"Before I started this page, I was doing my nails every Friday so I'd have a good manicure for the weekend," Brush explains. "I just made the alias as a joke — it was an anonymous account where I showed my nails but never showed my face."
From the jump, the Nailbetch videos — a mix of simple nail art tutorials and advice, like how to mix polish together and how fix a broken nail — raked up millions of views. The strategy behind each post was simple: "I was doing three hashtags per post, all nail related, of course," Brush explains. "It was basically #naturalnails, #diymanicure, #maniinspo — so now those channels are kind of like an archive of my work."
The Nailbetch aesthetic is consistent because the canvas is always the same: Brush's natural nails. She never uses gel nail polish ("I've done gels once in my life and I felt like it left my nails really thin") or any specialty tools or brushes ("I always just use the paddle brush that comes in the nail polish bottle.") So conceivably, any of her designs could be replicated at home.
The "wrong nail polish theory"
If you know about the "wrong shoe theory," then the "wrong nail polish theory" will make sense. The premise is wearing a nail polish color that's traditionally out of season. For example, we're inside of fall and moving into winter and Brush is wearing unexpected springtime pastels, periwinkle and lavender. It's refreshing and a pattern break from reds, browns, and burgundies. "I like to switch it up," Brush explains.
The best nail shape is the one you like best on your nails, but Brush makes a case for the squ-oval, a slightly square tip but with rounded corners.
"I do a slightly rounded, slightly square nail," she explains. Why? Brush explains that a fully square nail is too angular: "The corners bend when I do a button-fly jean," but an oval nail can quickly turn pointy at the end and end up in the stiletto territory. An easy tip in getting a squ-oval tip is to mirror the shape of your cuticle. "That's a great way to see what nail shape will look best on your hand," Brush recommends. "Look at the shape of your cuticle and match it."
Red is the most classic nail polish color always, and it's especially popular in the fall. But Brush says, "a Red French tip is even better." There are different ways to switch up your red manicure: Make it a red French manicure, add another color (like a purple), or use a negative-space yin-yang design on a few fingers. As for the tone of red polish, "I personally gravitate towards an orange-based red because it's hotter," says Brush. The thing to remember is that red nail polish can stain the nail plate so always make sure to use a base coat.
Nail art stickers
Brush predicts that nail stickers are going to become more mainstream as brands are figuring out how to make them look less like a sticker and more like professional nail art. "I love nails stickers," Brush raves. "My number one favorite brand is Deco Miami. They stay on your nails for a long time and they have the cutest designs. You just stick them on and put a top coat over them." Here, Brush used a rose-gold polish for a base, butterfly nail stickers from Deco Miami, topped with the Glisten & Glow Top Coat, which dries in thirty seconds. The trend: easy application.
"Skittle" French tips
The multicolored French tip is Brush's favorite nail design ever — and at the present moment, post summer and heading into fall. "It looks good on everyone," says Brush. "I love the 'Skittles' vibe, where it's a bunch of different colored tips worn together. But I also like white, or a 'baby' French on people who have shorter nails." [A "baby" French is synonymous with a "skinny" French, where the stripe on the tip is super fine.]
Brush has a practiced technique for doing your own French tip, no matter how short or long your natural nails are. "I've made a few videos on how to do French tips, but one thing I say is to hold the brush still and move the fingernail that you're painting to the brush instead of trying to paint it," Brush explains. "It's a lot easier, especially when you're using your non-dominant hand."
Coconut milk nails
The same way that the "glazed doughnut" nail trend had its moment, the "milky" manicure is going to take hold even stronger come fall. Brush considers it the perfect neutral. "I think it's so chic," she says. "although, it's hard hard to find a milky sheer polish that doesn't streak." Looking for the perfect milk white, Brush collaborated with Orly, her go-to polish brand for basic polishes, to create this Coconut Milk shade that checks all her boxes. "This one is non-streaky, it's clean and elegant," she says. It's a neutral polish for when you want that you-nails-but-better look.
"Dusty" jewel tones
For fall colors, Brush says she's seeing a lot of "dusty" jewel tones. "It's a jewel tone but more muted," Brush explains. "A stone gray-blue or a mauve-y purple. I would use a few colors interchangeably on each nail."
This example shows a negative-space manicure featuring two "dusty" jewel shades from Chanel's fall collection. "I love the color story," says Brush. "Also, Chanel has a unique brush that I haven't seen on other nail polishes. Most nail polishes have either a flat brush or a rounded ti, but Chanel has like a mix between the two. It's like a mini rounded brush. It's a small brush that's really easy to use — you can get into the corners or just use it for the tip."
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