Ask the expert: The trending nail colour to try now and how to ace a home manicure

Look down at your hands, what do you see? If your hands and nails are a little worse for wear, and a manicure a distant memory, you’re not alone.  Combine the effects of the tail end of winter weather and copious amounts of hand sanitiser, and it’s fair to say our hands and nails have probably looked better. Not to mention, felt better!

If you’re one of many nail-biters among us (and to be fair with the challenges of recent times it’s understandable) regaining strong shiny tips is an even bigger Everest.

We asked top nail expert, beauty and skin therapist and Sydney salon owner Jocelyn Petroni her advice for how we can revive our own nails and protect their health and strength. As official manicurist for Chanel and head of one of the most sought-after locations – and a celebrity favourite – for skin and nails, Petroni also has a significant sway on the trends for the season. Naturally we needed to know what we should be wearing on our tips and toes right now. 

What are some colour and style trends for nails coming into spring and summer?
It’s all about the nudes this spring as we all adopt a pared back and more natural, polished approach to beauty with the current circumstances. Elevate the naked nail with a statement grey-beige nude like Mavala’s new Biarritz, a serene and calming shade. In stark contrast to nudes, bright, big and positive shades of red and burgundy will also be in favour this spring, a sign of people desperate to have fun and get out.

Mavala Scientifique K+ Nail Hardener; CND Solar Oil; Mavala Nail Colour in Biarritz; Chanel La Crème Main

What products beyond polish are must-haves for getting hands and nails looking their best?

The best way to heal, hydrate and protect your nails is to massage oil directly into your nail bed and cuticles. Olive oil absorbs into the nail bed where its high oleic acid content deeply nourishes and soothes the nail plate and cuticles. I like to massage olive oil into my hands and nails whilst cooking dinner at night. Nails are in top condition when they are strong and flexible, being resistant to minor daily traumas.

The nail is made up of three layers. At the tip, these layers tend to separate, making it the most fragile part of the nail. A nail hardener is a must-have for gaining natural nail strength. I advise my clients to use Mavala’s Scientifique K+ regularly as a penetrating treatment to strengthen the tip of the nail. It binds the three nail plates together and improves the cohesion of the keratin fibres present in the nails, thereby making them more resistant to damage. We use it in salon with our Naked Manicure Treatment and prescribe for at home use to build optimum nail health.

This is a brutal time for hands. Between regular washing and sanitiser use, exposure to water and chemicals strips the hands of their hydrolipidic film, the natural barrier protection. Hand skin is fragile as it contains few sebaceous glands. Regular use of hand cream is essential to restore moisture and soothe damaged hands – my favourite is Chanel’s La Crème Main.

Are there any tools that make at-home manicures easier or offer a better finish?
A manicure only looks as good as the cuticle frame around it. Whilst in the shower and nails are soft and soapy, use your thumb nail to gently push back cuticles. A good nail file is essential to shape nails at home and correct any snags or damage to the nails through daily wear and tear.

For a manicure to really ‘pop’, hand condition is important. Use an at-home mix of sugar OR salt mixed with olive oil to exfoliate hands and follow with hand cream application. Don’t forget to apply SPF to your hands daily.


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A post shared by JOCELYN PETRONI (@jocelynpetroni)

How can we ensure our home nail polish application lasts as long as possible?
Manicure endurance is completely linked to prepping the nail correctly. Any oil residue on the nail will shorten the lifespan of a manicure. Use a soapy cleanser to thoroughly wash oil off the nail beds before a manicure, followed by wiping each nail with acetone polish remover.

What are the worst things your clients can do to their nails in terms of their health?

Biting nails is doing the most damage and in extreme cases, this can be irreparable. Biting interferes with healthy nail growth causing damage to the nail, cuticle and surrounding skin.

In the salon, we regularly treat damaged nails from the overuse of synthetic nail treatments. Long-term use of synthetic nails will weaken them, through chemical exposure and literal suffocation of the nail, which is worsened by picking or peeling them off.

Main images: @jocelynpetroni

Ask the expert: Styling options for your brows that flatter your face

MiNDFOOD PROMOTION in partnership with OFF & ON

Beautiful eyebrows are more in focus than ever thanks to bold and playful eye makeup topping beauty trends for the season, as well as the ongoing use of face masks meaning the area is thrown into stark relief. But where once devotedly following brow trends was a given, we’ve now moved on to embracing – and enhancing – our own natural set, with a few guidelines.

With more than a decade’s experience focusing on hair removal and boosting brows and lashes, the team at OFF & ON’s six salons are dedicated to helping you achieve the most flattering and fitting set for your face with a selection of bespoke services offering the latest techniques. OFF & ON’s head brow trainer Rachel Steadman explains how services like a Brow Shape and Tint, a Brow Lamination or Microblading can easily freshen up your look without looking obvious or overdone.

Brows are more in the spotlight than ever. Why are they so important right now?

Masks are changing the way we look, while also making it a bit trickier to communicate. Never has it been so true that the eyes are the window to the soul and they are now the key focus of our face. Enhancing this feature not only brings out our expression but also creates a more defined and awake look to the eye area.

What are some options for ensuring ours are in great shape?

Now is the time to create your best brow with a shaping treatment or you could step it up by adding a brow colour. Tone, strength and definition come together for the perfect colour. Our custom brow colours are created by our experts who do this day in, day out and truly understand colour, like a hairdresser. You will never be ‘just’ dark brown! Low maintenance would be a simple brow shape every 3-4 weeks. Your brow artist can give you the overall shape that you can then enhance throughout the month with a good brow gel for grooming. Higher maintenance would be creating a pattern of every 3-4 weekly appointments to have a brow lift, brow colour and shape, like our signature OFF & ON Brow Wow, to keep your brow game strong with a full, fluffy-looking brow.

What’s influencing the way we wear our brows now?

Trends come and go but the one that endures is ‘your best brow’. We take into consideration feature size, face shape, brow measurements and our professional opinion to tailor your brow appointment to you. Not trend based or someone else’s brows on you – the most beautiful brow is your most believable one. In saying that, we’re seeing a lot of people asking for a fluffy, lifted brow at the moment, which our new Brow Lift treatment is designed to achieve.

What does a brow lift involve?

We love a brow lift! Also sometimes referred to as brow lamination, it works by resetting the brows into a straighter, more uniform position to allow more flexibility in styling your brows. It’s a popular treatment right now as it creates a fuller, fluffy-looking brow. Despite not being hard-and-fast followers of trends, this is one that we hope is here to stay!

What’s the difference between a brow tint and henna brows?

Brow tints come in a wide colour range and we can tailor the colour very specifically to the client’s complexion. It lasts up to four weeks and results in a subtle brow colour, great for tinting newbies. Henna on the other hand acts like a blanket over the hair, great for stubborn hairs that don’t grab colour and has the added benefit of giving the appearance of a thicker brow. Henna is amazing for helping problem brows as it has a strong staining power on the skin and the colour can last up to six weeks.

What’s the best approach for someone who has sparse or overplucked brows?

Brow colour will help pick up even the fine fluffy hairs and really fill the brow out nicely. If this isn’t quite enough, we offer a free microblading consultation to come and talk to one of our experts about what the next step looks like. Microblading is a semi-permanent technique akin to microfine tattooed hair strokes used to create the illusion of fuller brows.

How do brows naturally change as we age and how can we minimise these changes?

As we get older, our brows get sparser, thinner and lose their colour. We can minimise this by having a regular brow tint or henna that will help fill out the brow but also add depth and colour back in. Microblading is also a great option for those who feel that they want to bring back the look of more fullness to sparse brows.

What’s the best approach to styling brows at home?

Everyone needs brow gel, whether coloured or clear, to groom and hold the brows in place. Depending on the look you are wanting to achieve, a skinny pencil will create that feathery or fluffy brow, whereas brow powder is buildable and great for filling in larger areas or creating an ombré look. When choosing shades, staying close to your natural brow colour or one shade darker is key to add some attention to your brows, or match it up to the root colour of your hair.

.Visit to find out more about the range of brow, appearance and hair removal options at OFF & ON’s six locations in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.