Whether you have your nails done professionally or prefer to do them while watching an hour of reality television, we have picked some of our favorites to recommend to you for perfectly polished nails. As always, polishes in reds are always in season when it comes to the holidays, but we are fortunate enough to have experienced the trend of jewel-toned tips in shades like rich, bold navy blues and emerald greens.
Tips for Nails:
- File down nails (preferrably with a glass file to minimize tearing and splitting) to even them out relative to each other. Sometimes if I break a nail, I may keep that one short but keep the rest even with each other. In general, I try to keep them all in line, in terms of length and shape, with each other.
- Find the shape that suits your hand. I go for the “squoval” or a squarish oval.
- Take care of cuticles by using a product like Creative’s Cuticle Eraser (I always keep a couple on hand and stash them around the house: by my desk, on my nightstand, and on the bookshelf near the couch).
- Wash hands thoroughly before beginning the process of applying polish. Any dirt, grime, or lotions will make it harder for the polish coats to adhere to the nail base.
- Find a good top, base, and fast dry coat to use. I love Zoya’s ColorLock system because it comes with everything you need, and I’ve been using it for weeks now with amazing results. I have also had good results using Creative’s Stickey base and Seche Vite’s Fast Drying Top Coat.
- I prefer a top coat or dry coat that quickly dries my polish–enough at least–that I can resume some activity. Remember, nail polish doesn’t set immediately, even with a dry coat; usually the polish is fully set an hour later. Ensure that you don’t get texturized by your bed sheets by applying polish well before bed time!
- By applying a base coat (which anchors the polish better) and a top coat (protects the color, prevents chips), you automatically increase the wearing time of your manicure.
- Buy your salon favorites at online retailers like 8ty8 Beauty, Head2Toe Beauty, & TransDesign, rather than in drugstores. If you buy enough, you will not only offset shipping, but save money, too (and who doesn’t LOVE to do that?).
Now that you know how to make the most of your polish, here are some great shades to help you mix and match and coordinate with your holiday pieces this year.
China Glaze’s Heart of Africa is a superb mix of raspberry and ruby reds; it shimmers subtly, and we love it as a modification of traditional reds at holiday time.
China Glaze’s Ruby Pumps is a most gorgeous shade of red with berry undertones with lots of festive red glitter for the holidays. Just make sure you have a good polish remover for this one!
Essie’s Who’s She Red is a lovely creme bright red; surprisingly it isn’t as daunting as one might think, it is really quite complimenting.
China Glaze’s Up All Night is a gorgeous shimmering rich navy blue that is so in right now.
OPI’s Russian Navy is one of the “it” polishes of the season. It really is not to be missed, as it is almost duochrome in sheen.
OPI’s Jewel of India is a lovely, iridescent shade of raspberry with fuchsia-purple reflection.
Essie’s Showstopper is yet another amazing variation of the red holiday nail (this is part of their Winter ’07 collection!); more subdued than a typical creme red, but it still has plenty of punch with fine, shimmery red glitter and a mauvey-raspberry-red hue.
China Glaze’s Black Diamond is my pick for a gunmetal gray polish, which is always a great dramatic nail choice. I found that this one gives me the exact color I want, but it isn’t so shimmery that it shows brush strokes in the end like some other polishes do (that are more metallic).