Nails

As someone who has worked in a professional environment for over four years and required to abide by a business dress code, I know that showing your personal style can get tricky. Nail painting recently became one of my favorite hobbies after I realized that nail polish could add a dash of color to my daily outfit without being too flashy or compromising my professionalism.

Some of the recent trends in nail polish and nail art have increasingly mimicked the runway styles and colors presented by fashion designers. For the upcoming colder months, dark hues are again the traditional choices, along side autumn shades and classy neutrals, while metallic colors are making an appearance.

Personally, I prefer brighter shades since the cheery colors instantly lift my mood. This year though, I’ve found myself enjoying the earthly tones as well. For special occasions, sassy reds or rich burgundy tones will never go out of style, but in the office grey, plum, brown, muted blues and mossy greens will keep you in vogue this season. On the other hand, the metallic trends in gold, silver and bronze can truly bring your nails to a high shine without being too bright.

There isn’t a woman alive who doesn’t enjoy going out to a salon to get a nice manicure or pedicure. But painting your own nails is not only fun, but also convenient and very affordable! I have experimented with a few mainstream brands over the years, and some of the polishes I recommend are Essie, OPI, Sally Hansen and China Glaze. These nail polishes are long-lasting, affordable, and have great formulas. Nowadays, it is easy to find a healthy selection of polish brands and hues at nearly every store.

Essie Nail Polish (essie.com) has a great website full of tips and manicure ideas. This is the basic advice that Essie gives: “Base coats act as a foundation for nails and will help polish go on smooth and adhere properly; not using one can result in dry, stained nails… A topcoat maintains the high gloss shine of your manicure and adds to its longevity. Apply it every other day to prolong your manicure.”

When using fake nails, always choose a nail shape that works for you by following the shape of your cuticle. I’ve found out that very long nails are hard to maintain and might not look as professional as a set of short, round or squared nails. Personally, I alternate between oval and squared nails; but I’m always making sure I keep them short and neat with the help of a glass nail file. Even if you decide to skip the nail polish, always make sure to keep your hands, nails and cuticles lathered up and moisturized. Moisturizing — particularly essential when colder weather arrives — is the most important step in achieving and maintaining beautiful hands. Balms, lotions, creams and oils will all do the trick. Cuticle oil will keep your fingers in top shape by penetrating and protecting the skin around your nails, while nurturing it; I often carry a small container of a sweet-scented cuticle oil in my purse and make sure I apply it every day.

Getting a beautiful, do-it-yourself manicure is easy if you follow a few basic steps! Which colors will you pick to polish off your look this fall and winter?

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