Everyone knows that a clean and classic red manicure can go a long way toward making a client feel put together. But what about when they’re ready to take things to the next level? Experimenting with colors, application techniques and products can help you create dynamic nail art that will impress any client.

Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite professional nail art tips. Next time you’re feeling creative, consider trying one of these.

1. Expand Your Library

Feeling like your nail polish collection needs a color refresh? Time to experiment with layering! Layering one shade onto another can expand your options and allow for custom shades. When layering, always apply the more opaque shade first and finish with the sheerer color to ensure the best blend.

Transparent tints are one of the hottest trends right now, and they can easily spruce up any basic manicure. Combining a clear topcoat with a bold color can create the perfect tinted manicure for layered nail art looks, stained-glass effects and more.

3. Embrace the Shine

If you’re searching for a way to jazz up a simple manicure, look no further! You can easily concoct personalized glitter topcoats by mixing loose sparkles or pieces of glitter with a few drops of topcoat. Just combine them on a nail art palette or a piece of foil, and then apply using a flat brush. Voila! Glitz in a flash!

Bright neon and sheer shades can sometimes fall flat when applied solo. If you’re feeling like your polish isn’t reaching its full potential, try starting with a neutral base coat. This coat provides a blank canvas for the polish that can boost the pigmentation and brighten the color.

When you’re applying gel polish, use the curing step to your advantage. There are lots of ways to manipulate the gel after you’ve applied it but before you cure it. To create the perfect sugared effect, sprinkle glitter into the uncured polish, and use an empty brush to remove any excess. Once you’re happy with the look, you can cure the gel to freeze the design in place.

For hand-painted nail art, the consistency of your polish is everything. Whether it’s gel polish or a lacquer, a thicker consistency is more malleable, holds its shape on the nail more effectively and is more opaque. Set out droplets of polish to let the solvents evaporate for 30 seconds to one minute. This can help your polish achieve the correct consistency before you grab it with your nail art brush.

Familiarity with your products and colors can give you the confidence to experiment with them. Experimentation can lead to great new ideas and techniques, and clients will appreciate your unique vision. These nail art tips are a great place to start when you’re ready to take your manicures to the next level.