hand holding glass nail file by sienna

Nail shapes 101. How to shape your own natural nails at home

It’s nail shaping time. We share the nail tech knowledge you need to do your own nails like a pro. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t.

Tools of the trade
You don’t need much to get started shaping your nails. For all these shapes, we do recommend using a glass nail file. Not only are they more hygienic than a standard emery board, but the fine grit allows you to be precise with your filing. They also smooth and seal the freshly filed edges as they go, preventing breaks and peeling. It’s quite the eco-beauty flex, as glass nail files will never go blunt. And everyone loves an eco-beauty flex.
hand holding glass nail file by sienna
Almond nails
Almond nails are a classic, elegant look on everyone. A-listers, your neighbour, your Pilates teacher, your nana; absolutely everyone can rock this look. Almond nails are long, before tapering in at the nail bed to a softly pointed tip. If you want to extend the look of your nails, fingers and hands, this is the shape for you.

Starting from the outside and working your way in, use your file to shape each nail towards the centre to create a soft tip.

Prep your nails with a base coat and a gorgeous colour like Serenity and you’re ready for anything.

almond shape nails with nude nail polish by sienna
Oval nails
Oval nails are a super-flattering look for everyone, as long as you’ve got a bit of length to work with. Baes with small hands should lock this look in, as oval nails elongate the overall appearance of your hands.

Again, starting from the outside in, use your file to shape the tip of your nail into an oval shape. The look you are aiming for is a rounded but flat, blunt tip. And that’s all there is to it.

Choose a stunning neutral shade like Rosie and finish with a glossy top coat and you’re good to go.

round nail shape with dusty pink nail polish by sienna
Square nails
Square nails are best suited for those with long fingers and slim nails as this look visually shortens fingers and adds width. Your mani time is going to be a breeze as square nails not only look modern and are cool-girl approved, they’re also very low maintenance.

Using your clippers, trim your nails straight across the top to create a straight-line finish. Use your file to smooth the edge and you’re ready to go, you clever nail-pro, you.

Choose a soft pink in a full crème finish like Melody for instant chic.

square nail shape with light pink nail polish by sienna
Squoval nails
The natural nail shape to rule them all. If your nail goals include low maintenance, natural nails, say hello to squoval nails. As you can guess from the name, the squoval shape is the lovechild of the square and oval nail shapes. They are best described as a square tip with gently rounded edges.

File the sides of your nails to create gently rounded edges but keep the line across the centre straight.

A colour like Wategos is perfect for a fresh finish.

squoval nail shape with pastel blue nail polish by sienna
Round nails
Mani trends come and go, but round nails remain ever-popular. This is one of the easiest shapes to create at home and works across all nail lengths – especially short nails. Round nails are perfect for those with a wide nail bed or people who want to optically elongate the length of their hands and fingers.

File your nails in one direction to create a gentle rounded tip that follows the natural line of your cuticle and Voila! You have achieved round nail glory, just like that.

Give your mani a little something-something and paint your nails with a bright and cheering polish like Sunflower.

Round nail shape with yellow nail polish by sienna
Now you know everything there is to know about natural nail shaping. We can’t wait to see you get your DIY nail bar on and shape your own nails to a salon standard at home!
pink and nude nail polish hand swatch on fair and medium skin tone by sienna

What colours suit your skin tone?

“How will I know what colours suit my skin tone?” is one of our most frequently asked questions at Sienna. And while there are absolutely no rules, there are some shades that will look more flattering than others, depending on your skin tone. This means the colours are well matched to your undertone or provide just the right amount of contrast to make your nails pop. With over 80 gorgeous shades of Sienna to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. So if your nail polish soul mate still eludes you, never fear. We are here to help you choose a polish that will give you both a high-performance manicure and look absolutely dreamy at the same time.

pink and nude nail polish hand swatch on fair and medium skin tone by sienna

You do you

 

But as we are fond of saying around here “You do you”. Sometimes you find a nail polish and it’s love. So if you like a fuchsia-hued mani with your corporate workwear, go for it. If you are committed to a dark wine crème in high summer, we won’t stand in your way. In this crazy-busy, fast-paced world we live in, a slick of nail polish in a colour that lifts your spirits can spark a little moment of joy.

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The Guide

 

While there are many (so many) trends and ways to choose a colour for your nails, here is the best of the accepted wisdom to choosing a flattering colour for your skin tone.

 

Deep/Dark skin

Vivid reds and pinks are your go-to classics, but mauve pink, fiery red-orange, deep purple, yellow, blacks, bronze, green, almond, mocha and caramel based neutrals are all going to look terrific. As will bold colours. And even yellow. The world is your nail bar, you lucky thing!

Photo: Luscious

bright Pink Nail Polish hand swatch on Dark Skin tone by Sienna

Medium skin

If this is you, a wide range of colours are going to be flattering. Choose burgundies, plums and wine tones for a super-chic look. Fruity/coral type shades and pastels like bubblegum pink and lilac will also look gorgeous. Teal is the best of the blues for you.

Photo: Melody and Whisper

pastel pink and purple nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

Olive skin

If you are an olive-skinned beauty, be guided by tropical colours like orange, hot pink, coral and melon – they will all look amazing. But so will browns, taupes and terracotta if you are after a more subtle look.

Photo: Love

Coral pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Light/Fair skin

For a classic colour choice, your friends are soft pinks and blue-toned berry colours. Having said that, classic red, and even a bright-vermillion crème look fantastic. Navy and charcoal are great if you are looking for a glam high-impact look with an edge.  A warm clay or a sheer pink are the best options for a neutral look.

Photo: Melody

light pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

If all else fails, look at your best, most flattering lipstick or, even your lips, and choose a shade that as close as possible to that.

 

As you can imagine, colour is a hot topic at Sienna HQ and we all have our favourite colours and go-tos. You can imagine how much we have loved putting this guide together for you. Please let us know if there’s any we have missed.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

The benefits of cuticle oil for nail health

What do we want? Healthy nails!

We’ve heard from loads of you who are nursing your nails back to health after years of gels, SNS, and acrylics and this, combined with the pending cool weather in Australia means now is the time to get behind cuticle care. If you look after your nail matrix and keep it hydrated, your nails will be healthier. And as we have said many times before, healthy nails are beautiful nails.

Nail Matrix 101

We can’t talk about cuticle care without mentioning the nail matrix, of which cuticles are a big part. “What is this nail matrix?”, you ask. See that little half-moon at the bottom of your nail? It’s really a full moon and is your nail matrix. The other part of the full moon (aka, the rest of your nail matrix) sits under your skin. This matrix is your nails’ brain trust, nerve centre and is where your nail health and growth is determined. It’s also super-sensitive so we have to be very gentle with it and treat it right if we want healthy nails.

french manicure nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

Protect your matrix for healthier nails

As we all know, cuticles play a key role in nail health and protect you from environmental pollution, bacteria and infection. Cuticles also lock-in hydration, which is very clever of them and the reason why cutting or trimming them is a no-go. It’s also counter-intuitive. When you cut your cuticles, your body’s natural reaction will be to send skin cells into overdrive and the skin will grow back thicker than before. You can, however, gently clean off the dead skin that is stuck to your nail plate using the famous ‘orange stick’. Orange sticks are your friend.

orange stich nails tool used on fair skin tone hands

Cuticle care is self-care

Nourish your nail bed and create a mindful self-care moment at the end of the day by massaging some cuticle oil or cream into the base of your nails before bed. While you sleep, the cuticle oil can really sink in and hydrate your nails. You won’t be washing your hands as you would be during the day, so it gives all that lovely, luxe oil a chance to do its thing.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

We love our cuticle oil

Sienna cuticle oil is luxurious, and our lightly scented freesia oil is particularly divine. But in a pinch, you can also use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil or vitamin E oil if your cuticles are in need of nourishment.

Cuticle oil in glass bottle with golden dropper by sienna

Sienna cuticle oil giveaway

Yep. It’s that easy to keep your nail health up, so no excuses! If you do want to grab a bottle of Sienna cuticle oil, we’re sending a free bottle with every online spend of $100 or more. You can choose from freesia or naturally unscented at checkout. While stocks last (and they won’t last long!).

pastel nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

4 great looks for easy at-home nail art

No nail tech? No problems

We love the dreamy nail art designs created by natural nail guru, Seika of Line Spa and Polish. She created a gorgeous collection of designs for us last year and they’re still getting plenty of love. So you can imagine how thrilled we are that she has created some super-chic designs for us once more with some favourite Sienna colours. The best part? These designs are so easy to achieve and you probably already have everything you need at home. If you have ever wanted to nail the perfect French mani or that dreamy ombre look that’s doing the rounds, this one is for you. Alright! Let’s get those nails looking fresh!

Nail prep is everything

Get everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you were giving yourself a straight-up mani. (You can read our tried and tested DIY manicure tips on our website).  As ever, for all these designs we recommend starting with a protective base coat to give you a smooth surface to paint on and finishing with a top coat for glossy goodness at the finish line and to keep all your gorgeous nail art locked in. One final tip: We know this sounds obvious, but the key to all these designs is to make sure each layer dries before you apply the next. Now on to the designs!

Perfect french

Base coat | Winter | Top coat

It’s a classic for a reason.

You know those pesky little stickers on apples, oranges, avos, and almost every other piece of fruit? We’re about to make good use of them in the most surprising way in an eco-friendly beauty flex that would make MacGyver proud.

  • Gather your fruit stickers and cut five of them in half so you have 10 stickers. Check to make sure they all have the same curved line.
  • Get your nails ready. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • If you’re going all-out, apply a soft, sheer French pink over your entire nail and allow to fully dry.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the white French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Take a bright white polish and apply a small amount along the edge at the tip of your nail.
  • Using the curve of the fruit sticker to guide you, paint a small amount of polish in downwards strokes towards the edge of the label to create the white stripe. Start at the sides and do two thin coats.
  • Allow to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds before gently peeling the labels off. Hot tip! Peel the label off from the sides.
  • Finish with top coat.

Voila! You have achieved a perfect French mani in minutes. A bright red, black or pastel colour would also look great if you fancy giving the classic French mani a unique twist to make the look yours.

Split french

Base coat | Sunflower (thumb) | Tango (index) | Sweetheart (middle) | Heart (ring) | Kiss (pinkie) | Top coat

Get on board Team French manicure, 2020 style. Seika has used our Summer Love collection here to keep the colours in the same range. All the heart eyes.

  • Prep your nails. File them, make sure they’re clean and apply  base coat.
  • We’re using fruit stickers again to help create a perfect straight line. Cut them in half so you have enough for each nail.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the split French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Using downward brush strokes, fill in the colour for each nail. As ever, the best results will come from two thin coats.
  • Let your polish dry for at least 30 seconds before peeling off the fruit label stickers. Start from the side and gently peel them off.
  • Apply Top Coat.

Yes, it’s really that easy. This is a mani with so many possibilities. Embrace the rainbow or keep it monochromatic.

Dreamy ombré

Base CoatRosieSweetheart | Top Coat

The wow-factor is high. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t. If you’ve got a clean eye-shadow applicator handy, you will be rocking this dreamy ombre in no time.

  • Prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • Dab a small amount of Rosie and Sweetheart on to a palette (plate, Tupperware lid, or similar), keeping your colours separate. Start with a small amount of polish so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Use your eyeshadow applicator and start tapping small amounts of Rosie on to your nail. Start from the tip of your nail and lightly tap the neutral base colour on to your nail and gradually make your way down towards the cuticle area. Always start from the edges.
  • It’s time to add a brighter colour to give your mani some depth. Use another applicator to tap Sweetheart on in the top half of your nail.
  • Finish with top coat.

Swoon. Your nails look amazing and oh-so-grammable.

Pastel camo

Base Coat | Reverie | Melody | Wish | Whisper | Top Coat

Just yes. We are so into this. Seika took our coveted Poetry collection and love of pastel ombres to the next level with this modern but pretty look. Let’s get it!

  • As always, prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape and apply base coat.
  • Paint your nails with the base colours. Reverie (pinkie), Wish (middle finger and thumb).
  • The camo feature nails will be on your pointer and ring fingers. Paint these nails with the base coat of Melody. Don’t worry about streaking. This coat is for coverage, not neatness.
  • The first colour for the camo design is Reverie. Paint approximately three wiggly lines over your nails. Imagine you are painting teeny tiny clouds. The more organic in form the better, so vary the sizes. Leave to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  • Paint over your entire nail (including your mini ‘clouds’) in Whisper. Sheer white also works if that’s what you have to hand.
  • Use Wish to fill in some of the empty space with more camo pattern shapes.
  • For the finishing touch, apply Melody in tiny camo shapes around the nail to highlight the look.
  • Apply Top Coat.
  • Your nails look wildly stylish! You clever thing, you.

Thank you so much for sharing your skills and creativity with us, Seika. Follow Line Spa and Polish over on the ‘gram for the news and inspiration you know you need.

Line Spa and Polish and sustainable beauty

Line Spa and Polish is a beauty biz after our own luxe, eco-loving hearts. They are a 100% vegan, sustainable nail service and stock only the highest quality products that adhere to their philosophy: ‘wellness and environment should not be compromised for beauty’. We are, of course, thrilled they use Sienna! Alongside a no cruelty, no toxins approach to the products Line Spa and Polish use, the salon has been 90% plastic-free since they opened, and are constantly innovating to further minimise their impact. Did we mention that their founder, Seika, is a next-level nail tech?

fair hand holding a grapefruit cut in half and wearing bright pink nail polish by sienna on an orange background

7 tips for healthy nails all year round

fair hand holding a grapefruit cut in half and wearing bright pink nail polish by sienna on an orange background
Winter or summer, it’s always a good time to take care of your nails. It doesn’t take long to keep your nails in shape. Here are our tried and true tips to keep your nail health game strong.
1. Don’t cut your cuticles

Your cuticles seal in moisture and protect your body from environmental germs so it’s best to keep them intact.

Our tip: Use cuticle oil to soften and hydrate your cuticles. If your cuticles are bothering you, push them down gently with a manicure stick (aka ‘the orange stick’).

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle
2. Use a base coat

A base coat will protect your nails and strengthen them. If you want an everyday slick of clear gloss to protect your nails, base coat is the one you should go for. It works to strengthen your nails by acting like a band-aid. It holds your nail together so you’ll get more length, strength and less breakage. Your nails will also look glorious. #winwin

base coat nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna on baby's breath flower background
3. Don’t pick at old polish

We know it’s tempting (we know, we know) but resist the urge to pick it off as it can damage the nail bed underneath. Instead, use a hydrating water-based nail polish remover or wipes. We don’t want to toot our own horn too much, but our remover is good. It’s enriched with Vitamin E to give your nails the health boost they’re craving and won’t dry out your nails at all. It doesn’t even smell.

no Acetone Remover and Remover wipes in glass bottle with gold lid by sienna with baby's breath flowers background
4. File your nails to keep them a uniform length and shape

It’s much easier to keep short nails healthy as well. We know we’ve said this a hundred times, but please file in the same direction. See-sawing a file back and forth will damage the nail matrix (no thank you) and will also result in raggedy edges. No one likes a raggedy edge. A glass nail file is gentle on your nails and will never go blunt. It’s quite the eco-friendly flex.

Our tips: It’s always tempting to pick hangnails. Don’t do it! Use the clippers instead. Use a glass nail file and smooth out any ‘nicks’ so they don’t go on to get caught on other things and damage your nails further.

hands using glass nail file by sienna
5. Stay hydrated

Like the rest of you, your nails need hydration. This means drinking plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out, and cuticle oil to nourish your cuticles from the outside in.

6. Eat for nail health

Healthy nails love vitamin E, A, C, K &B, zinc and essential fatty oils are all good friends to nail (and hair) health. Here’s a quick list of foods that tick the nutrient boxes. We understand you may not be able to get your hands on them easily in different parts of the world, but if you’re interested, we’re talking about dark leafy greens, avocados, raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, orange root vegetables, chickpeas, lentils, ground linseed, hemp seeds, walnuts, cashews, wholemeal bread, and quinoa.

7. Be gentle with your nails, product-wise

Avoid products with high percentages of alcohol (hand sanitiser and cleaning products are the biggest culprits. Protect your mitts with gloves if you’re cleaning and show them some love with a good hand cream post sanitise. Cuticle oil and hydrating nail polish remover are two quick additions to your self-care routine that will keep your nails healthy.

What do you do to keep your nails healthy?

Nail care products nail polish remover wipes jar with gold lid cuticle oil and glass nail file by sienna with white flowers
Hand with ombré manicure on coffee table, nail polish bottles and glass nail file by sienna

How long will my nail polish last?

AKA the million dollar question. We’ve been asked how long our nail polish lasts on your nails and, long story short, we can’t answer the “how long” question definitively for everybody as there are so many factors to consider and we’re all so different. As an overview though, genetics and natural nail health are the number one factor that affects how long polish lasts on your nails. Generally speaking, healthy nails = long-lasting manicure, irrespective of the kind of nail polish you use. But use of alcohol-based products for cleaning or hand sanitising and prolonged exposure to chlorinated water are some of the other culprits that affect your nail health for the worse, and in turn the longevity of your mani. The other key factors to impact how long your nail polish lasts are your nail prep and application technique.

Luckily, we can help with most of these (Spoiler: not genetics). Read on for more details as we go deep into the nitty-gritty of what might be causing the odd mani-misadventure, and share some of our best tips to keep your nails looking fresh and ready for the ‘gram.

Nail care products nail polish remover wipes jar with gold lid cuticle oil and glass nail file by sienna with white flowers

Genetics

How is genetics related to manicure longevity? Well, the stronger your nail is the longer your manicure will last. The hardness of your nails is mostly genetic and not much can be done about the shape they grow in or how fast they grow. You can help them by working on your overall health. So eat your leafy greens and plenty of foods rich in zinc, vitamin A, E and C, as well healthy fats (Oh hello, avocado). Of course, it goes without saying you need to stay hydrated. Chronic stress and fatigue inhibit growth, and age can be another factor that slows the nail growth train down. On the other, ah, hand, nails do grow faster in summer. Nails. They’re so much more complex than they look.

Our tips: If you have strong nails, you don’t need to worry about a thing. If they’re not so strong then follow the steps in ‘how to do a manicure’ and all the tips below.

Dry and dehydrated nails

Dry and dehydrated nails are more likely to peel and split which means the surface of the nail is not smooth and the polish will have a hard time adhering. We want your Friday night mani to make it to #manimonday intact. So the first thing to do is identify why your nails might be dry and dehydrated. Hand sanitiser and cleaning are necessary evils for most of us, but these are products with high percentages of alcohol and this is the absolute enemy of a long-lasting mani. Cold climates don’t help either. If this is you, the first step is to use a good hand cream.

Our tips:

  • If you’re cleaning, pop on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands and nails, just like Nana used to.
  • Cuticle oil is another superhero of the nail care world. We wouldn’t dream of skipping moisturiser on our faces, let’s give our nails and cuticles the same love. You know they deserve it. While we’re talking cuticles, did you know cuticles actually serve a really important purpose? They seal in moisture and keep environmental germs out of your body. It’s really important to leave them be (no cutting or picking) and let them do their important work.
  • Hydration from the outside and the inside out. In other words, cuticle oil and hand cream help from the outside but don’t forget to drink your water! Your nail starts to grow from the ‘matrix’ – the spot just above your cuticle. Staying hydrated helps your body produce healthy cells – including the ones that will be your nails.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

Swimming and water exposure

Prolonged exposure to all kinds water is going to affect the longevity of your mani. The nail becomes waterlogged, expanding, and lifts the polish off the nail. It also gets between the layer of nail polish and your nail bed.

Our tips:

  • Use a good oil based cream on your hands before swimming to repel as much moisture to the nail as possible
  • Again, gloves while doing dishes are your friend

washing hands with soap in pastel green sink under running water

Nail Prep is paramount

Much like painting anything (walls, portraits, etc), you need to prepare your surface before jumping in with the colour or the result will not be the luxe, smooth one of your dreams. Where to start with nails? We got you.

Our tips:

  • Remove any residual polish and clean off any oils and moisturiser from your nails. You want a clean, dry surface so nothing comes between your nail bed and the polish. Nail polish will stick better to a dry surface.
  • Long nails = bendy nails. And bendy nails compromise the adhesion of polish. Nail polish is a solid surface ‘on’ your nail bed and while it will handle some bending, this does weaken your polish. If your nails are prone to bending, short nails are the way forward. Not only are short nails chic beyond words, your mani will last much longer as there’s less chance for bending.
  • If you can avoid nail soaking, please do. Waterlogged nails are softer and water gets in between your nail bed and the polish, which as we now know, is not the goal.
  • If your nails have ridges, gently buff them. Ridges cause pooling of the nail polish which means it will be thicker in parts and thinner in others. This leads to varied drying time which then leads to trouble for your mani. If you can’t get your hands on a buffer, try applying base coat before colour and this should act as a ‘ridge filler’.

hands using glass nail file by sienna

Technique

The way you apply your polish can also affect how long it lasts on your nails. We’ve got all the tips and tricks to help you out with this.

Our tips:

  • If you’re shaping your nails, file in one direction rather than in a back and forth motion. This destroys the nail matrix and is a fast track to breaking nails. Let’s just not go there.
  • Next, try a sticky base coat. We don’t want to brag, but ours is pretty damn fantastic. A good base coat will protect and strengthen your nail while providing a good smooth surface to paint on that helps the polish stick to your nail.
  • Okay, the polish. The aim is thin layers. Thin layers, people! They really are the key to a successful application. Once you’ve painted your two/three thin layers of polish, seal the free edge (the tip of your nail) with a horizontal swipe of polish.
  • Finish the whole thing off with some top coat to protect all your work.

We have a guide to giving yourself a natural nail manicure at home if you’d like more detail.

Hands applying nude pink nail polish by sienna

Taking care of (nail) business

Nail polish isn’t supposed to last forever – and that’s a good thing. Chipping will happen eventually but there are some steps we can take to slow it down and preserve your gorgeous mani.

Our tips:

  • If you do spot a rogue chip, you don’t have to junk your entire manicure. Just top-up the offending chip with a touch of polish. Just remember the golden rule about keeping the coats thin.
  • Use nail clippers to remove hangnails. It’s always tempting to pick them. Don’t do it!
  • If your nails get some little ‘nicks’, use a glass nail file and smooth them out so they don’t go on to get caught on other things and damage your nails further.

Do you want more nail care?

We’re so proud of all our nail care and nail polish products and we are here to help you with any questions you have. We love hearing from you and it’s a real thrill for us to see all your beautiful Sienna manicures. Follow us over on Insta for more nail care goodness and mani inspiration. You can also find loads of videos saved under Nail Tutorials in our Highlights.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

Self-care for the soul and your nails

This week, we’re looking at some of the things you can do to take care of your mind and your body while you’re in spatial isolation. We’re talking hand and nail care (obvs), DIY vegan face masks, bringing culture to your monitor and maintaining your friendships via the power of technology.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

A shout out to the people. All the people.

We’d like to send our gratitude to the people in so many different professions who are working hard to look after us right now. We don’t have enough words to describe how thankful we are. And if these times are tough for you in other ways, we see you.

Self-care for your hands and natural nail care

If your hands are anything like ours, they probably feel a bit like paper after a steady diet of frequent hand washing and hand sanitiser. Thankfully, we know what to do here. We’ve always been huge fans of the clean beauty DIY-style, and a little while ago we wrote all about how to give yourself an easy non-toxic mani at home. Gather your kit, choose a cheering playlist and go for it. And If you know your way around a straightforward manicure or you just want to get fancy/learn a new skill, check out the easy but gorgeous nail art designs Line Spa and Polish did for us a little while back. Once you’ve mastered the introductory designs, click through the slightly trickier but still achievable designs here. Whether you opt for a straight-colour mani or super-chic nail art, the crucial thing here is hydration, baby. Grab your cuticle oil and hand cream and apply throughout the day. You’re probably washing your hands every five minutes, so take the opportunity to break out the cuticle oil/hand cream as part of the routine.

Hands applying nude nail polish by sienna

DIY vegan face masks for homebodies and heroes

If you’ve got kids home from school at the moment, you might consider a solo trip to the bathroom quality self-care time at the moment. Half of the Sienna team are in the same boat so we totally understand. But, depending on their age, kids might enjoy helping to mix up some vegan face masks in the kitchen. You’ll probably be able to find most of the ingredients for these masks in your kitchen, so you can just whip them up and cue the smooth skin. Incorporate them into your mani/pedi routine if you fancy going recreating the full day-spa-at home-experience. This also a lovely and refreshing way to put a wall between home life and a punishing day at work.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

Culture, fitness, kindness and cute animals

We touched on a few of these in our Insta this week and we got some great suggestions too. Jump over to our page to add your own ideas on how to stay sane and support both your nearest and dearest, as well as our wider communities. As Ben Lee said way back in 2005, “We’re all in this together”.

two fair skin tone hands next to one another showing rainbow nails with three different nail polishes on each finger by sienna

Nails by occasion

Say “I do” and “I will” to bridal nails

We love a bit of nuptial chat. Here’s everything we know… Soft pinks and sheer washes of white are classics for a reason, they look great on just about everyone and they also photograph well – especially if you are planning to get some chic black and white shots done. Like lipstick, red nails can look very dark grey in black and white photography, whereas pale nails look more natural. We are also seeing lots of neutrals from modern brides, which is a pretty cool move. Try a colour like Cottontail if you want to rock this look down the aisle. Lastly, incorporate some nail care in the run-up to the big day so your nails are looking fresh and healthy before the polish even goes on. Nurture those hands and nails! Actually, that’s good advice for every day.

Ps, congratulations! A celebration of love is a really wonderful thing!

Rosewater pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
close view of a young woman's hands holding pink flower petals and wearing Cherry blossom pink nail polish by sienna
Translucent rosewater pink sheer nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna

Rock the look – Festival nails for everyone

Music festival styling is a pretty serious business these days – so don’t let your nails miss out on all the fun. Besides, if it rains during the festivities – and is it even a festival with no rain – your clothes and hair might be soaked, but your stylish mani will keep on keeping on. Luckily, we know a thing or two about festival nails at Sienna. We ran a pop-up nail-bar at Blues Fest a few years ago and prepped hundreds of hands for five days of music and fun. Perennial festival favourites include Mystic, all of the metallics, and when in doubt, ombre all the way.  If you want to get on board the nail art train for your next festival, we’ve got some super-fun designs that are equally at home in the fields of Glastonbury or the Writer’s Festival. Hello, Lilac Pastel Leopard, we’re talking to you!

two fair skin tone hands next to one another showing rainbow nails with three different nail polishes on each finger by sienna
Mid-tone blue nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Pastel purple Leopard Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna

Job interview nails to land the dream role

Your talent and charisma need to be at the forefront, not your nails – even though we’re sure they’re fabulous – you’ve got to keep it chic and profresh if you’re going to land your dream job. If you’re heading for an interview in a corporate or conservative office, err on the side of caution and keep the focus on your skills with well-groomed nails and natural or neutral polish. Make the right impression with colours like Peace for a sheer slick of pink that is “your nails but better” vibes, Barefoot Dancer, Stone, or keep it super-natural with our base coat or Hope.  Taupe-type hues are also a winner – try Calm or Cottontail.

If the role you’re interviewing for is in a creative setting, you can get a little bit more experimental, but don’t go too cray-cray. Navy, olive, plum and the creative’s forever love, black, would all fly well, but maybe leave the neon, metallics and wild shimmers to the weekend. At least until you’re settled in.

close view of a woman's nails wearing Stony mauve nail polish by sienna
Warm Clay nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Plum Red Nail Polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by Sienna

Holiday nails for every kind of holiday

Do your holiday plans include lounging around a pool or beach, maybe some palm trees swaying in the distance, and perhaps a cocktail or two? Or are you planning an urban-style mini-break with galleries, coffee and art galleries? They both sound pretty good to us, but what about your mani-plans? Avoid mani-misadventures on the road and coordinate your nails with the outfits you’re packing. Tropical holidays spent resort-side have us packing bright, fruity tones with plenty of corals and peachy-pinks. For beachy getaways off the beaten track, you might like the idea of keeping your nails the softest of soft pinks for a natural beauty look. If you’re headed to the city, anything goes, so express yourself. If you aren’t sure how you’re going to be feeling, pack some remover wipes and a few polishes to keep your options open.

Ombre nail art with orange yellow pink and red nail polish on dark and medium skin tone by sienna
Pink peach nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

For the love of date night nails

If you’re on your way for some flirty fun with a special someone, give your nails a bit of love too. We’ve gone for all the deep, dusty reds and pinks here in homage to red the iconic colour of love. You can’t go wrong! But if you’re a guy wanting to give your nails a lick of colour to show you’re the kind of person who makes an effort in the grooming department, consider a strong colour like, Rhythm. It’s pictured here on local Byron hero, Benny.

close view of a woman's hand holding a gold chain necklace wearing a Magenta Plum nail polish by sienna
close view of a woman's hands holding a purple cocktail, wearing dusty rosebud red nail polish by sienna at Mez Club restaurant in Byron bay
Close view of bearded man wearing teal blue nail polish in front of an orange wall holding his shirt collar

Everyday Swoon

We are a huge fan of the neutral end of the spectrum when it comes to everyday nails, but that just might not be your vibe. At all. So, as we’re fond of saying, ‘you do you.’ If you want some suggestions, we got you. Kombi is a fun whimsical colour for the retro lovers, Dream is the blue of choice for the glam-squad, Freedom is the vermillion red cream that is a little bit chic and a little bit rock n roll, Merlot is a winner for the lovers of a strong nail, and if you need more inspo to find your signature polish for everyday wear, hit up our website. We feel confident you’ll find the colour of your dreams and if you need help, we have a handy guide here or get in touch.

close view of woman holding her arm wearing a grey t-shirt and marble grey nail polish by sienna
close view of hands holding a pale blue coffee cup wearing a Dusty mauve nail polish by sienna
Purple Pearl with a Fine Blue Shimmer nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Nails by @primpandpropermani
woman on top of a roof in New York holding her hands to her chest wearing a white knitted sweater and Light Periwinkle Blue nail polish by sienna

Special event nails

Your invitation to the Brits/BAFTAS/Grammys/Emmys/Oscars might have been lost in the post, but we all need a go-to look that has us feeling stylish and ready for anything. Maybe your nails are the special event! Either way, let’s look to the stars to see if there is any mani-inspiration we can make our own.

five different skin tone women next to one another wearing the same bronze dress and showing their hands with crystal shimmer nail polish by sienna
Harry Styles blue manicure at the Met Gala 2019
Harry Styles at the Met Gala 2019. Picture: Twitter
Gigi Hadid metallic silver manicure at the Met Gala 2016
Gigi Hadid at the Met Gala 2016. Picture: Instagram

Popstar of the moment and lover of exaggerated talons went to the Oscars with jet-black nails with a rhinestone gem at the tip of each one for a look that was edgy and chic. Recreate the look, natural nail style, with a black satin polish like Sienna’s very own Zen. If you want to channel J-Lo and her ever-glam nails, choose a polish with a shimmer finish to bring a bling-tastic finish to your nails, without the actual glitter, of course. Lana del Ray a unique choice amid all the gemstone embellishments and chose metallic silver nails for the red carpet. But hands down, one of the most popular polishes was classic baby pink with a super-high gloss finish. We heart.

Black satin nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Crushed hematite crystal nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna

So what’s your go-to colour?

orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna

Fresh nail art designs that anybody can do at home – (Part two)

It’s time to get our DIY nail bar on again. We had such a great response to our collaboration with Seika from Line Spa and Polish, we’re back with another round of fresh nail art, exclusively for you. This is nail art for everybody. (If you missed our first instalment, click through for all the inspiration and instruction here.) If you have mastered the designs from Part One, you are going to love these designs. This is nail art for everybody. Get your brushes ready, people!

Before we begin

It’s best to have everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you would if you were giving yourself a regular mani. The best of our DIY non-toxic manicure tips are on our blog if you need a refresher. For all these designs we recommend starting with a protective base coat to give you a smooth surface to paint on and finishing with a top coat to seal the deal and keep all your fabulous nail art locked in. One final tip: We know this sounds obvious, but make sure each layer dries before you apply the next.

Hot tips for the at-home nail art superstar

For some of these designs, you may need to improvise to create delicate shapes or lines. You don’t need fancy tools for this nail art. Look around your house, especially in your makeup and stationery drawers to use what you have to hand. Toothpicks are a perfectly acceptable drawing tool for nail art on the fly. A sewing pin in an eraser on the end of a pencil is the perfect dotting tool, as are bobby pins, and paintbrushes are always welcome to create different brush strokes and effects. Embrace your inner MacGyver and use what you have to hand.

1. Vertical wiggly french

blue and green Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
blue and green Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
blue and green nail art step by step tutorial by sienna

Colours: Bonsoir and Utopia

Blue and green should always be seen… especially if they look this chic.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your thumb and ring fingernail with the pastel mint green crème, Utopia (currently on sale!)
  • Paint your other fingernails with Bonsoir (deep navy crème with cerulean shimmer).
  • Create the outline of the wave with Utopia on your middle fingernail and fill it in.
  • Next, repeat this process using Bonsoir on your ring fingernail.

Could this be the ultimate look for cool girl nail art? We think so.

2. Apple french

Apple red Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Apple red nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Apple red Nail Art step by step tutorial by Line Spa and polish and Sienna

Colours: Freedom, Florence, Merlot, Gaia

Some of our best loved colours come together to create this sweet but sophisticated French apple look.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Create the outline of the apple heart on your thumb and ring nails with Freedom (bright vermilion red crème), and then fill it in.
  • Use a toothpick (or drawing tool of your choice) to create the apple stem with Florence (magenta plum crème).
  • Paint your pinky fingernail in Merlot (deep red wine merlot crème)
  • Give your remaining two fingernails two coats of Gaia (Fallow Brown Satin).

That’s it! All the (apple) heart eyes for this design.

3. Apricots

green and orange nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
green and orange nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
orange and green Nail Art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna

Colours: Yogi, Olivia

We’re sticking to the fruity theme with this fun apricot design that combines fresh orange with the ‘it’ colour of the Northern Hemisphere fall, olive.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your middle and ring fingernail and your thumbnail with Olivia (deep olive crème).
  • To create the apricots, start with your pinky. Drop three tiny beads of Yogi (mandarin orange crème) on to the pinky nail to create the apricot shape.
  • Use Olivia to create the stem of the apricots.
  • Repeat this process on your pointer fingernails.

It’s really that easy. This might look like a complicated design, but it’s completely nail art-novice approved.

Hot tip: when painting dots with your brush make sure to have a tiny amount of polish on the brush as it will pool on the nail. It’s easier to add more than take it off!

4. Leopard

orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
nail art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna
Colours: CourageMimosaOlivia, Embrace

Introducing the autumnal-hued counterpoint to the Pastel Leopard design that debuted in Part One.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your pointer and pinky nails with two coats of Courage (warm terracotta crème).
  • Next, use Olivia (deep olive crème) to paint three-four larger dots and several more smaller dots using A bobby pin or toothpick work both work well here.
  • To finish, paint your remaining fingernails with two coats of Embrace (grapefruit granita crystal).

Because leopard-print is a neutral.

Hot tip: make sure the dots are dry before painting the top coat or it may ‘drag’ the colour. The dots are thicker than the coats of polish so they take a touch longer.

5. Brush strokes with dots

design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
nail art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna
Colours: Dream, WategosUnite, LusciousFlorence

We have reached the apex mountain of our at-home nail art designs. This design uses all the techniques we have been practicing to create the so-hot-right-now painterly brush strokes look. It’s slightly more complex than the previous designs but is still more than doable at home. Play around with this design, each nail can be as unique as you like. The gif above is a good partner to our instructions below, so let that guide you as well. We’re ready!

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Start with a smear-like stripe of Wategos (clear blue water crème) on every fingernail.
  • Use the same technique to apply Dream (periwinkle crème) on the opposite side of your nail.
  • Next up is Unite (crushed hematite crystal). You only need a minimal amount of polish on the brush for this part. Swipe a painterly-like stripe down your fingernail, starting at the top of your nail and reducing the amount of polish to almost nothing by the time you get to the base.
  • Create a spatter effect by placing some tiny drops of Florence (magenta plum crème) at the base of the nail.
  • Finish up the design with some teeny tiny drops of Luscious.

It’s delicate, it’s painterly, it’s pretty damn beautiful. Well done, you!

Hot Tip: Make sure to use just a tiny amount of polish when you paint the brush stroke accents.

Line Spa & Polish and sustainable beauty

Line Spa and Polish is a beauty biz after our own sustainable, eco-loving hearts. They are a 100% vegan, sustainable nail service and stock only the highest quality products that adhere to their philosophy: ‘wellness and environment should not be compromised for beauty’. We are, of course, thrilled they use Sienna! Alongside a no cruelty, no toxins approach to the products Line Spa and Polish use, the salon has been 90% plastic-free since they opened, and are constantly innovating to further minimise their impact.  Did we mention that their founder, Seiko, is a next-level nail tech?

Let us know if you try any of these designs! We’d love to hear how you go.

Keep up with all things sustainable nail care @siennabyronbay and @linespanadpolish on Instagram
Nail care package with glass nail file base coat top coat and cotton string bags by sienna

The Conscience Gift Set is back

white and grey cotton string bags with plant design by sienna

Our much-loved Conscience Gift Set is back! It is full of all the Sienna nail care essentials you know and love and, for the first time, we are pleased to welcome a new addition to the Gift Set Family: The lovely Care bag. As ever, each of these are the perfect size for travel or your handbag. Give the gift of ethical, eco-friendly, clean beauty.

Sienna X Freeset Global

We are very proud to support the vital work of Freeset Global, who has once again created our 100% Organic Cotton drawstring bag. Freeset Global upskill and employ women who would otherwise be vulnerable to sex trafficking in Kolkata (India).

Indian woman making cotton string bag by freeset global
What’s in the bag?
nail care Gift Set with cuticle oil glass nail file remover wipes and nail polish by Sienna
The Conscience Gift Set contains:
– 3 x your choice of Nail Polish colours.

 If you’re giving this as a gift, (aren’t you lovely!), we recommend a Base Coat, Top Coat and either Ambrosia, Stone or Honour. These best-selling colours suit most people.  

– Nourishing Water Based Nail Polish Remover Wipes with Soy and Vitamin E.

– Nourishing Cuticle Oil in our classic vintage style bottle with gold dropper. Choose either Freesia with its divine scent or naturally unscented.

– NEW Everlasting Mini Glass Nail File. These never, ever go blunt. You’ll have this baby for life!

– 100% Organic Cotton Bag

Nail Care Gift Set with base coat top coat and glass nail file in cotton string bag by Sienna
NEW – The Care Gift Set contains:

Give the gift of self-care. Our eco-friendly, ethical Care Gift Set has some of our favourite Sienna essentials.

– Lightning Top Coat.
– Base Coat.
– NEW Everlasting Mini Glass Nail File.
– 100% Organic Cotton Bag.

Our products are Vegan and Cruelty Free Accredited, handmade with love and produced with the community and the planet in mind. Sienna Byron Bay is a company that focuses on ethics and sustainability in ALL of its products.

You can read more about Freeset Global’s impact and ethics on their website.