Make an impact with a bold neutral

My white nails 1 week after my manicure using Covergirl Snow Storm & Deborah Lippman as a base and top coat.

My white nails 1 week after my manicure using Covergirl Snow Storm & Deborah Lippman as a base and top coat.

Here's something I've noticed- a large percentage of women (and lots of men, too!) truly love the experience of a mani/pedi. The relaxation, the final result. You name it, they love it. What is especially interesting to me is that  nail care can be a very effective and low barrier way for someone to communicate his/her personal style. You might notice someone rocking fleece and a pair of jeans with manicured nails, for instance. 

The real battle is finding the time (I'm talking to you parents and/or workaholics!) and choosing the right color. As a redhead (thank you hairdresser and the joys of color), my bold nail color is orange-red. But, when that isn't calling to me, I am a big fan of neutrals. Wah wah. Right? Nope! Not, "I don't notice your color because it is so neutral." Instead, "holy cow. That nail color is awesome," despite being a neutral. 

And, as a special treat, I'm going to show you the brands I used… which are not at all fancy. It looks like a trip to the drugstore is in order.

As we are in the month of financial cutbacks, here's an inexpensive way to up your game: Make an impact with neutrals.

1. White. Yes! White.

Covergirl Outlast stay brilliant nail gloss. white snow. Amazon. $3.89.

Covergirl Outlast stay brilliant nail gloss. white snow. Amazon. $3.89.

I am crazy town enthusiastic about opaque white nails. Skip the French manicure and go for the all over white. As the 80's started coming back into fashion, I began channeling teenage girls in detention painting their nails with white out. Rebellious. Edgy. Unexpected.

Sonia Kashuk Nail color. Sugar Rush-23. Target. $4.79.

Sonia Kashuk Nail color. Sugar Rush-23. Target. $4.79.

2. Camel. What? Yup.

A couple of years ago I got a camel coat with a faux fur collar. Despite having more coats than you might imagine, or probably just that many, I couldn't stop wearing it. I wanted to complete the look with camel colored nails. Not nude and not glittering; but camel. I finally found the right brand. And haven't looked back. If you look better in ivory or cream than you do in white, a camel colored nail could be the one for you. This color is a little trickier to rock and is especially good for someone with very pale skin so that there is noticeable contrast between your skin and your nail color. 

I use Savvy Femme Couture in French Cafe, but I believe it has been discontinued. Alternatively, Sonia Kashuk Sugar Rush works well, too. Although that is closer to nude. 

3. Grey. That's the sweet spot.

Obsessive compulsive cosmetics. True grey. Sephora. $10.

Obsessive compulsive cosmetics. True grey. Sephora. $10.

If black is too harsh for you and you find yourself rocking grey hues on a regular basis, try a grey nail color. Light grey is nice for a more subtle approach and a more conservative workplace. Charcoal has the maximum impact.

I started with light grey from Butter but found it challenging to keep locating that shade at high end shops. Rimmel is a favorite of mine, too. Although my favorite color is all over the UK and Australia, not so much here. See a pattern emerging? You really have to look for these colors. Rimmel's brush is thicker than most which makes the process faster and it dries quickly. The Rimmel site has a fun try it on option. So, there's that. You can also find this brand at your local Bartells. 

My personal favorite approach to nail color is to wear a lighter shade of a color on my hands and a darker shade on my toes. So for me, pale grey on my hands and charcoal on my feet is a go to. I prefer Rimmel 60 Seconds in 805 Grey Matter paired with Sonia Kashuk Blank Slate 26. 

And who are we kidding? It's winter, but nearly everyone has a shoeless house. So, please don't skip your feet under the impression that no one will see them. They will. Likely with your super foxy dinner party dress. Surprise them with modern nails.

Happy painting!

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