Some nail art is even more complicated than it looks. (Looking at you, water marbling.) However, there are manicure trends that are delightfully easier than they seem once you dive into the style, including the reverse French tip. Or, as you might know it best, the style of Carey Mulligan’s nails for the 2021 Oscars. Mulligan’s nail artist Queenie Nguyen accented the actor’s stunning gold Valentino set with a modern gold and nude manicure — and here’s how to do it yourself.
To begin, make sure you have all of the required colors. Nguyen used OPI’s Samoan Sand, Glitzerland, and This Changes Everything on the star, with the warm-toned, pinkish beige Samoan Sand acting as the base color. After making sure that foundational color is dry, move on to the gold lines by first starting with Glitzerland. The key here is to make the line super thin — Nguyen even called the style a “micro reverse French” on Instagram.
So, that means you shouldn’t just use the brush that comes with your nail polish, as tempting as that might be. Instead, opt for a thin-tipped nail striping brush, which you can use to paint on a small and delicate accent along your cuticles. Start with Glitzerland, the more opaque gold shimmer, then follow up with the glittery This Changes Everything.
Another pro tip? Make sure you actually wait for your nails to dry before you finish up with a top coat. If you don’t, you run the risk of smudging that thin French line right out of existence, or blurring the colors together.
Though using a solid nail polish brand like OPI is going to give you a leg up, regardless. Besides Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby, Andra Day, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zendaya all wore OPI nail colors at the Oscars this year. Zendaya even wore the OPI GelColor version of Samoan Sand, too, just in case you were wondering which neutral nail polish was going to take off next.
Shop the Infinite Shine version of Samoan Sand along with the other two polishes used for Mulligan’s look, below.
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