Before all else, a manicure lover dreams of their fashion statement. Is yours the French manicure? Depending on who you ask, this pale pink polish with a white tip is either classic or old-fashioned. If you love the look, you’ll be happy to know that it makes nails look longer. And pale shades are just right for serious moments, like a job interview.
Maybe your crazy hobbies wreck your nails. A gel or shellac manicure may give you two to three weeks of shiny, chip-free nails. Both types require several layers of polish that need curing under a special lamp. And you probably need to pay a pro to remove these tough polishes. But fuss-free nails may be worth the price.
Will cherry red polish make you look vampire-pale or sizzling hot? The answer is in your skin tone. For skin with blue undertones, choose pinkish nudes, deep violet, fuchsia, or that cherry red. For olive or yellow undertones, pick beige or white nudes, chocolates, and corals. Test new shades on a piece of clear tape stuck to a nail.
Should your nails be short and square or long and pointy? You can play it safe with an oval shape, which flatters most hands. If you want to soften your look, try a round shape. Square nails look best on long fingers. A “squoval” looks like a square, but has rounded corners. A point is more daring and makes your fingers seem longer.
Shimmery or pearly nail polishes may last longer than matte ones. And a neutral color — pale pink or a pretty cream — makes nicks and dents less obvious. To touch up your nails at home, use an extra layer of top coat (instead of any old clear nail polish). Two thin coats are less likely to chip than one thick layer.
Dehydrated nails are more likely to break and split, while moisture-starved cuticles can become ragged, leading to those unsightly pieces of dead skin called hangnails.
The most efficient way to nourish parched nail beds and cuticles is with nightly use of a cuticle oil. Keep a tube on your bedside table, suggests Weinstein, and apply a couple of drops around each nail, massaging into the cuticle. This simple step will help your manicure last longer, since brittle nails chip more easily.