Tag: manicure

21
Nov

Flattering nail shapes: something to consider.

I know what you’re thinking, “But I love Pizza Shapes so much, why would I switch to Flattering Nail flavour??”

Ha ha ha, I’m joking, obviously. We all know BBQ is the best flavour.

But seriously, flattering nail shapes, let’s get serious about them, for serious. Because depending on the way you shape and file your nails, your fingers can look long and elegant, or they can appear stubby and short and less lovely than you or I can probably handle. Of course, it’s entirely down to personal preference, some just really love the look of long, square nails, or short natural nails, or long terrifying talons, in the case of Rihanna.

But most experts agree that the most flattering nail shape for your finger will be one that closely mirrors the white (usually crescent shape) line at the bottom of on your nail bed, called the Lunula. If the Lunula  is curved, you’d probably best suit an oval or rounded shape. If it’s more flat across, try a clean squared shape, or even squoval (square strong sides, with rounded corners). Have a look now, go on. I can wait.

 

Oval_Lunula

Oval Lunula

 

Straight_Lunula
Flat or square Lunula

Mine? Slightly oval. Not fully oval, as in the image above, but definitely not square, or round.

Because of this, I’ve stopped asking for short, square nails, even when I opt for very dark varnish colours. Keeping them a touch longer, (not too long, just long enough to be able to create a subtle oval shape) looks a far more alluring on my fingers, seemingly elongating the fingers, and making me look like more of a Grown Up Lady than I deserve to.The  stubby, stocky look that used to result when I kept them short and square, is no more.

Keen listeners  to this station will point out that for years I have said: “If you wear dark nail varnish, be sure to keep your nails neat and short.” And now I seem to be going against my own advice.

It happens sometimes, generally when I learn a newer, better way of doing things.

But as you can see from my current nail situation (OPI Mamma Mia), with a longer, oval-esque nail shape, this is not about long, scratchy talons. It’s just about a bit more shape, and a whisper more length. KILOMETRES more flattering than short and square on my hands.

Photo on 19-11-13 at 2.43 PM

As a basic guide, here are the common nail shapes we tend to go for.

Maybe try a new one next time you have your nails done, or keep a bit more length, or remove some length, or just, I don’t know, stick postage stamps on them for something different.

Nailshapes

 

 

 

Responses to this drivel: 17 Comments
13
Aug

Nail art is dead! All hail nude nails. Here’s how, and which shade is right for you.

Nail art was never going to last, we all knew that.

Oh COME ON, how many pictures of scrunched up claw hands with ombre polish or newspaper prints or American flags or godamn Nintendo characters must we be reduced to on Instagram before we decide enough is enough? Yeah I’ve done it, shoosh. But I don’t do it anymore. It’s not special or exciting or unique if we’re all doing is doing it, is it?  This is an industry of swift trends and what’s fun and enchanting this minute almost definitely won’t be in five minutes time. Just ask anyone who swore by at home micro-dermabrasion kits back in 2006. (“Me.”)

Watermelon nail art

Stop! No more!  Eat watermelons, don’t paint them on your nails.

Even if nail art hasn’t been officially called, then pass me my official calling skivvy and allow me to don my Calling It cap, for I am calling it. Let’s all cool it with the palm trees and pineapples and glitter tips for a bit.

I’m not entirely making this all up – a recent article in WWD compared nail polish’s meteoric rise back in the “recession” days of 2011, when sales went up 67% for high-end polish brands, and 35.7% for pharmacy brands, to what they are sitting at now, two years later, at 19% a piece. Which, yes, is still pretty good growth, but the boom-boom for polish has definitely gone.

Could be because there are so many brands on the (DIY nail art especially) nail polish bandwagon now, and competition is tough.

Could be a sign that the economy is back on its feet (nail polish, like lipstick sales always increase when there is an economic downturn).

Could be a sign that we are all just really into gel manicures and pedicures now, and traditional nail polish, with all that smudging and chipping, won’t cut it.

Could just be because like most trends, and therefore proving the very definition of the word, this trend is now over and a new one is about to rise.

IF I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that this new “trend” is for a complete and polar opposite to everything nail art is, which is to say, beautiful simple, nude, natural nails. I use “these” around the word “trend” because nude, natural nails are always in. Always.

eva_mendes_Nails

Daaaamn. Eva Mendes knows how to give good nude nail.

Whether that’s just a lovely nude, natural shade of polish (more on those in a moment) or gel (I use OPI Bubble Bath or CND Romantique) or just healthy polish free nails that are beautifully buffed, neat and shiny, there is something clean and fresh, and refreshing about simple, chic plain nails after a few years of so much colour and movement.

I’m quite partial to a coat of clear and some white pencil under the tip of the nail, you know, like we used to all do back before reality TV shows made the French manicure so incredibly tacky.

HOW TO BE GOOD AT NUDE NAILS

1. Make sure your nails are short, neat and naturally shaped. Naturally shaped, for the record, is usually the most flattering shape for your fingers, because it mirrors the way your cuticle sits at the bottom edge of the nail.

2. Choose the right nude/natural for your skin tone. Think of your nude polish as you would foundation, it has to match your skin tone. Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez might both be wearing “nude” polish but oh MY, will the shades they wear differ.

Basically, do your hands look better or worse with that nude polish? If your nude polish makes your hands look dead or sick, or chalky and cold, or dirty, or yellow, or red and raw, or your cuticle is really standing out, then you have chosen the wrong shade. If your hands look lovely, clean and neat, well, you’ve nailed it. Oh, well done Fosters.

Also, there are sheer and opaque nudes, the more sheer you go, the more truly natural you will look, but if you get the perfect shade, opaque can look just as delightful. One coat of sheer with one coat of opaque can give a lovely finish – don’t be bound to one polish per mani.

FAIR /COOL SKIN TONES

Generally you should probably head towards soft, creamy, mauve-based ballet pinks. Try: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail in How Romantic, Essie in Brooch The Subject or Allure, Deborah Lipmann in Tiny Dancer, Sally Hansen Complete Manicure in Shell We Dance.

ShellWeDance HowRomantic

WARM SKIN TONES / OLIVE

Something with a hint of peach or beige will be most flattering on us birds. Try: OPI Samoan Sand (my favourite), Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Royal Blush, Chanel Beige, Revlon Colorstay Longwear Enamel in Sandy Nude, Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nudite (It’s worth checking out the collection, French Nudes, this is from as there is a nude for every skin tone, ready-made, all done, bing bam zap.)

 estee-lauder-nudite samoansand

 

DARKER OR TANNED SKIN TONES

You guys will look best in coffee-coloured hues of nude and tan. Try:  OPI Tickle My Francey, Laura Mercier Lacquer in Bare Mocha, Essie Sand of a Beach, Chanel Inattendu, Dior Vernis in Nude Chic or Butter London in Tea and Toast.

 

Chanel_inattendu ButterLondonTeaAndToast

3. Maintain with top coat every second day to keep up the shine and prolong the life of your mani. I love Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine. Oh, and definitely steer clear of matte finishes. A high-shine finish ensures your nail stands out and looks healthy, even if the colour is extremely subtle.

4. Consider the toes. I was always a bright orange pedicure bird until a few years ago when I went soft sheer pink while on holiday in Greece. Felt better with my slight tan and leather sandals for some reason. More chic. Cleaner. More elegant. Toes are ugly enough without adding harsh colour, I realised, and I never looked back. Try it and see. But make sure you get the right nude for your skin tone – like I said, toes are ugly enough, they don’t need much assistance to look even more unattractive. But the perfect nude shade to complement your skin, and a neat, short shape – splendid.

Did I forget your favourite nude?

Was it this guy?

Naked-Cosmopolitan-UK-Naked-Centrefold-Defined-Muscles-What-Do-You-Think

Sorry, you know what I mean. Pop your most loved nude polish in comments below with your skin tone and share your wisdom!

Responses to this drivel: 38 Comments
11
Jul

Who makes up your Personal Beauty Army?

CHILL. I’m not asking cos I’m nosy, or because I want to steal them.

Yes I am.

Sorry.

After writing up a delightful beauty space earlier this week, one which I have decided has become part of my Melbourne Personal Beauty Army (a very specific appearance-based army focused on grooming and maintenance) I realised I still had a way to go in terms of my Melbourne PBA.

Like, just say I can’t shimmy back to Sydney to have Lien Davies masterfully, lovingly tend to my eyebrows for six weeks (I’m at seven and counting, things are getting tense) – who will do them?

[Just on Lien, she has released a fantastic ebook called How To Create Your Ultimate Brow Shape At Home – complete with How To videos and a mountain of gorgeous illustrations and photos. Yes, I see the irony of promoting her DIY Brow Shape book in the same paragraph as detailing my desire for a new professional brow shaper. Shut up.]

And what if I need a spray tan? FOR GOD’S SAKE WHAT IF I NEED A SPRAY TAN.

I don’t even have a hairdresser down here. Still pop up to Barney Martin for my hairs. (Finally getting my ‘underlights‘ put in this Saturday. Thinking very hard about installing a fringe as I do every now and again, but then remember do not have Jane Birkin’s hair texture/lack of cowlicks and am forbidden.)

 

02_jane_birkin

Jane Birkin arrogantly showing off her great hair texture and terrific fringe.

Anyway.

As I mentioned the other day, the way a dame generally finds her PBA is via word of mouth. And what better use of the comments section than for us to all share our PBAs? Let’s use our keyboards as our mouths, and our eyes as our ears and our teeth as our teeth! (In case we’re eating almonds.)

Just before we begin, let’s clarify the Personal Beauty Army Code.

To be considered a member of ones’s PBA, one must be not only reliable, talented, honest, skilled, pleasant to be around and offer better results than any other in their field, but they must thinly skate the line between being too good to share with others, and so good they must be shared with others”

Probably most women have a hairdresser, waxer and facialist in their PBA, but those who are slightly more invested in their physical upkeep, or who may be in a profession which demands a higher level of personal grooming, may also occasionally employ spray tanners, massage therapists, manicurists/pedicurists, eyebrow shapers, Botox injectors, dentists (for Invisalign/whitening, say), makeup artists for special occasions and of course, an ear polisher.

So, share!

Go right ahead and share. First clearly list which city you live in, and then list the members/salons of your PBA. And don’t be all greedy and keep some for yourselves. This is the sisterhood we’re immersed in here, we need to help each other out.

Just think, maybe one day your job as a Nanotechnological Bioinformatics System Integrations Researcher might see you transferred to Wollongong, and wouldn’t it be nice to know where to get some decent highlights when you arrive? Yes. It would be splendid.

In a perfect world, this post will become a kind of Little Black Book for Excellent Australian Beauty Services, where you can type in a search word (such as “Burleigh Heads”) and then just find the waxer of your dreams instantly…

So I dare to dream big. Sue me*.

A VERY HANDY HINT: Press Control F (“find”) and type in the city or state you’re looking for.

*Please don’t sue me.

Responses to this drivel: 329 Comments