Nails see 'new revolution in color'
By Lisa A. Flam
What are the spring trends in nails?
Of course, healthy-looking, well-moisturized hands. But also purples, oranges and greens as well as some new neutrals that might surprise you.
"The day of the nude or pink nail is over and we're seeing a new revolution in color," says Nancy Rappaport, director of product development for Sephora Collection.
"Spring starts with lots of bright shades," agrees Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI's artistic director. "It's not only pinks, it's bright shades from green to blue, purple and orange. Now the color story just goes on year round."
Inspired by the landscape of Hong Kong, Weiss-Fischmann dubbed a shimmery plum called Meet Me on the Star Ferry and a medium blue named Suzi Says Feng Shui. There's also Jade is the New Black.
The seasonal palette for the Sephora by OPI collection includes dark moss and forest green, with the additions of orange and turquoise for summer. Essie's Cosmetics has the bold Pop Art Pink and Tart Deco, a coral.
"The whole spring palette works together to bring a burst of art-inspired color to the wardrobe," says founder Essie Weingarten. "Spring 2010 is romantic and soft but still bold and statement-making."
Many polishes are metallic or contain glitter, pearl or high shimmer to keep them modern and more dimensional than the old-school frosts.
Lavender is a top color, too, which Weiss-Fischman says can be "feminine and demure."
The darker end of that spectrum — dark purple or eggplant, perhaps — can give you an edge, says Allure magazine's editorial projects director, Kristin Perrotta.
"These feel so right for spring because they're just so wrong — so dark," she says. "But they're really gorgeous, and they do a nice job of quieting down all the happy, girlie dresses and fabric colors women typically wear come spring."
If head-turning colors aren't your thing, try your hand in one of the new neutrals, which Perrotta even calls the "blah colors." These beiges, grays and taupes aren't boring, and they're part of a trend that will last well into fall.
Perrotta credits Chanel with launching this look with its shade called Particuliere.
The "greige" shade debuted on the runway in October, and since going on sale in January, the company says it is its top-selling polish and has sold out three times on Chanel.com.
"It's not a color I ever thought I could like, but it looks really beautiful on, and works with a variety of skin tones," Perrotta says.
Before the polish goes on, make sure hands and nails are in top shape. Tools include a nail- and hand-specific moisturizer, which tends to be heavier than body lotions, and an exfoliating brush, says Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, an academic medical center.
"Most people think it's their face that presents to the world but it's everything that shows. The key is to take care of your face and remember to take care of your hands and nails."
Heated or air-conditioned indoor air, hot showers, exposure to cold and wind all exacerbate dryness in nails.
This all can leave nails looking dry and lusterless, scaly and prone to breakage. (Editor's note: The Islands' humid, hydrating climate is good to both nails and skin; it's why we find ourselves dried up like prunes when we visit other places, our skin and nails both dry and flaky.)
"Your nails take a beating in everything you do," says Bergfeld.
Dead skin can be sloughed off by getting a manicure or pedicure, or by using a brush at home, Bergfeld says.
Anything you put on your nails — polish, tips, hardeners — are also very drying. You might consider giving your nails a literal breather without product for even a few months if they don't look healthy, Bergfeld says.