For many women a manicure means excusing oneself from housework for a week. In fact, I have written notes to many husbands throughout my career pardoning their recently manicured wives from daily chores.
It is believed that the Chinese were the first to create colour nail lacquer in 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians used henna to colour their nails and the tips of their fingers – nail colouring reflected social order.
Funnily enough, automobile paint inspired the creation of nail enamels as we know them today. This occurred around 1920. As we move into 2010 we have an opulent colour palette at hand. Every colour in the spectrum is available from subdued nudes and orange corals to vivid purples.
Whether you love dramatic or earthy tones it is important to choose according to your skin tone. Think of it as you would when selecting items for your wardrobe. Some colours flatter, others not. As a general rule if you have:
Fair skin go for red, light medium purple and hot pink.
Medium skin go for orange and raspberry pink, metallic blue and silver
Dark skin go for burgundy, gold shades, deep green and red.
The biggest trend coming up in autumn is matte. Any shade you currently have stored for winter will re-emerge minus the gloss.
Here are a few tips to ensure your nail colour lasts the distance:
1 Squeak the nails. Wipe nail polish remover on lint free cotton over the nail before you begin with polish. This will guarantee the nail plate is free of oil therefore allowing the polish to be more durable.
2 Always apply a base coat – just one thin layer. Allow it to dry before applying colour.
3 Apply two thin layers of the coloured nail polish. Generally the three-stroke rule is best. Sides first then the centre, although some polishes are best when worked onto the nail.
Another tip is to sweep polish across the free edge (the tip of the nail) this will wrap the colour from the top to underneath helping to prevent the polish from peeling. Allow the lacquer to dry in between coats.
4 Apply one thin layer of top coat. For UV protection and to enhance a high gloss finish.
5 Wipe the top of each bottle with nail polish remover on lint free cotton as you finish. You may need a friend to help you with this to avoid damaging your hard work. This maintains your polish and prevents them from becoming impossible to open.
6 Store your nail products in a cool, dark place. The refrigerator works well.
7 Avoid doing the dishes!
An application of nail colour is a simple way of updating your look. We no longer have restrictions in matching hands and feet or sticking to our social rank, so go with your instincts and have some fun experimenting with new looks.