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