From runway inspirations to one-of-a-kind designs, our picks are sure to keep you up on your nail game while giving you the 411 on how to recreate many of the looks yourself. This week we caught up with Shantanita Howard of Eminence Nail and Spa in Atlanta for this cute and simple neon-checkered manicure.

The Trend: A splash of neon is just what you need to add a fun and flirty twist to any summer ensemble. Bright neon colors have been popping up everywhere lately, from wristlets to flats and even lip color so checkered nail pattern in black and white; you’ll love the contrast! Check out the details below:

EBONY: What was the inspiration behind the design?

Shantanita Howard: I like fast cars. The checkered nail art made me think of race flags.

EBONY: How did you create this design?

SH: After applying the base coat, I applied one coat of Gelish Soak-off Gel Polish in Sheek White ($12.50), then cured the polish under a UV lamp. Using the white as a base for the bright pink makes the shade really pop. Next, I applied a bright pink gel shade in one coat, and then sealed the color with a gel top coat. (Editor’s note: This design can be recreated using regular nail polish.)

For the bright pink, we like Milani Neon Nail Lacquer in Pink Rocks! ($3.82). For the accent nails, I kept the white backdrop and with a fine nail brush. For the black polish, we like Layla Gel Effect Nail Polish in Onice ($15.00). I drew vertical and horizontal lines to create the tic-tac-toe outline. Next, using my fine brush, I went back and filled in every other box to create the checkered look. 

EBONY: What is your favorite nail trend right now?

SH: It’s hard to choose because I really love them all. I love how society is more accepting nail art without placing that black cloud or negative stereotype around it anymore. Nail design is all about creativity. I am always doing something different and creative with my nails. To my clients I’m considered an artist; it’s great!

—Minajiah Scott