Summer’s trend for overloading jewellery has an impact on your make-up. If you’re going to wear a ton of rings, having bright red nails as well might be overkill (for daytime at least): at Dries Van Noten, clear, conditioned nails meant that the chunky costume jewellery did the talking.
It’s easy to think of so-called “nude” polishes as a bit boring (the meaning of nude obviously varies according to skintone) but, as with skin, there’s nothing like a polished natural-looking canvas. Find a nail colour that perfectly matches your skin tone, whether that’s cool marble white, latte or rich espresso: it makes your fingers look longer and somehow more elegant. Chanel’s Afterglow is my favourite nude of the season – the acid test is whether you’d want to live in a room painted the same colour, and we could definitely live with this beautifully muted beige that has a hint of gold and lilac too. Definitely not boring.
Like a blowdry, a manicure adds polish to your look in every sense. My colleague Síomha has mastered the art of the perfect nail: “I wear nudes, always using a base and top coat when applying. My favourites are Essie’s Sand Tropez and Essence Dare it Nude (under €2 in Penneys).”
On the other hand – so to speak – we also spotted lots of inky black nails on the catwalks, standing out against cool fresh skin at both Tom Ford and Philip Plein. Not what you’d predict for summer, perhaps, but great as an edgy accent against cool beige tones – a hint of gothic chic.
For a classic, straightforwardly glamorous approach, wear a nail colour that perfectly matches your lipstick, as seen at Rylan Lo; if you’re going bright red, try shorter nails – less Dynasty, more Fleabag.
Dark or dramatic colours can play havoc: remove the gold glitter and you’re often left with dry, breaking nails. Use an oil: anything with vitamin E or vitamin A will help. Nail expert Marian Newman always has CND Solar Oil (€14.95) in her core kit. A pen/brush version is handy to use, and you’re more likely to use it, even on the bus: Mavala, L’Occitane and Dr Hauschka all do good ones.
The next big thing
The upcoming trend? White nails. Sophisticated formulas mean that white polish no longer looks like you Tippex-ed your nails – and they’re not watery, either. Other trends for autumn include glitter – Rodarte’s sparkle in Dorothy’s slippers red is what we aspire to. And in line with the beige mood in fashion and interiors, creamy coffee nails are always chic. YSL La Laque Couture, €26.
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