15 Tips for a Perfect Manicure

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French Manicures: Hot or Not?

Before all else, a manicure lover dreams of her 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.

Gel and Shellac Can Take a Beating

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.

Do a Skin Check for Sizzling Color

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.

Let Nail Shape Flatter Your Hand

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.

Pearly Pinks Look Good 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.

How to Go Blue or Bold

Blue, green, yellow and other bold colors are ever more popular.  Keep these fun fashion statements neat and freshly polished, so your bold color is the main attraction. You also may want a fresh manicure a little sooner than with a quiet color.  It’s easier to see where your nails have grown, revealing their natural color at the base.

Fake Nails Are an Artful Cover-up

Nail extensions can hide weak, damaged, or broken fingernails. But you have to go to the salon often to keep them looking good. And they may damage your real nails even more. Wet, loose, or chipped acrylic nails can trap moisture and give you an infection. Go completely fake-free once in a while to keep your nails healthy.

Nail Art

When plain colors are simply too plain, tiny stick-on jewels and painted designs can jazz up your look. Some newer trends:  crackle finishes (like old paint), colored tips, and dragging magnets through wet metallic polish for squiggly designs. A “moon manicure” has a pale semicircle at the nail base and the rest is polished in another color.

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