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Short nail art tips from Sophy Robson

Ursula Dewey Published by Ursula Dewey
Published on 11 May 2013

Ever wondered how to master the business of nail art? We spoke to celebrity nail artist Sophy Robson for her insider tips on how to get the most out of your DIY mani and really have some nail inspired fun. And the news is - you don't have to have long nails at all!

If you find keeping your nails long a real hassel then you'll be pleased to know that nail art fun and games can work just as well on shorter talons. In fact some designs look better on shorter nails!

We spoke to to the leading name in nail art, Sophy Robson to find out how to do some cool nail art trends for ourselves. And as she's the girl who's worked with Kate Moss, Georgia Jagger and plenty of other A-list celebs, she's definitely the go-to girl for all things nail art inspired.

She told us the step buy step tips and tricks to starting out in nail art and shared her latest nail art designs for the England Netball team too!​​ For the Olympics last year her nail art designs went global - so little wonder that the England netball team were keen to get their hands and nails made over. (Who ever said Netball meant bad nails was very wrong indeed)!

How to do a polka dot nail art design

This polka dot design is summery, cute and fresh for summer - try experimenting with different colour combinations to suit your taste! And when it comes to nail polishes, try Leighton Denny and Butter London for best results.

1. Start off by trimming your nails down short and filing the edges so they are round and smooth. You’re now ready to get started – and the umpire will be happy too!

​2. First, apply a base coat to the nail to smooth out any uneven texture. Then, add your base colour. We’ve opted for a sporty tangerine base that will really help you to stand out as a sporting star!

3. Once your base colour is dry, you can start working up your dream dots. Choose two contrasting colours to really bring your look to life – we’ve opted for red and blue. Starting closest to your cuticle, use a dotting tool to layer up the first half of your nails with pretty red polka dots. Try to keep them nice and neat at equal distances apart.

4. Once the first half of your nail is complete, finish working down the nail with your dotting tool using the blue colour to complete the look

Tip – Never dip your dotting tool directly into your varnish bottle. Instead, set your brush upside-down on a flat surface and use the excess paint clinging to the brush. This will help to keep your tools clean and ensure you don’t use too much paint and smudge your dots.

How to do a flame nail art design

This Girl On Fire nail art design is properly fierce - try inverting the colours too for a more dramatic effect.

1. Start off by trimming your nails down short and filing the edges so they are round and smooth.

2. First, apply a base coat to the nail to smooth out any uneven texture. Then, add your base colour. We’ve opted for a sporty red base to give you that star quality glow.

3. Once your base colour is dry, choose two additional colours to start building up your ferocious flames. We’ve chosen a glinting gold alongside brilliant white to make the flames really standout. Find the centre point of your nail and carefully draw on two crescent shaped flicks reaching down to the curve of your nail. Complete this on both sides so you have four flame-shapes on each nail in total.

4. Once your white flames are dry, you can then add your gold lines in next to them using exactly the same flicker technique. Again, draw in four lines in total to complete your ‘Girl on Fire’ look.

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