In the beauty world, sometimes nit-picking on lip liners and contouring techniques overshadow an equally important facet nails.
From intimidating stiletto points to girl-next-door short “squoval” (square-oval) shapes, there are a variety of nail shapes in style. But the fascination with witchy stiletto talons is beyond me. My rule is if they exceed two inches, your nails are in dire need of a trim. Just because they’re painted doesn’t make them pretty – not to mention the fact that ultra-long pointy nails are a safety hazard to others. That’s not to say I don’t like long nails. There’s a certain beauty and elegance to them that women who bite their nails long to achieve. Though I often have to keep mine short for hand sewing, long, slightly pointed almond-filed French manicured nails are a classic favourite.
From Essie and Revlon to H&M’s newly launched beauty department featuring trendy nail shades, there’s a ton of variety to choose from – and from experience, dishing out more money doesn’t necessarily mean a difference in quality, so there’s no need to limit yourself to the high end of the spectrum.
If you’re a fan of fun nail art, one thing I do recommend you splurge on is a session at SoH Art and Beauty, a new salon located in Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road in Dubai. From mustachioed Hello Kitty faces to personalised portraits of loved ones, the girls at SoH can paint masterpieces on your nails, however tiny they may be, and top them off with quirky bits and bobs. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, head to The Nail Spa with some inspiration saved from Pinterest or Instagram, and ask one of the nail artists to replicate the designs. Ask for a generous top coat to ensure the polish won’t chip easily.
If you like the idea of unique nails but aren’t so keen on cartoon pictures or blingy crystals, try a half-moon manicure – which is basically a reverse French manicure, or even a French manicure in non-traditional colours – black and white, Chanel style, perhaps? Each nail doesn’t have to match – you could have a hand full of solid nails with only your thumbs or index fingers decorated. It’s addictive, and looking forward, plain nails will always seem boring. Another way to liven up your nails, without delving too deep into actual nail art, is a top coat of glitter. Or dull them down with a clear matte coat.
If the nail art bandwagon isn’t something you see yourself jumping on, focus on the season’s “it” colours instead. Give neutral beauty a noveau-grunge twist with the perfect light-grey shade. It shouldn’t be too dark, because it becomes rather dreary – a shade or two less pigmented than sky blue is ideal. The Fashion Vault, in Dubai’s Sunset Mall, sells a custom grey shade, and though it’s a bit pricey at Dh90 for a small bottle, it’s exactly the hue I’m referring to.
White has also become somewhat of a cult classic in terms of new-generation nail shades for the style-savvy. It looks great when worn with pretty pastel and nude-coloured clothing. For a bolder, borderline-punk hue, look to navy – it’s the new black in nails. If shiny blue nails just don’t sit well with you, try a navy nail polish with a matte finish instead. Give a powerful update to classic red nails with a darker, slightly gothic tone of oxblood. It should fall somewhere between brown and burgundy – Dior nuit and Clinique black honey are my personal go-to shades.
Tomorrow is Halloween, and while some girls like to scour the stores for witch hats and bunny costumes, you could get some cute orange-and-black-themed nail art to sport the spirit – a cute black cat or little ghost drawn on your thumb, or “boo” scrawled out in white cursive letters.