As the calendar clocked over to September 1, I realised two things.
I only have three months left to realise my New Year’s Resolution of making Daniel Craig fall madly in love with me.
And it is finally, joyously, officially, wonderfully, spring.
Which means, in no particular order, it’s time to; find where my legs went underneath their winter forest, slep off the layers of dead skin that will no doubt greet me now that I can once again bare my arms, come up with a new excuse not to go for a run (too warm?) and get colourful.
The former is going to take some time, but by far the easiest – and cheapest – way to inject some spring into your step is to lash your nails with colour.
Now nudes might do it for some ladies – and there are some occasions which do call for a subdued phalange – but while I am chained to my keyboard, nothing makes me smile more than a bright pink fingertip that matches the frangipanis opening in my backyard.
Forget summer – spring is the boldest of the seasons. It falls to spring to shake off the fatigue that winter brings, to encourage that restlessness into action, to turn our streets, parks and gardens into riots of colour and life.
Orangey-reds, flamingo pinks, blues that mirror the sky above the Byron Bay lighthouse – these are the colours of jasmine scented nights and daisy filled days.
So, while Mr Craig remains blissfully unaware of my existence, adding a little spring into my life is as simple as one, two, three. Here are my 3 steps to fun nail colours for spring.
Pick a colour. The basic rule of thumb is to stick to what you know suits you – and amplify it. If you are just delving into the world of colour, or have only begun experimenting with your wardrobe, start with the basics – warm vs cool. If your complexion is warm, then go for warmer undertones – oranges, golden yellows and magenta pinks. If you are a cool, then you should start with cooler undertones – blue reds and brights.
But – and there is always a but, because there are always exceptions to the rules – don’t rule out an entire colour group because you think one shade doesn’t suit you. If coral didn’t do it for you, that doesn’t mean a peach or apricot will look the same. Remember – it is just your nails here. If you are really hesitant, start with your toes and then move up.
Prepare. Our fingers and tootsies really bare the brunt of our lifestyle choices – so the least you can do is pamper them a little. So if you are near a beach (lucky you) go scrub some wet sand over your hands and feet. If you’re not, then you are going to have to do it the old fashioned way – a warm water soak, peppermint oil and a pumice-stone rub down. The Body Shop make an excellent foot exfoliant. And for hands, I haven’t been able to go past Soap and Glory Hand Food. I promise you, you won’t want to use anything else.
I’m not a fan of cutting cuticles – they are there to stop nasties from getting in, and well, I’m all for a good offence being the best defence. But that’s not to say I like them to grow wild. I find a swipe of Lucas Papaw or Lanolips 101 ointment along the cuticle is all they need to nudge them back where they belong. As for nail length, short is best when it comes to colour. Rounded or square is up to you – I like rounded for a vintage look (Betty Draper is my spirit animal) but neat and short is a must. Best of all – short nails are harder to chip, meaning you can bang away at the keyboard, the housework, or the gym with abandon.
Paint. A base coat is a must. A MUST. I have one rule here, people, and applying a base coat is it. If your nails are a little weak, choose a strengthener – I like Revitanail Nail Strengthener. Let that dry, then add a base coat. With a healthy dose of your chosen polish, paint a line down the middle of your nail and then fan the colour out. Let one hand dry before you start on the next. Then apply a second coat.
And finally, finish it off with a top coat. Make sure you allow each coat to dry before starting on the next. If you are not so great at staying in the lines, I find a little bit of whatever cuticle cream you chose on the side of each nail makes removing that pesky polish a little easier. But I often cheat by washing my hands once my nails are completely dry – a good quality polish will usually come off skin with only a little bit of encouragement under soap and water.
And then – voila! Spring at your finger tips. Have fun with it – mix up your colours, don’t be afraid to experiment and try shades you never thought you’d see in your wardrobe. If it doesn’t work, the solution is only a swipe of polish remover away.
1. OPI Suzi’s Hungary Again! $19.95 | 2. Essie Avenue Maintain $16.95 | 3. Colour by TBN Hot for Yellow $2.50 | 4. Butter London Artful Dodger $22 | 5. Kit Cosmetics Shine On $15.95 | 6. OPI My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours! $19.95 | 7. Essie Madison Ave-Hue $16.95 | 8. Kit Cosmetics High Impact $15.95 | 9. Butter London Squatter $22 | 10. Colour by TBN Rain on my Parade $2.50
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a New Year’s resolution to work on …
Editor’s note: The author, Amy, and I used to hang out in the same office. I loved she got as excited by any new makeup arrival as I did. Back then she was a police rounds reporter. Now she loves nothing more than a good political yarn. Off duty, she’s a closet beauty queen, so much so the staff at Mecca Maxima know her by her first name. I endorse that kind of retail relationship.
Main photo credit: OPI walked the New York Fashion Week runway with Houghton, where models wore pale pink lacquer I Theodora You on fingers and toes. This soft pastel pink complemented soft abstract patterns, flowing dresses and brocade detailing on clothes.