Cover Photo: Courtesy of EightyEight

The easiest, most stylish way to capture the spirit of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just one week away, and everyone is getting into the mood for celebration. From updating your wardrobe to getting a new hairstyle and treating yourself to a luxury staycation, Chinese New Year is just another great timing to splurge and pamper yourself to look perfect at reunion dinners and parties. 

To get a new look for Lunar New Year, one of the must-have beauty rituals is to get your nails done. Don't know where to begin? Worry not. We spoke to experts at some of the city’s most beloved nail salons—Sense of Touch, EightyEightThe Nail Library and Flawless Spa to find out the trendiest manicure designs for the Year of the Rat:

See also: Celebrate Chinese New Year 2020 In Style With These Limited-Edition Beauty Products

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Classic French tips, with a twist

Elevate your look by giving a chic upgrade to the classic French manicure. Dion Leung, General Manager of Sense of Touch suggests that the ever-so-popular French manicure is coming back in style this celebratory season.

Don’t limit yourself to nude or just clear polish as the base coat. Breathe new life into the classic design with a blush pink base, followed by a delicate stripe of glossy red along each fingertip. Looking for more sleek designs that go particularly well with French manicure? Try to add small heart shapes and double Frenches to make your nails looking extra unique and fashionable.

See also: Nailed It: 5 High-End Nail Salons In Hong Kong

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Go gradient

Another way to wear all of your favourite lucky colours in the Year of the Rat, is to give your nails a makeover with a simple yet delicate gradient style.

“Ombre manicure or gradient nails is going to be another big hit this year,” says Leung. Choose two to three shades of classic red colour you like the most—such as burgundy red, cherry red and orange red—to channel those festive vibes. This kind of red ombre nail design is bound to go with any holiday outfit you have planned.

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Get fancy

Get into the festive mood with shades of red and pink, and don't forget about glitter and jewels, too. This may sound a bit edgy for those who are looking for understated designs, but there’s a subtle way to play with the sharp colours, patterns for a more elegant result.

According to the experts at Gen.T lister Stephnie Shek’s EightyEight (where often recognised as the go-to manicure spot for Hong Kong socialites and fashionistas)—when it comes to fancy designs, the key is to strike a perfect balance between glamour and simplicity.

Start with a solid red or pink colour, then make it festive with intricate details such as dried flowers, marbled patterns, or even 3D jewels in Chinese characters for a modern touch. 

See also: Portrait Of An Artist With Stephnie Shek

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Cool, playful negative space designs

Every beauty aficionado should know negative space nail art is a classic trend that is still all the rage today. Why go for a conventional solid-coloured design, when you can opt for a simple, yet eye-catching way to up your nail game this Chinese New Year?

According to Yoyo Chan, an experienced therapist at The Nail Library, a lot of customers are asking for a combination of clear, or nude base coat with different patterns—such as white dots, irregular stripes or glittering golden diagonals. There’s no better way to show your character and creativity by rocking your own mismatched nails like these.

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Bold and sparkling

For a trendy take on the red-and-gold auspicious combo, go bold with an opulent design complete with gold foils and layered metallic sheets.

“If you have missed the opportunity to stand out from the crowd with gold glitter for New Year’s Eve, be sure to add some gold foil accents on top to make your nails glitter this time,” says Chan. It’s no surprise that most of the people do have a penchant for shimmering nail art during the festive season, but the approach of crafting such design is changing slightly today. Aside from red colour, you can also choose a clear polish for the base, add a few splashes of orange, then top it off with some beautiful gold foil to bring elegance to your nails.

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Cherry blossoms

Many people would immediately think of auspicious hues like red and gold when it comes to festive decorations, but only a few recognise cherry blossoms do play a significant role in celebrating Chinese New Year (which is also known as the Spring Festival) as an occasion to welcome the arrival of spring.  

Olympe Thomas, Spa Manager at Flawless Spa, states cherry blossom-inspired nails will be another big hit this year. A chic way to achieve such design is, begin with a base of glossy pale pink, then add a few dainty blossoms on top for a unique oriental style.

Rather than getting all of your nails painted with the same floral pattern, try to pick only the middle finger and ring finger for nail art, then opt for a pink-to-white ombre style with glitter for the rest. What's the result? Elegant and sophisticated. 

See also: Red And Rat: 7 Luxurious Chinese New Year Decoration For Your Home In 2020