Nail Files

Just when you thought cool nail art was best left to the pros, Marie Claire asked the world's top experts to create exclusive looks you can do at home (really).


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    Nails By: Dawn Sterling


    The Look: This galaxy design is "a lot easier to do than it appears," says Sterling, who has tended to the tips of Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and Kirsten Dunst and worked with fashion photographers such as Raymond Meier and Greg Kadel.

    How-To: Apply a coat of (1) and let dry. To create the "nebula," as Sterling calls the swirling colors in the center, tear a tiny chunk from a white latex makeup sponge, pick it up with a pair of tweezers, then use it to lightly dab (2) in a diagonal streak across each nail. Using the same technique, apply (3) directly over wet nails (2). Next, dip a tooth- pick in (4) and use it to place dots of polish ("stars") around the nebula. Let the design dry, then finish with a glittery coat of (5).

    1. CHANEL Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Satin, $27. 2. COLOR CLUB Professional Nail Lacquer in Almost Famous, $8. 3. ESSIE Nail Polish in Butler Please, $8. 4. MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Color Show Nail Lacquer in Porcelain Party, $4. 5. DEBORAH LIPPMANN Nail Lacquer in Happy Birthday, $19.

    Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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