What’s hot now: simple, chic, no-fuss nails, says manicurist to the stars Jin Soon Choi. (See ya, sequin appliqués!)

By News & Views
Updated September 30, 2020
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Sick of crazy nail shapes and outrageous nail art? You're in luck: "Spring 2016 is all about subtle sophistication," Choi says. "I’m loving the fresh take on pastels. Instead of sheer, they’re chalky, opaque shades—sky blue, grass green—that give a slight contrast to skin."

And if you want to try a design, keep it simple. Choi recommends negative-space nail art—where you leave a V empty at the moon of your nail and apply color to the rest. You could also try the "wing" manicure: "It looks really plain, but pops," she says. "To clean up the lines, dip a pointy Q-tip in polish remover." And while a French manicure with a thick white tip is outdated, Choi says you can give it an edgy update with a gray base and thin white line.

For more unique nail art ideas, Choi turns to master painters: “I love to design based on modern art," she says. "I get so much inspiration from Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, and Matisse. To mimic that kind of abstract look, dip the tip of a mascara brush in nail polish and dab, dab, dab.”

And when it comes to picking a color, don't gloss over this piece of advice: “Some colors make your skin look dead right away," she says. "You have to test the polish on your nail, not just hold the bottle near you.”

Jin Soon Choi's polish picks:

Marc Jacobs Beauty Polish in Surrender Dorothy ($18; sephora.com)

“When Marc Jacobs used this glittery shade at his spring show, it broke all my rules—and worked.”

Jin Soon Top Gloss ($18; nordstrom.com)

“Unless you want to have an intentionally messy look, topcoat is essential. It gives your nails a glossy finish and extends the life of your polish.”

Michael Kors Nail Polish in Hint ($18; macys.com)

“A shade doesn’t need to be dramatic to have impact. This beige was used on models at the Michael Kors show.”

Jin Soon Choi is a celebrity manicurist with an eponymous nail-care line and the founder of the Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas in New York City. She created the nail looks for the spring 2016 runway shows of Vera Wang, Tibi, and Marc Jacobs. Her clients include Taylor Swift, Drew Barrymore, and Anne Hathaway.