We speak to nail expert Marian Newman about her new Nail Transformations range with MAC and her favourite festival and bridal nail looks

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Highlighting, contouring  and shading are no longer just reserved for makeup and the new collection from MAC and Marian Newman  demonstrates that to perfection.

The new Nail Transformations range from the nail and Get The Gloss Expert brings experimentation with shadow, light and pigment from face to nails thanks to the six hybrid topcoat nail colour polishes to transform any colour. We caught up with Marian to talk about the new range and to find out her top tips for keeping your manicure chip-free for longer, some great festival nail ideas and her favourite way to upgrade the wedding day nude.

GTG: What do Nail Transformations do?

MN: What these do is something that I’ve done for years - playing with colour and changing things to get the right shade and the right effect for shoots or shows. Because it’s MAC and MAC is about makeup, I wanted to relate the range back to makeup so that there was a synergy between the two.

They’re all about colour and fun and creativity. We call them topcoats because you can use them as just that – that’s the transformation part, but they are equally wearable on their own. They can be whatever you want them to be.

There are 6 topcoats to choose from. Shadow is literally like shading the face - it’s a sheer black that will turn any colour one or two shades down and make the colour a little bit grungier.

Texturize provides a very fine texture to nails. We’ve seen quite a lot of textured nails recently over the last year or so, but this provides a more matte finish conveyed in an interesting way. I see it as the next level of matte, not the lower level of texture.

Then there are three liquid pigments. There’s a green, a gold and a pink. These really do transform nail colour, like makeup transforms your face.

Highlight is a slightly more subtle version of the liquid pigments. It takes any colour and lifts it to make it pop. It’s the blue in it that does that.

GTG: How do you wear them?

MN: When worn alone, it looks like you’ve got a naked nail, but it flashes colour when the light hits it – like it’s there but it’s not there. When you put them over any colour, it changes them. They’re probably more spectacular over dark colours but they work equally well over nothing or other nudes and pastels.

The pigment is so heavily loaded in them that when you just put one coat of them it’s like a veil of colour, but if you were to put just a dot, the pigment is so strong that you can use them for nail art too.

You can also layer them. You can put one liquid pigment and then another on top and it changes it again. As they’re sheer they’ll show different colours depending on the angle that the light hits the nail.

They’re so simple but they allow you to be as creative as possible. If you’ve got your favourite colour, pop one or two of them on top in the middle of the week and it just changes it slightly. You can tone it.

I did two shows in London where I used them. I used the green one (the Green Pearl Liquid Pigment) at Peter Pilotto and the blue one (Highlight) we used at Mary Katrantzou. They wanted a naked nail, but it flashes – it’s quite unexpected as you think there’s nothing on there until it hits the light. The stylist at Mary Katrantzou described them as ‘subversive’ which I love. It gives them an underground feel.

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GTG: What are your top tips for a keeping nails chip free?

  1. The basis of any polish, whatever the brand or the cost, is that it’s only going to be as good as the nail it’s put on. If someone’s got damaged or peeling nails, the base is not at its best – just like if you were painting a door with gloss paint.
  2. If your nail is in ok to good condition, the best thing to do before you paint them is wipe them with a remover without any conditioners in it. A conditioner in a remover leaves a film on the nail so the nail polish won’t stick to it as well. If you haven’t got that type of remover, then just give them a quick wash with a little soap and water and dry them well. Make sure there’s no oil on the nails – they’ve got to be squeaky clean.
  3. Make sure your basecoat is applied really thinly and isn’t thick at all - the thinnest you can possibly do.
  4. Then put a very thin colour coat on. If you want to apply two, ensure they’re both thin ones instead of one thick one.
  5. A good top coat will make your nail polish more hard-wearing. Seal the edges with the brush by running it around the tip as that’s where the layers of the nail end. The more you conceal that, the more protection you will give to the nail.
  6. If you’re quite hard on your nails, put a new top coat everyday. If you’re not too hard on your nails, then just reapply it on every two or three days instead, just remember to reseal the edge each time.
  7. Use oil everyday to keep nails flexible. Pop it on each nail once a day if not more and quickly massage in with your thumb. You want the whole nail to move because a strong nail moves. It’ll stop it cracking and make your nail polish last as long as your nail lets it.

GTG: What’s your favourite festival nail look?

MN: I’m very much about nails needing to be individual. Perhaps use three of the pigments together - the blue, the pink (the Pink Pearl Liquid Pigment) and the green blended into a deep blue base colour. However, you can do this over any of nail colour too. It gives a psychedelic effect, as you’re not quite sure what colour you’re looking at. It’s like an ombre of shimmer and pigment.

GTG: What’s your favourite nail colour for summer?

MN: I’m such a dark nail colour person, so I would probably pick a purple.

There were a couple of shows that I did for SS14 that used very dark colours. For Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs (Marc Jacobs was the designer for both at the time), we used a chocolate brown and a really deep blue. For AW14, we did five different shades of nude which I think is really good because I think nails are all about pleasing you first and I personally like looking at dark nails. The designer was of the same mind which was good - I love his approach on things, he’s so specific about everything.

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GTG: What would you recommend for bridal nails?

MN: If you chose the right nude that went with your skin tone, you could put one of the Transformations on top to perhaps pick out the colour that was in the bouquet, the bridesmaids’ dresses, the reception room or even the bridegroom’s tie. It would still be that nude but would flash that particular accent.

The devil is in the detail. It’s what brings it all together.

The new MAC Nail Transformations range is available from the 3rd of July from  www.maccosmetics.co.uk  and free standing MAC Stores. RRP £10.