The nail trend du jour has us asking is she or isn’t she – wearing nail polish, that is! These days, nails that are perfectly understated and subdued are the cool-girl nail color of choice. While, in theory, we know this should be the easiest manicure to sport, in practice, that isn’t exactly the case. Before we dared to bare this look, we reached out to nail guru, celebrity manicurist and founder of her eponymous nail brand Deborah Lippmann, for some advice. After all, the last thing a girl wants is to look ungroomed with ragged cuticles or yellowing nail beds.
Beauty Banter: What are the secrets to well-groomed nails?
Deborah Lippmann: Hydrating daily is key! Keep a hand lotion that hydrates and protects your skin, like deborah lippmann Rich Girl Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Hand Cream ($25), at every sink in your home, at your office desk, and in your purse. Weekly cuticle treatment is also essential. Apply an exfoliating cuticle treatment, like deborah lippmann Cuticle Remover ($20), and push back gently. Finish by applying a drop of deborah lippmann Cuticle Oil ($20) at the base of each nail and massaging the area with deborah lippmann The Cure ($24).
BB: Are there any extra steps that should be taken if rocking a bare nail versus a standard mani?
DL: You have to be groomed to perfection. Whether applying polish or not, I recommend everyone follow the nail care steps outlined in my 5-Step Manicure:
STEP 1 – CLEANSE: For fast, effortless polish removal, use The Stripper To Go ($12).
STEP 2 – SHAPE: Shape your nail so it mirrors your cuticle and elongates your fingers.
STEP 3 – EXFOLIATE: To create a beautiful buff, use the Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer ($12). Side 1 works to smooth away dullness, Side 2 buffs away ridges and Side 3 smooths the nail. Stop here when prepping for polish. If opting for a natural buffed look, finish with side 4 to reveal an unbelievable shine.
STEP 4 – TREAT: One of the most important steps, treatment softens and hydrates the nails and cuticles. Follow the same cuticle steps outlined in the previous question.
BB: If someone is not totally comfortable skipping nail polish, what are your favorite nudes to achieve this look?
DL: If you feel your nails need a little time off from polish but are wary of going absolutely bare, you have options! All About That Base CC Base Coat ($20) uses 10 powerful ingredients to fill ridges, correct discoloration, strengthen, and moisturize nails. It leaves a slightly nude matte finish so it’s perfect to be worn alone and still be part of this naked nail trend. Damaged nails should consider my Genie In a Bottle Illuminating Nail Tone Perfector ($20), which uses violet pigments to neutralize dull, stained or yellow nails, leaving them looking younger and healthier. For a more traditional polish, I love my shade “Naked” ($18). It was formulated to be a clean color that works for any skin tone, and it’s not too beige or too yellow, which makes it looks sheer to your nail color.
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-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Call us basic all you want, but we love the chunky knits, booties, and pumpkin-flavored everything that come with fall. One of the best parts, hands down (and no pun intended), is darker nail colors. By the time October hits, we’re a bit tired of punchy corals and milky blue shades for our talons. After countless fashion week manicures, Jan Arnold, co-founder and Style Director of CND, has a strong grasp on what’s hot for nails this autumn. Here are her thoughts:
Beauty Banter: What are the top nail trends you are seeing for Fall 2015?
Jan Arnold: Fall 2015 is all about textures and tones that clash and complement! We’ll see chains, studs, embellishments, and unexpected patterns on enhanced almond shapes.
BB: What are your must-have colors for the season?
JA: CND’s Fall 2015 Contradictions collection is all about turning up the contrast! This season’s trends celebrate an unexpected clash between gritty street elements and elegant details for a dynamic combination of glamour and grunge. Nails evoke an edgy narrative with blackened pigments and heraldic ornaments.
BB: Do you think nail art is “over?”
JA: Absolutely not – nails are the ultimate fashion accessory! We all have 10 tiny canvases at the tips of our fingers (and 10 more with toes!), and there are no limitations to the colors and styles we can create to support our personal style. Nails will forever be a coveted fashion element that allow women to express themselves.
BB: What are your top products to keep nails looking their best as the weather changes?
JA: During the colder months when air is drier and skin is more vulnerable, it’s especially important to keep nails and the surrounding skin well-conditioned. I recommend CND Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Conditioner ($8) to keep cuticles polished and looking healthy. I also recommend CND RescueRXx Daily Keratin Treatment ($20) to repair damaged and weakened nails.
Following Jan’s advice, here are our favorite colors for the season:
1. CND Grommet ($11)–deep pewter.
2. CND Poison Plum ($11)–glossy and glittery deep purple.
3. Formula X Acclaimed ($11)–nude crème.
4. Deborah Lippman Miss Independent ($18)–a berry wine that you’ll want to drink right up.
5. Treat Collection Mixed Message ($18)– khaki green with gold metallic.
6. Smith & Cult Kings & Thieves ($18)– inky dark blue.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Rising temperatures bring many benefits: Rosé, bikinis, short shorts, shirtless boys, and open-toed shoes. But when you show your toes to the world, your pedicure has to be on point. And, of course, it doesn’t just stop there. Your hands have to look just as good, if not better, to coordinate. Luckily, Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist and founder of the eponymous nail line, gives us the lowdown on all things nails for summer 2015.
BB: What nail trends are you predicting for summer?
DL: This season, I think our interpretation of what is classically a neutral or nude is broadening. We are utilizing color differently for the nails; wearing shades that are a bit muddier and playing with finishes. While fashion has embraced nudes and neutrals for some time, I think the customer is finally ready to see these colors as part of their nail color wheel.
BB: What are your top color picks for the season?
DL: I think beautiful, opaque pastels are going to be a big trend, especially for spring. The soft, light colors are very refreshing! Nudes in general have become more fashion-forward and modern. With my new Whisper (Spring 2015) and Painted Desert (Summer 2015) collections, I’ve enhanced the traditional nude by pushing the boundaries of the category through the introduction of new shades, including sheer pinks, dusty mauves, blue-greys, and camel/khaki browns.
BB: Do you have a preference on what colors go on fingernails versus toenails? Any tips for coordinating?
DL: Create the look that suits you! Matching your fingers and toes certainly isn’t a must – but it is trending a bit more. For me, it’s more about the look in relation to everything else you are wearing. If you have really strong makeup on the eye and lip, I would match fingers and toes. Just like the two out of three rule with jewelry!
Following Deborah’s advice, here are our top color picks for the season:
1. Deborah Lippmann Shifting Sands ($18) – Full-coverage nude that flatters multiple skin tones.
2. Victoria, Victoria Beckham for nails inc. London Bamboo White ($25) – If Victoria Beckham endorses delicate bone for talons, we do too.
3. Jin Soon Tulle ($18) – A light, creamy pink that dries with a major high-gloss finish.
4. Essie First Timer ($8.50) – A bit of a bolder pastel that is perfect for a summer pedicure with a bit of tan (fake, please!).
5. Deborah Lippmann Misty Morning ($18) – A unique sheer blue, proving that neutrals don’t have to be pink or tan.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
It’s hard to forget ‘90s cult brand Hard Candy. Their edgy, unexpected nail polish shades were adored by teenagers – and loathed by moms – everywhere. Unlike their more demure counterparts, Hard Candy specialized in nontraditional colors and uber glitter formulas. Their popularity is due, in part, to marketing: Hard Candy was the definitive rock ‘n roll polish choice. And if you were lucky enough to score a bottle, you too, would be considered a bad ass rocker chick. It’s safe to assume that the brand was behind many schools, including mine, banning outrageous polish hues in their dress codes. We would be remiss not to mention the completely awesome ring that came on every bottle, despite never really being the right size. But somehow it felt like a two-for-oner. Buy the lacquer, get the ring for free.
Hard Candy seemingly disappeared in the early 2000s (RIP), but was brought back in 2009 by Walmart. Unfortunately, the second generation left much to be desired, so here are our current favorite polishes to fill that deep Hard Candy void:
The founder of Hard Candy recently launched new lacquer brand Smith & Cult ($18). The line features staples as well as unexpected colors, and can we discuss that packaging? Ogle-inducing, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from these ladies.
Confession: I have a weird obsession with sheer nail colors. I just love the clean, simple look that they give my nails. Lately, I’ve been rotating between these four perfectly sheer colors from the Deborah Lippman Whisper Collection ($18 each).
To be honest, I first tried ella+mila polish ($11) solely because of the logo; I absolutely adore elephants. I was pleasantly surprised by both the wear and shine of the brand. Even better, they are 5-free, meaning made without commonly used toluene, DBP, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor, so healthy for my nails and the environment!
If you want the richest, brightest, and most opaque colors on the market, look no further than JINsoon ($18). The polishes are so shiny you may consider skipping a topcoat. All JINsoon products are 5-free as well.
As a recovering gel-mani addict, I was thrilled when CND came out with Vinylux Weekly Polish ($11). As long as you use it with the suggested Vinylux Top Coat, you’ll truly get a full seven days of wear.
Tip: keep your cuticles moisturized to prevent premature peeling of nail polish. I’ve been favoring Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Cream ($17) layered under m-61 Vitablast Vitamin C&E Hand Cream ($19) to keep my hands and nails healthy during these dreaded winter months.
Casey Sharbaugh currently resides in New York City and works in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey spinning, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone. Find her on Twitter at @caseyhshar
When it comes to nail art, anything goes. And as Candice Romanelli proves, everything can serve as inspiration – from her daughter’s Doc Martin’s to a disco ball. The art director and mother of two explains that nail art, for her, is a creative means of expression. “I just had my second kid and I needed some sort of different creative outlet. I did my first crazy manicure and became instantly obsessed. From there on, it was game over,” says Candice who has rocked some of the most intricate and awesome nails that I have ever seen… ever.
I asked Candice to choose her 10 favorite nail designs to date and explain the inspiration behind each of the looks. In the slideshow above you’ll find the art and, below, the details. Prepare to be inspired (or, at the very least, awed).
1. Silver Metallic Nails – These were my New Year’s Eve nails. I wanted to go crazy with the bling and glitter, to resemble a disco ball, but in a more chic and fun way. They actually used different studs in different shapes and sizes, rhinestones in various sizes, and the base was silver glitter on the tip that faded down to the nail. These nails took over three hours to do!
2. Flower Nail – The idea for these nails came from these amazing Doc Martin boots that I bought for my two-year old. They were black with yellow and pink flowers. Being an art director, I had a vision of how they would look on my nails. I wanted the manicurist to place the flowers all around the borders of my nail. When she was done and I had a final look at my nails, I decided I wanted to do a matte finish. I am OBSESSED with matte finished nails because they look like the actual texture of your nail which, in my opinion, is fantastic.
3. Black Sheer Polkadots – Last fall I fell in love with all of the Saint Laurent clothing that had sheer black with polka-dot cut outs in them. Super sexy and sleek. That was my inspiration for these nails.
4. Black with Gold Studs – I always make my next appointments for my nails as I am paying for the ones I just had done. It gives me 3 weeks to think about what to do. This time that I went, I really didnt know what I was in the mood for. I was wearing a pair of booties that were suede black with gold studs and I just looked down and thought, this is what I’m going to do this week. They say you usually match your nails to what you’re wearing and that’s literally what I did.
5. Red Leopard – Who doesnt love leopard print? I’m obsessed! I’ve done leopard that was nude with black before but this time around I wanted to do bright red for a pop of fun. The manicurist spent two hours hand painting each spot on and if I didnt like the way it looked I had her redo it (sadly, I’m not joking).
6. DRx Nails – These nails were inspired by my husband’s brand. It’s called DR Romanelli so i went with the whole pill vibe. The scissors on the thumb are part of his logo and the red and cream colored pills were symbolic of his collaboration with Coca-Cola. I did these nails for the launch of that collaboration.
7. The Black with Matte Tips – After going crazy with my DRx nails, I felt that I needed something simple. This nail was my first time using the matte finish and we used it as a V french tip. These are one of my favorite nails that I’ve done; super simple with an edge.
8. Ombre White Matte – Spring was in the air and I was all about the ombre nail. We were going to Mexico and I wanted to do a clean, beachy nail so I thought I would try this. I love how the nail fades to natural so when your nails grow out, it’s not as obvious. To make this ombre a little different, I went for my favorite matte finish.
9. Pink Ombre Fade with Polka Dots – After doing the black polka dot nails, I fell in love with polka dots. So, this past summer I went with a pink nail with an ombre fade and put dots on top. This was a fun design and took me out of my neutral comfort zone.
10. Glitter is Everything Nail – I LOVED these nails. I knew I wanted to do an all-glitter nail, but I wanted it to standout; something that resembled a quartz crystal stone. I went to Michael’s [art store] and bought all kinds of glitter in the same tones. The super chunky glitter makes this nail standout more than just a regular rockstar glitter nail. It gave it texture and definitely took it up a notch.
*Candice’s go-to nail salon is ES Nails on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
Celebrity manicurist Lisa Jachno has worked with everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Julia Roberts. Her most recent credit, Miley Cyrus’ W Magazine cover, illustrates one of the season’s biggest nail trends: the pointed finger. We asked Lisa for her red carpet predictions, the lacquers to love right now, and the truth about the pointed tip.
Beauty Banter: What is the red carpet nail trend this year?
Lisa Jachno: We’ve seen a lot of vamp and nude nails the past few red carpets. For Oscars you can expect to see a lot of solid nails so nothing takes away from the dress. The Oscars are one of the most elegant affairs, and the women want to enhance the beauty of their dress by having classic beautiful manis. I expect to see a pop of color in reds and corals, playing on the warm weather and the coming of Spring. I’m sure there will be a good share of dark nails also, either in tones of red, purples or blues. The dark tones add a softness compared to a standard black nail. I can’t wait to see round nails which takes us back to old Hollywood. Hollywood is taking a refreshing break from nail art at the moment, and coming back to basics to show of the dresses. Dont forget, classics are “classic” for a reason.
BB: Who wears this trend well?
LJ: A-listers of course! Any hollywood star can wear a simple nail and make it look timeless and elegant. Its all about the confidence and elegance. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Sophia Vergara….
BB: Matching your tips to your dress – fierce or faux pas?
LJ: Cute when it is an appropriate color. At an event like the Oscars for example, I wouldn’t recommend matching your nail with your bright teal dress. If it is in a classic color tone, red, navy, white, grey that would make for a beautiful finish on the overall look. If you are wearing a unique bright color, stick to a nude nail.
BB: Explain the pointy nail trend? Is this something that will carry into Spring?
LJ: Pointy nails are fun and fresh- Miley Cyrus’s W Cover showed them off perfectly. They are a blast from the past, but work amazingly. if your wanting an extension of your fingers, the pointy nail is perfect. It makes almost any hand appear to be long and graceful. This trend will definitely roll into Spring. The difference is it wont include as much nail art. Round nails in solid colored manis or fun french tips. Expect this trend to stay for awhile.
BB: For a red carpet event, how do you prep the nails?
LJ: Its most important to have the nails last, that means proper prep. To prep, I file nails making sure edges are smooth and no snags can happen. After filing with nail file, I use a wet metal file to gently smooth the edge, push back and trim the cuticles. After that is done, I like to give them a long massage. The message helps relax the client, and gets the blood flow through the hand, making the hand look plump and beautiful. After the massage the MOST important step to prepping the nail is washing off all lotion and residue from cuticle remover from the nail. It’s important to use soap and water and a small brush to scrub the nail beds. You should then spray alcohol or nail cleanser to completely clean nail. Now they are ready for polish.
Remember this amazing DIY nail art post? Well, we’ve once again enlisted nail junkie, Keri Blair to give us another one of her fabulous manicure tutorials. Says Kerri, “Summer is all about fun bright prints! This manicure is the perfect accessory for a fun night out on the town or for sitting poolside. The great thing about an animal print is that it’s always on trend. By using pops of pink and orange the result is a trendy twist to a fashionable classic.”
Cheetah Print Manicure
What You’ll Need:
Small liner brush
Piece of foil
3-4 polishes (one needs to be black)
1. Prep, file and shape the nail.
2. Apply your favorite base coat.
3. Apply two coats of your base color. M·A·C Nail Lacquer in Quiet Time was featured here. Let it dry completely. (PRO Tip: use an angled brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up the cuticle area. Try M·A·C’s 266 Small Angled Brush. )
4. Place a few drops of polish on the foil. Using your dotting tool (you can also use a dull pencil or a bobby pin), create small, odd shaped dots in various places on the nail. M·A·C Nail Lacquer in Steamy and Morange are featured here.
5. Place a few drops of black polish onto the foil. Use a small paintbrush or eye liner brush to add black “C” shapes around your dots. You can also add a few arbitrary black spots in between your cheetah spots. M·A·C Nail Lacquer in Nocturnelle was featured here.
6. Seal your design with M·A·C’s Overlaquer topcoat.
*images courtesy of Keri Blair. Check out her nail blog, here.
Clinique is making a comeback with their newest nail polish line, A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins, and we’re ecstatic! What I’ve always loved about Clinique is their commitment to makeup that is allergy tested and 100% fragrance free, for those of us who have naturally sensitive skin and, in this case, sensitive eyes too. Their new nail enamel is no different, taking three years to research and develop a formula that both Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists have deemed appropriate for sensitive skin and eyes.
What better way to test their revolutionary formula than with an at-home mani and a glass of vino! Their Summer 2013 Limited Edition Collection of nine shades are fun and flirty, with names like Pinkini, Hot Date, and Hula Skirt. The polish applies easily and effortlessly, and is incredibly smooth. Though I applied two coats of color, over my base coat, I could have gotten away with one – especially good for those early mornings before work! After applying my top coat, I was curious to know how long drying would take…so I timed myself. After ten minutes, my tips were good to go. Though, truthfully, one should always be careful of impressions, I’m still quite happy that I’ve found an on-the-go polish that applies and dries as quickly as Clinique does. Now the real test! After leaving my manicure on for a total of twelve days before removing and applying a new shade, my nails didn’t chip, nor did my eyes experience any irritation. Love. LOVE!
Other shades from their Summer 2013 Limited Edition Collection include: Juiced Up, Strappy Sandals, and Grape Ice. If Summer could be defined by any one polish collection, this would be it! Clearly, I’m a fan. Happy Summer.
–written by Sara Ng