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Heidi Montag shows a little love for French design house Chanel – What would Coco say? – detailing her nails with the brand’s iconic double-C logo. Ask a pro to give you the detailed look in high-contrast black and white – or choose your own color combo.
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For her People’s Choice Award win, Reese Witherspoon added a touch of glamour to her simple Fendi dress with classic red nails. The hue s orange undertones are the perfect choice to flatter the blonde’s complexion and bring out her bronzed skintone.
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Brightly colored tips like Camilla Belle’s are usually more fun than chic, but the young star gives the trend a fashionista edge by filing her nails to just past her fingertips.
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Eva Mendes shows off an elegant alternative to nude nails, cloaking her short tips in pale coral polish.
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Lindsay Lohan shows off the latest look in blue, painting her nails a vibrant shade with a touch of shimmer. Try recreating it by topping any flat shade with sheer shimmer polish.
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Vanessa Hudgens’s dark tips prove that the black nail trend is still going strong, but if you prefer a little color, try a deep eggplant shade.
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SHORT AND NEUTRAL
Kim Kardashian lets her dazzling cocktail ring take center stage, paring down her manicure with short and neutral tips.
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Short crimson nails add a dash of color to Liv Tyler’s all-black-ensemble. To perfectly shape your short tips, consider investing in a glass file, which prevent nails from splitting and peeling – and they never need to be sharpened or replaced.
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Eve gives Barack Obama the thumbs-up with a miniature manicure homage to the presidential candidate. While a Minx nail coating portrait like Eve’s needs to be left to the pros, you can still get creative at home using nail decals and art paints.
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Just like your favorite LBD, black polish like Carmen Electra’s goes with everything. Keep your black nails immaculate and chip-free by always finishing your mani with a thin layer of topcoat, and reapplying every other day.
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The burlesque star revives a nail trend from the ’20s, lacquering her tips scarlet and leaving a tiny white crescent at the nail bed – a retro take on the French manicure.
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Charlize Theron vamps it up with polish in the deepest red, which adds flair to a pared-down casual look or gives a glam ensemble the perfect finishing touch.
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Vanessa Minnillo points out one of the season’s freshest fall colors. Keep your tomato-red tips looking their best with an ultra-glossy top coat that protects your mani and turns up the shine.
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BLACK & WHITE
Solange Knowles finds the perfect balance of playfulness and elegance – and it’s all in her color choice. Going with neutrals, rather than brights, lends sophistication and wearability to the bold, graphic design.
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Her dazzling new engagement ring may be a show-stopper, but we can’t take our eyes off Natasha Bedingfield’s bubblegum pink nails. She keeps the youthful color from being too sweet with a shorter nail length.
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Eva Mendes gives the red carpet a little competition with her classic ruby nail color. The best strategy for keeping that at-home manicure immaculate like Eva’s? After painting the nail, “swipe the nail color across the tip,” says Deborah Lippmann, fashion manicurist and creator of Lippmann Collection. “This will keep the color from chipping.”
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Fergie may have a team of experts to give her those glamorous pale tips, but you can get a pro-look at home by avoiding the No. 1 manicure pitfall. “The biggest mistake that people make is trying to multi-task while doing their nails,” says Neri Ortega, nail expert at Manhattan’s Butterfly Studio Salon. Give yourself permission to relax while you give your nails 30 full minutes to dry.
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Change up your look with a bold and bright nail trend like Lindsay Lohan’s neon leopard tips. “People want fun, happy colors that are full of life,” says Ortega.
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American Idol Jordin Sparks looks ready to pounce with attention-getting nails in a flattering – and fun – orange hue. “Bright, bold pops of color scream high-energy and attract attention,” says Roxanne Valinoti, International CND educator and celebrity nail stylist.
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Not content with just one of the hottest nail shades out there, Beyoncé doubles up with a yellow base and electric pink tips. “Nails have become a fashion statement, an accessory to an outfit,” says Valinoti.
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PALEST PINK PERFECTION
Sienna Miller shows off precisely applied pale polish all around Hollywood. One pro secret to getting a long-lasting application at home: Never shake the bottle. “It will add air bubbles,” says Lippmann. “Instead, roll the bottle between your hands.”
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Gossip Girl Leighton Meester may not be telling the secret to getting her shaped-to-perfection bare nails, but one of the keys to going totally nude is to keep it simple with an all-in-one manicure must-have. “A good basic file is your best tool,” says Ortega. “You can shorten and shape your nails with just one product!”
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COFFEE BEAN BROWN
Paris Hilton shows off a buzzworthy manicure in chic coffee-bean brown. And although skipping top and base coats may seem like a time-saver when you’ve precisely applied the perfect shade, it’ll cost you in the end, says Essie Weingarten, founder and president of Essie Cosmetics. “Always apply a base coat, then two thin coats of polish and a top coat for a longer lasting manicure.”
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Take a cue from luxury-loving stars like Victoria Beckham in your mani attitude – and indulge a little. “You should always take time to treat your hands,” says Ortega. “It seems like a luxury, but we use our hands every moment, so it’s important to really moisturize and care for them. [Try] olive oil as a cuticle moisturizer, or honey and brown sugar as an exfoliating scrub.”
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MIDNIGHT BLUE SHIMMER
The California-girl Lauren Conrad’s dark blue tips prove that as long as you keep your hands hydrated and nails in check, any trend can work for you. “Regular maintenance allows you to wear any color and look fabulous!” says Lippmann.
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Christina Aguilera accents her printed dress with matching tips that pick up on the frock’s bold color. Can’t find the perfect hue? “Customize your own colors by mixing two shades,” says Essie Weingarten. “You can layer any colors you like to reflect your personality!”
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Rihanna shows off verdant tips around L.A. – and proves yet again that she’s always ahead of the nail trend curve. But no matter what color you choose, always keep a light touch when applying your polish. One of the biggest mani mistakes is to glob it on. “Less is best!” emphasizes nail expert Skyy Hadley, owner of As You Wish nail spa.