By Alison McGill
If you love your nails on the shorter side and your polish shade whisper-soft, clean, and classic, the London manicure is calling.
“The key features of the London or British manicure are a short, soft square shaped natural nail that is impeccably groomed and finished with a single colour application,” reports Rebecca Costanzo, manager of brand development and education for Bio Sculpture Canada. “The choice shade of polish for the London manicure is usually a classic hue like sheer nude, pink or red.”
You may have seen the London manicure heavily trending recently on your socials as it was Sofia Richie’s choice wedding day look. British manicurist Georgia Rae—who credits herself as a minimalist nail artist—created Richie’s big day look using the Bio Sculpture polish shade Sweet Candy Breath, a warm peachy-toned nude which, as you may have guessed, is extremely hard to get your hands on right now.
Read on as Costanzo shares more about the ‘quiet luxury’ nail look of the moment.
The London manicure looks fresh after seasons of lengthier, pointed nail shapes—who’s embracing this trend?
“Everyone’s nail needs and goals are different, and the object is when you leave from your manicure appointment your natural nails look expertly groomed and pretty perfect,” Costanzo says. “Figuring out your ideal nail shape is an integral part of a perfect manicure. The softer shapes are universally flattering. For shorter nails, a softer square shape, and for longer nails, a rounded oval shape is ideal.”
Delicate and subtle nail art is a perfect match with a London manicure—what are some key design details you love now?
“A French manicure will always be in style, and a fun way to play in a low key way is to choose a trending colour for the tip,” Costanzo explains, “Chrome nails are continuing to have their moment and are a fun way to add some visual interest without committing to something intricate. A statement nail or two with a little design is a great way to introduce nail art into your life.”
Gel polish versus traditional nail polish: what’s currently trending?
“They are both equally popular and I love both for different reasons,” Costanzo says. “Gel provides added strength and can correct shape for a long-lasting manicure. You also don’t have to worry about drying time. Polish is easier to do on the go as you don’t need a lamp to cure, and you don’t have to worry about a more complicated removal. It’s perfect if you love to switch up your polish shade frequently.”
5 London Manicure Nail Polish Picks
1. Bio Sculpture Sweet Candy Breath Gemini Nourishing Nail Polish
A warm transparent peach polish was Sofia Ritchie’s now iconic wedding day shade. Shop it while it’s in stock!
2. CND Vinylux Long Wear Polish in Wildfire
Consider this the perfect classic red nail polish. It’s bright, bold and is complimentary to every skin tone.
3. OPI Infinite Shine Long Wear Lacquer in Bubble Bath
This is one of the OG OPI shades and a perennial best-seller. The soft shade polish also packs major shine.
4. Essie Gel Couture Gel Nail Polish in Bodice Goddess
If you want a touch of pop with your pink polish this long-wear shade delivers just the right amount of punch.
5. Butter London Patent Shine Nail Lacquer in Candy Floss
Consider pale blue as a neutral nail polish hue and this pretty pastel is one of the best.