Social Media Nail Trend Hacks

Social media is shaking up the aesthetics industry. It’s not only impacting the way brands and consumers interact, but many global beauty trends are born on photo-sharing platforms.

This is particularly true for the nail industry. Instagram, Pintrest and Snapchat have helped unearth some of the most avant-garde nail art to date.

“One influential nail artist can easily start a new trend singlehandedly,” says Maria Vlezko, celebrity talon artist, and founder of SoNailicious, a publication dedicated to inspiring her peers with practical advice, tutorials and creative concepts.

“We often see nail art styles appear on the runway almost a year after we’ve seen them on social media. The fashion world used to be the trendsetter for the nail industry, but not anymore. Now nail artists set the trends.”

With fashion royalty like Marc Jacobs and Valentino as fans, Maria’s original designs are also widely emulated by professionals and novices. But rather than trawl the beaten social media tracks for ideas as her peers often do, her work is inspired by her real-life travels.

“For me it’s about seeing new colours, architecture, landscapes, visiting museums and exhibitions,” she elaborates. “I have my Little Book of Nail Art where I document and store all my nail design ideas on the go – on the plane, at the beach, in a Roman cafe – anywhere while I’m travelling. Before that, I used to travel with a giant sketch book.”

The Little Book Of Nail Art is available for purchase via Maria Vlezko’s online store and contains plain templates to record and sketch potential nail art designs.

Maria will be holding several masterclasses at Beauty Expo Melbourne next weekend, March 25-26, where she’ll school attendees on the tools and techniques to achieve the hottest social media nail art trends.

“I won’t be teaching the over the top 3D sculptures normally associated with nail art, but I’ll be workshopping doable, stylish designs in a way that makes to all abilities,” she says.

“It’s great for advanced nail techs who are looking to work faster and more flawlessly, but is also relevant to beginners who may not even be holding a brush correctly.”

Maria shares her shortcuts for pulling off the three key social media trends that are most requested in salon:

“My original design (pictured) is one of my most popular looks. It has been recreated thousands of times and some cheeky brands even created nail wraps based on it,” says Maria Vlezko.

Negative Space Nails

In art theory, “negative space” refers to the area that around a physical object that inadvertently defines its edges. Similarly in nail art, negative space refers to the unpolished talon bed surrounding strategically placed polish patterns.

Essential products by Jessica Cosmetics: Base coat, two nail colours, matte top coat and shiny top coat. The nail tape is available via Maria’s online boutique, SoNailicious.

A pioneer of the negative space manicure trend, Maria Vlezko started experimenting with this aesthetic back in 2012. She was inspired by clothes with cut-outs that were on the catwalks that year. Variations of the look (including reverse French manicure, jewel adorned and half-dipped) are still extremely popular on social media 6 years later.

“The style endures because it’s relatively easy to do and looks very chic,” she says. “Even girls who are usually not into nail art like wearing negative space manicures.”

Maria’s Shortcut Hack: Rather than painting polish with a nail brush and worrying about a steady hand, you can use strips of nail tape to stencil out the shapes – it makes for fool-proof geometric straight lines.

“There are many ways to achieve ombre nails, but this method is the easiest route to a flawless finish,” says Maria.

Cloudy-Gradient Nails

A “gradient” defines the gradual progression from one colour into another. Currently, social media channels are inundated with all sorts of makeup looks rendered in gradient style. Also known as “ombre”, the fashion extends to lip makeup, eye-makeup, hair dying techniques and of course, nail art.

Essential products from OPI: Base coat, 2 nail colours and topcoat. Striping nail brushes are available from most nail tech suppliers.

“This look is very popular because it looks beautiful when done correctly, there is a lot of room for experimenting, and it is also easy and quick to do,” says Maria.

Maria’s Shortcut Hack: Mix two polishes on the nail and drag this lines with a nail art striping brush nail.

“Working with foil requires some skill, which we’ll look into it in greater detail during the Beauty Expo Melbourne masterclasses,” says Maria Vlezko.

Chroming Alternative

“Chrome” nail polish is one of the most requested nail trends of all time. The aesthetic hinges on an intensely shiny metallic finish that’s typically achieved by rubbing the nail with mirror pigment powder.

Maria’s foil technique is an a faster, less messy and less fiddly alternative to pulling off a high impact, heavy metal effect. She says:

“Foil manicures are very popular because they look stunning; it’s a statement manicure but it’s up to you whether you’d like to go full-on foil or keep it low-key with just a few foil details.

Foil nail essentials: Foil from SoNailicious, CND base coat, nail lacquer, nail glue and top coat.

“This method is also much safer than traditional chroming. Breathing in all that Chrome dust (particularly for nail techs) is not healthy. Most chrome pigments are manufactured in China and some are very low quality. Who knows what chemicals are inside them.”

Maria’s Shortcut Hack: Attach nail foil over completely nails, with nail glue and secure it with a foil-friendly top coat.


Maria Vlezko will hold a series of nail art masterclasses at the newly rebranded Beauty Expo Melbourne, Victoria’s premier event for beauty professionals, which will be held this Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 March 2017 at the MCEC, Melbourne.

All masterclasses are priced at $159. All nail polishes, nail art accessories and brushes will be provided, plus attendees will receive a generous goodie bag from our sponsor to take home. View more details and book tickets at:

Maria Vlezko of ranks as one of the top global nail art authorities. Maria’s work has been featured in numerous international magazines, she was listed by Marie Claire US as one of the top nail art experts and collaborated with major beauty brands such as OPI, Mavala and Jamberry, just to name a few. With an eye for trends and flawless skill and an artistic flare, Maria creates sophisticated designs that are bold yet wearable. 


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