I receive a lot of email about nail polish. Do you need it? What colors are appropriate for the office? Are acrylics okay for work? So I thought I would address a few nail lacquer-related issues today.
At-Home Manicures. First, let me say that I do my nails myself. Getting a manicure or a pedicure is a nice treat, but it is not something I spend money on regularly. Especially since with just a few tools I can do a decent job at home.
My mani/pedi toolkit includes: an Amope rotating foot file, a manicure kit from Bliss, some Cuticle Erasing Cream and some O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet lotion. Those tools, plus 45-minutes, and I have myself a mani-pedi.
Bare Nails. When life gets busy, the first thing I stop doing is painting my nails. So over the past year, they’ve been bare more often than not. I don’t think this is a problem as long as they’re trimmed, clean and well-groomed.
Short vs. Long. I like my nails on the shorter side. It makes typing and texting much simpler. Plus, I think it gives me the ability to wear bold nail polish colors without overstepping the bounds of what is too much for work.
Acrylics. This is a tough one for me to answer. A decade ago, I wore long acrylic nails, but stopped because the upkeep got to be too much for my wallet. Then, I started reading Johanna Cox’s former blog, and heard her pontificate on the evils of the French Manicure, and I’ve never looked back.
I think a set of shorter acrylic nails is fine for work, but when you get past a certain point, they become inappropriate. I’m also terrified of women who wear them long and filed into points, like at any moment they might go all Wolverine on me.
Lastly, I think some people, especially men, see acrylic nails as a sign of being high maintenance. So they might not be the best thing for a job interview.
Colors. Which colors are appropriate for you to wear depends entirely on where you work. I’ve always been lucky in that none of my bosses ever cared what color I painted my nails, though it’s not like I was walking around with lime green tips with daisies painted on them.
For most offices, I think that sticking to a palette of pinks, reds and purples is a safe bet. If you work in a very professional setting (suits every day, nylons mandatory, etc.), I would not even think about going really dark or choosing something that is a bit out there.
Belle’s Favorites. I don’t find time to paint my nails as often as I would like, but I love (LOVE) nail polish. And I own a lot of it. Boxes full, actually. Here are some of my favorites.
Base Coat and Top Coat: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro, my manicures last one week to 10 days with no chips. Thanks, Deb. For something cheaper, I hear good things about Essence base and top coat ($4 each).
Reds: My favorite poppy-colored red is Essie Lollipop. For classic red, OPI Red. And should I need more of a burgundy, the first polish I fell in love with at age 19 is still my favorite: OPI Bogota Blackberry.
Metallics: Rose gold is so hot right now, and Sinful Colors Cherry Blossom at $2 a bottle is a must. As for pure gold, my favorite color is OPI Glitzerland. And Deborah Lippmann’s Take the A Train is an awesome pewter shade.