Fashion at your fingertips

It's not just the covetable coats and beautiful boots that are under scrutiny on the autumn/winter catwalks - the models' manicures are as sought after as the clothes.

Fashion at your fingertips

Orly at Felder Felder AW14.

So bagging a bottle of nail polish is an easy - and affordable - way to tap into the styles of the moment.

From designer shades to arty acrylics, these are the talon trends to try now...

CATWALK COLOURS

Great news - your favourite scarlet varnish is very much in vogue this season, as red ruled the runways at the AW14 fashion weeks. But why not expand your colour palette and take inspiration from some of the stand-out shows?

Dolce & Gabbana's luxe fairy-tale fantasy collection was a major hit with the fashion pack. Give your hands a hint of that gilt-edged glamour with a brushed gold polish.

Ever on-trend, Burberry has handily launched a set of six nail colours to coincide with its autumn/winter collection, which saw trench coats and floaty dresses daubed with abstract floral motifs. Our favourite? Oxblood - a deep, moody maroon.

  • Nina Ultra Pro Nail Polish in Baroque The Bank, £3.29 (www.beautyexpress.co.uk)
  • Burberry Nail Polish in Oxblood, £15 (www.burberry.com)

ART ATTACK

The teams of technicians backstage at London Fashion Week create some incredibly intricate manicures, and while not all are DIY-friendly, there are some nail art looks you can try at home.

Manicurist Ami Streets explains how she got the models at Felder Felder catwalk-ready: "We opted for a chic, glossy nude, Sweet Blush, for groomed sophistication, then added a dusky heather half moon of Blend from Orly's AW14 nail collection."

Ombre manicures (using a gradient effect) are best left to the professionals, but you can cheat your way to a smoky nail effect with press-on acrylics, and no one will be any the wiser.

  • Orly Nail Polish in Blend, £10.50 (www.graftonsbeauty.co.uk)
  • Elegant Touch Ombre False Nails in Smudge, £7.10, Boots (www.boots.com)

SHINE ON

With fun, furry textures and lashings of glitter, an upbeat mood pulsed through the AW14 collections.

The most fabulous footwear of the season was seen at Saint Laurent, where models stomped down the runway in glittery go-go boots. Give your fingertips the same treatment, with a reflective silver glitter polish. Apply two or three coats for maximum impact.

If full-on glitterball nails are a bit much, try a copper or antique gold sparkle varnish, and layer over a darker base colour to tone down the razzle-dazzle.

  • All That Jazz Professional Nail Lacquer in Standing O, £9.98 (www.allthatjazzuk.com)
  • Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Shimmer Nail Polish in Fireside, £11 (available late October; www.bobbibrown.co.uk)

TOUCHABLE TEXTURES

Gone are the days when shiny, glossy nails were de rigueur - innovative new textures are hitting the shops thick and fast, the perfect compliment for autumn's feel-good fashion.

Matte varnish is nothing new, but now Yves Saint Laurent has gone one step further with leather nails. La Laque Couture Les Graines in Blue Galuchat looks like glitter polish when you paint it on, but it dries to a grainy deep turquoise that really looks (and feels) like leather.

Also mixing up the matte look, Nails Inc has collaborated with Alexa Chung to create a fabric-inspired range. A soft, dusty pink, the Cashmere polish lets you swathe your nails in a subtle pearlescent sheen.

  • Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in 52 Blue Galuchat, £18.50, Debenhams (www.debenhams.com)
  • Nails Inc Alexa Cashmere Polish, £15 (www.nailsinc.com)

TRIED & TESTED

Our guinea pigs pucker up for some autumn-appropriate plum lip colours:

  • Topshop Lips in The Damned, £8 (www.topshop.com)

I'm already a convert to the dark lips trend, so I loved this deep violet shade in the tube. It wasn't actually as dark on my lips; the pinky-purple colour left a moist sheen, more like a lip stain, so I didn't need any gloss on top.

3/5

  • Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres in 41 Brun Cuir, £23.50-25, Debenhams (www.debenhams.com)

This lip gloss was easy to apply, gliding onto my lips leaving a matte but moist sheen. I don't usually wear dark shades, but this was a nice subtle raspberry that didn't make me look too Gothic, and I even got some compliments. It also stayed on for ages, even when I had a drink.

3/5

  • Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Plum, £18 (www.clinique.co.uk)

With just one coat, this lipstick gave me a dense, rich layer of yummy plummy colour. Even though it's matte in texture, it didn't dry out my lips and was long-lasting too; the colour stayed put all night.

4/5

BUY IT NOW

Give your evening eye make-up look a luxe update with the new shadow-liner hybrid from Bobbi Brown. Smudge a layer of Long Wear Gel Sparkle Shadow And Liner onto your lids for a shimmering smoky-eye feel, or apply a precise line of the pearlescent formula with a brush. Available in six shades, £20 each, exclusively at House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk).

BEAUTY BULLETIN

  • CUT COPY

Could it BE any more iconic? 'The Rachel' - Jennifer Aniston's Friends-era hair cut - has been voted the most influential of all time, just as the sitcom celebrates its 20th anniversary. Bottle-blonde Marilyn Monroe came second in the survey from haircare brand Amway, with singer Amy Winehouse in third.

  • HIS AND HAIRS

Meanwhile, another survey has revealed the hairstyles men prefer on women, with the 'bed-head/messy' look coming top (31%), followed by 'long and preened' (15%), with 'vintage styles' (12%) in third. The blokes, quizzed by www.vouchercloud.com, said they liked the messy look because it's less high-maintenance. If only they knew how long those tousled tresses took to perfect...

  • RECESSIONISTA ALERT

She's not a household name (yet), but beauty blogger Zoe Sugg has a mammoth following online, to the tune of 5.5m YouTube subscribers. And now, she has just launched her first range of Zoella pampering products at Superdrug, priced from £5 (www.superdrug.com).

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