look. Recreate this at home by using a white chrome powder - Hailey’s manicurist uses this OPI shade.”

  • Apply 1 coat of base coat polish (Essie’s offering is effective and strengthens your nails)
  • Then, apply 2 coats of your favourite French pink polis - (We love Essie’s Sheer Fantasy)
  • Finish by mixing a clear top coat (we recommend this OPI gel colour) with the chrome powder on a pallet (or piece of tin foil) until evenly distributed before applying over the nail.

#2 - Stick on pearls

For some brides, adding embellishments to your bridal manicure is one flourish too far. However, applying subtle pearls to a pink or nude nail can create a perfect in-between of classic and modern styles. To boot, the white accents of the pearls will compliment your wedding dress.

Katy recommends: “Pearl nails are a new take on the old school diamanté nails, giving them an up to date twist. Add them to a French polish for a classy but unique look.”

  1. Apply 1 coat of base coat polish
  2. Next, apply 2 coats of nude colour (either of these Essie options will work) followed by 1 coat of white polish (this Sally Hansen formula is a great, cheap option) on the tips
  3. Then, apply small dots of nail glue to 2-4 points, scattered evenly across the nail. Whilst the glue is still wet use tweezers to apply the pearls (these designs from Etsy come in a range of sizes) to each of the points
  4. Last, apply 1 layer of top coat across the entire nail over the pearls (this will seal the pearls in).

#3 - Glitter tips

Casual whilst enduringly classy, a French manicure is a go-to nail style for a reason. However, your wedding look is deserving of something more memorable - who wants to have every-day nails on THE big day? Replacing the classic white with a glitter is an easy way to add some sparkle to your look. You can also customise the glitter shade to your jewellery!

Katy says: “A glitter tip looks great in the sunlight or under spotlights, meaning they will shine beautifully from day to night. They’re the ultimate showstopper and are guaranteed to draw attention to your hands! Recreate by choosing a glitter polish to match the colour of your ring.”

  1. Apply 1 coat of base coat polish
  2. Then, apply 2 coats of a french pink colour
  3. Once the pink is dry, apply 1 coat of glitter polish to the tips (OPI’s Happy Anniversary! is a perfect bridal colour)
  4. Finish by applying 1 coat of top coat polish.

#4 - Gold leaf

What’s more decadent than gold? Live out your Grecian princess fantasy and add gold flakes to your bridal manicure. Using gold accents will also match your wedding band!

Katy suggests: “Adding some gold leaf to your wedding mani can give them that extra pizazz and can be as under or over stated as you desire. You can purchase gold flakes to place onto the nails, or Peacci has a nail polish with gold flakes already mixed in!”

For placed flakes:

  1. Apply 1 coat of base coat polish.
  2. Second, apply 2 coats of your chosen base colour, I recommend a nude shade.
  3. Whilst the 2nd coat of colour is still wet, use a pair of tweezers to place pieces of the gold leaf (World of Glitter do an inexpensive version) onto the surface of the nail. If they feel raised, lightly press them into the polish using the edge of your tweezers.
  4. Finish with a topcoat. You may wish to add a second topcoat to help smooth any roughness.

#5 - French ombré

As ombré nails are made up of two colours, this style provides opportunity for creativity. You may want to match your nails to your floral arrangements, or even your bridesmaid dresses, without using a standard block colour.

Katy explains: “A French ombré is a modern take on the classic French mani. Simple yet effective, this look will give you that clean, finished look. Simply choose your favourite French pink and a white polish, and your favourite makeup sponge to apply.”

  1. Apply 1 coat of base coat polish.
  2. Then, apply 2 coats of french pink colour.
  3. Once the pink is dry, simply use a makeup sponge to lightly dab on the white polish to the tips of the nails (be careful not to put too much onto your sponge, you can always apply a second coat of the white if you need to).
  4. Finish by applying a layer of topcoat polish - this will smooth out any sponge indentations and give your nails a nice glossy finish.

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