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Gingham Style

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Alamy
Alamy

"Gingham print is no longer just for picnics," says editorial nail stylist Karen Gutierrez of Nailing Hollywood. "This print is definitely of the moment." The classic pattern began its ascent to must-have status at the Kate Spade Spring 2013 runway show, where models wore it on stiletto-shaped nails in various iterations -- black and white, orange and white, all the way to mint and white. Another reason it's a runaway hit: it's statement-making nail art that's simple to do. (Nail Rock even makes Blue Gingham Check nail wraps, so forget any excuse about the look being too hard to recreate.)

And while the traditional way to do gingham is with a white base, Gutierrez says there are many ways to add some edge and a new spin. For one, "choose nail polish colors that are opposite to each other," she says. Or, "choose a pastel base with a bright or bold color for the print, or a metallic base and a black gingham print -- or vice versa. Yet another way to make it edgy is by choosing different colors for each fingernail," advises Gutierrez.

To get the look at home, the manicure maven recommends applying a basecoat like Deborah Lippmann's Turn Back Time on clean nails and then a base color, like Ginger and Liz's Boy Toy. Let it dry, then, using a nail art striping brush and a bright color like Butter London Cake-Hole, freehand paint two or three horizontal lines (depending on the length of your nail) parallel to each other, leaving an even amount of space in between each stripe. (Another option is to create the checks using tape.) After they've dried, paint two or three vertical lines on top. To finish, apply a topcoat like Zoya Armor Top Coat in three long strokes.

Make sure to adjust the size of the stripes and spacing for your nail shape and size. Gutierrez adds, "The beauty of the gingham print is that just about every nail shape can rock this style--the only difference between stiletto and baby nails will be the size of the print." Perhaps most important is making the colors of this mani match your style and personality. "The shades a person chooses for their gingham print says a lot about them; it can look sweet or edgy," says Gutierrez. "A person can completely customize it to fit to their style. The possibilities are endless."

This post was originally published on Beauty Bender.