With so many colors to choose from — over 10,000 shades are sold in the United States — buying the right nail polish can be difficult. Wells helps steer things in the right direction by suggesting the following shades for your next manicure.
For the summer, Wells sees a continuation of the pink and flirty trend. These shades complement the sweet summer dresses stores are showing from designers such as Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Louis Vuitton. Wells says many women are sporting happy, pastel clothing, and pinks look great with these candy colors.
Pretty In Pink
Essie: East Hampton Cottage (Hamptons collection)
Chanel: Pink Mink
Rescue Beauty Lounge: Clear Pink
Lippman: Sarah Smile
OPI: Chapel of Love
Chanel: Passion Gloss
MAC: Pink Radar
Maybelline Pink Crush
Wells says pink looks good on most, but you need to find the right pink for your skin tone. First, see if the polish is yellow or blue based by holding it against your inner wrist or a white piece of paper. She says blue-based shades work best on fair skin. For darker complexions, she suggests using the yellow-based shades.
Before applying the polish, Wells says to always apply a base coat. Pale or shimmery polishes can highlight every bump and imperfection. Apply one coat for a sheer tint; two for more color. Watch for too much white in shade to avoid a chalky look. Wells says not to do a French manicure because they're out-of-date and have evolved into the natural sheer looks.
Wells also says you can help keep a pale color from turning yellow in the sun by apply top coat with an UV-protector.
This fall, Wells says, designers are creating bold, sophisticated clothes with rich fabrics and colors. Nails are going to add to the drama of the outfit, she says, and brown-toned polish will be the season's neutral (best paired with camel and oatmeal-colored clothes). In ancient China, only royals could wear dark nail polish (on penalty of death). Mercifully, today's rules are more lax, yet still many are intimidated by dark shades. But if you choose correctly, Wells says, you'll find one that flatters your skin tone.
Wells' tips for wearing falls dark colors:
- Dark polishes are almost accessories in themselves, so don't overdo with rings and bracelets.
- Since dark polish will draw attention to nails, be sure cuticles are smooth, pushed back and moisturized.
- Apply a ridge-filling base coat to even out surface.
- To save time use a base and ridge filler in one.
- Base coat also protects nails. Dark colors can stain or yellow nails.
- Chips show up on dark nails. To avoid, run the brush across the very tip of each nail so that you're almost painting the underside. After two minutes, brush on a top coat.
- Avoid quick-dry top coats, which tend to chip. Instead, drip cuticle oil over each nail to decrease drying time.
- Once the polish is thoroughly dry, dip an eye-shadow applicator (cotton swab will leave fuzz behind) in polish remover to clean up the skin around the nail beds.
General Nail Color/Skin-Tone Rules
Fair Skin: Wells says to choose berry reds, since they have a bit of pink in them (although those with yellow undertones should avoid these colors).
Medium Skin: Wells recommends choosing deeper burgundies.
Olive or Bronze Skin: Choose anything with a bit of a gold tone — orange-reds and yellow-based browns. True "fire engine" reds are also good, but blue-reds aren't, says Wells.
Dark Skin: Wells says choose strong red and purple colors and any of the dark shades.
Wells says New Revlon ColorStay nail polish is truly long-lasting. Revlon claims the polish lasts 10 days. Allure magazine tested the claim and found it to be factual. The polish is applied in a two-part system — a color polish and a sealing topcoat. The color polish is specially designed to stick tightly to the nail. They use an acrylic polymer that is flexible, on that's able to take dents and abrasions without chipping.
The top coat acts as a sealant, to bond the color to the nail and further protect the color from any friction. The topcoat also contains an ingredient, dimethicone, which makes the coating more slippery and glassy — deflecting water and detergents, which dull the color and weaken the color's bond to the nail.