Victoria Beckham

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THE EXPERT: Marian Newman

This lady is so renowned for her nifty nail-grooming, she’s been dubbed “the nail dresser” by the beauty industry. Her tip for the hottest hue? “My clients have been loving darker shades,” says Newman, who has polished the pinkies of the Sugababes, Jamelia and Victoria Beckham. “I used a pewter varnish on Victoria and she loved it so much, she asked me to send her some after the shoot.”

1. File smart

“Square nails and long, French-manicure styles are out, so keep them short and natural, mirroring the shape of the cuticle with your file,” says Newman. Use a gentle file such as the Kanga Board (Best Beauty Buy) to round off edges and corners.

2. First base

Base coat is a must. “It’s not just something you should use with darker shades to prevent staining – it’s essential for every hue,” says Newman. “Look for one that dries with a matte finish (such as Seche Clear crystal Clear Base Coat (Best Beauty Buy) – it will help the polish adhere to the nails better.”

3. Tip top

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“After two coats of polish, I paint on a thick layer of top coat for a ‘plastic’ finish,” says Newman. “Run it around the edges of your nails to seal in the colour.” Finish with a drop of Solar Oil (Best Beauty Buy) to speed up drying and hydrate cuticles.