It’s Spring Carnival and as we begin to busily put together all the elements of our race day outfit; the hat, the clutch, the shoes, the make-up, the tan and the dress, we have to remember one more little thing – the nails! It’s always the smallest details that count and a beautifully manicured hand is going to compliment any outfit at the races, and will look extra fine when you are holding your winnings in those instagram pics!
When it comes to choosing your nail colour there a few little things to keep in mind, firstly what is the overall look you are going for – bright, pastel, vintage or floral? Find a shade that is going to work in with your look or pick a particular hue from your dress or fascinator that you want to pop and match your nails to it. When it comes to determining which particular hue is the right one for you, certain shades do look better with certain skin tones – for example girls with skin that could rival Marilyn Monroe will always look fabulous in deep reds and pastels, while those with an olive skin tone will suit gold’s and dusty pinks and oranges. A coral will flatter any skin colour (it’s universally complimentary!) and medium skin tones work well with metallic hues.
To help you get your nails into shape for Spring Carnival here is a fool-proof DIY manicure with some product suggestions from online beauty boutique www.ry.com.au.
Remove Excess Polish: Make sure you remove any trace of your last polish, when it comes to my nails I always use a cotton pad and an acetone free nail polish remover, I would recommend something like OPI’s Acetone Free Polish Remover $11.00.
File and Buff your Nails: A nail should reach the ends of your fingers, I find square shapes with rounded corners always look nice and neat; plus bold colours will look fabulous on this shape nail! It is best to file from the outer edges toward the centre in one direction (not back and forth) as it will prevent your nails from tearing and splitting. When you are happy with the shape give your nails a little buff to smooth away any unevenness. The Tweezerman Nail Block (File, Buff + Shine) $17.96 is a great DIY nail kit and includes a file and a manicure buff block which will leave your nails looking shiny and new.
Wash and Scrub: Once you have finished filing and buffing pop your hands into some warm water and give them a little scrub. If you have a body scrub use this – it will help to remove any excess bacteria from around your nails and will also soften the skin.
Use a Cuticle Cream: Any kind of hand cream will work for this; once you have soaked and scrubbed your hands, pop on a little moisturiser to keep the skin around your nails soft . The softer the skin the easier it will be to push back your cuticles.
Push Back Cuticles: At this point your hands and nails should be feeling lovely and oh so soft, which means it is time to work on your cuticles. I’d recommend using Tweezerman’s Pushy and Nail Cleaner $35.96 to VERY GENTLY and slowly push back your cuticles from your nail, remember if you push too hard you will irritate the skin around your nail and it will become sore.
Apply a Base Coat: Find yourself a good quality base coat that has adhesive ingredients and apply it to each of your nails, Essie First Base Basecoat $15.95 is great, its ingredients work to make the polish glue to the nail surface which means less chipping and increased wearability. Yay!
Apply Two Light Coats of your Chosen Hue: When it comes to picking a polish I love OPI, they have a phenomenal range of colours to choose from (a lot of these are available on www.ry.com.au), the polishes glide on easily and are never bubbly or bump – making this step a whole lot easier!
Apply a Top Coat: A top coat is essentially there to protect your nails and all the hard work you have put in to making them look fabulous! I love Essie Super Duper Topcoat $15.95 it’s fast drying (when you reach coat four you want quick drying!) and leaves a light and glossy finish over your chosen polish, plus it helps to strengthen the nail and protect against chipping which means your DIY mani will last longer.
Hollie is a lifestyle publicist who loves all things beauty, fashion and style. She has worked in beauty PR and events in Sydney and London, and is currently residing on the sunny Gold Coast where she works for Nmedia Communications. Follow her on twitter @nmediapr or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nmediapr.