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Got it nailed!

Claw your way out of a mani rut with new-season tricks from nail guru Madeline Poole

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    Get back to black

    For Date-night attitude.

    How to wear it The AW16 catwalks were flooded with dark polishes, but to keep the look modern, nail shape is important: square, blunt edges work best.

    Pro tip ‘Any chips will show up more with darker shades, so keep your nail length in check – if they’re peeping over your fingertips, they’re too long!’

    Try Nails Inc Gel Effect in Black Taxi £15/1,500 points (14ml)

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    Reboot red

    For Laid-back weekend style.

    How to wear it This season’s spin on red involves keeping the rest of your beauty look simple. ‘No make-up’ make-up and low-key hair puts the focus firmly on your amped-up nails.

    Pro tip ‘To help the colour pop, apply your polish using just three, even strokes – down the middle, then one on each side.’

    Try Bourjois La Laque Gel Nail Enamel in Reddy For Love?, £6.99/699 points (10ml)

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    Draw the line

    For A midweek update.

    How to wear it Your nails need to look super-groomed for this subtle style, so prep them with a clear treatment polish first to help make sure the nail beds are smooth and even.

    Pro tip ‘To ensure the lines are neat, use a nail-art pen and rest your elbow on a flat surface to keep your hand steady.’

    Try Elegant Touch Nail Apothecary 03 24KT Gold Ridge Filler, £8.95/895 points (13ml); WAH London Nail Art Pen in Black Boots Exclusive *, £7/700 points (9.5ml)

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    Dress-up nudes

    For Out-with-the-girls glamour.

    How to wear it To keep pretty nails on point, apply a sheer blush shade, then customise with gold stars on one or two fingers.

    Pro tip ‘Stars are actually quite easy and quick to do; use a fine-tipped make-up brush for a neat, sharp edge.’

    Try Look Good Feel Better Detailed Eyeliner Brush Boots Exclusive* £6.99/699 points; Barry M Molten Metal Nail Paint in Bronze Bea, £3.99/399 points (10ml)

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    Go dotty

    For At-work chic.

    How to wear it Dots are huge news this season and should be worn solo on a nude, barely-there base.

    Pro tip ‘To make the dot, use the tip of a blunt pencil. Simply dip it into your polish, then press on to the nail, applying even pressure.’

    Try Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat, £8.99/899 points (15ml), Nails Inc Gel Effect in Black Taxi, £15/1,500 points (14ml)

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Words Donna Francis Photography Imaxtree, Getty Images, Pixeleyes


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