April 18, 2013

Nude Nail 101

Nude nails, just like a red lip or a flick of black eyeliner, never seem to go out of style. I know that some people are very wary and sceptical of this trend, but just like lipstick, there is a shade of nude polish to suit everyone. In this post, I'm going to break it down and talk about the best way to apply and wear nude nail polishes, as well as how to find a colour that suits you. The polishes I'm featuring here are from my current top three nail polish brands, so they are all great quality and pretty long-lasting.

The closer the shade is to your hands' skintone, the shorter your nails should be. The 'mannequin hands' look is one to be avoided, but I think it looks even stranger when you have very long nails that match your skin - like skin-coloured claws! Short, squared-off nails look great with a nude colour, plus they're super low-maintenance, so great if you're a mum or just short on time in general.

Be patient when applying nudes! Go for a few thin coats rather than lobbing it on haphazardly. If you want a really quick fix, you could do one sheer coat but in my experience, it is difficult to apply these colours quickly without ending up with streaky nails. A good base coat will do wonders to avoid the streaky look as it'll smooth out the surface of your nails - especially if they are ridged - I'm currently using and worshipping OPI Nail Envy. Likewise, a good quality top coat will smooth everything out when you're done and leave you streak-free. Seche Vite is now my holy grail. You can read more about my nail routine here.

L-R: Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss in New Romantic, Essie Ballet Slippers, Essie Fiji, Sally Hansen Naked Ambition
Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss in New Romantic: A great pale pink if you want a warm-toned nude shade. One coat will be fairly transparent but still looks really sophisticated, and would also be a great base for a DIY French manicure. It can go a little streaky if you're not careful, but the formula is great overall. It dries fast and stays extremely shiny, so you could skip out on a top coat if necessary.

Essie Ballet Slippers: This has been a cult classic for years - even before Kate Middleton wore it on her wedding day - and rightly so. It's the perfect mix of pink and white and you can build it up to whatever opacity you desire. Patience is required but, if you take your time with this, you'll reap the reward of a seriously classy-looking mani.

Essie Fiji: A more recent Essie release and another much-loved shade, I would decribe this as a more pigmented, flat cream version of Ballet Slippers with a touch more white to the shade. I only purchased this relatively recently, and I love it! I love the whiteness of it - it's so clean and crisp-looking, even if you are already pale like me. I can see this becoming a year-round staple!

Sally Hansen Naked Ambition: A much more 'beige' shade, but there is microshimmer in this which stops it from being too boring and mannequin-esque. This is definitely one for shorter nails or as a base for nail art. I put it on a while back, realised that my nails were too long for the colour and added glitter to the tips (Instagram pic here), and loved the results.

L-R: Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss in New Romantic, Essie Ballet Slippers, Essie Fiji, Sally Hansen Naked Ambition

Do you have a favourite nude nail polish?


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