This is the time of year when we’re all ready for some warmer temperatures and longer days filled with sunshine. We’re ready to shed some layers.
One of my favorite seasons is approaching—Spring! A fun part of the change in season is switching up your nail polish. Bring on the tulips, daffodils and hyacinth. Many of those flower colors are on trend for your spring nail polish selection. You will find 10 pastel, cheerful and brightly pigmented nail polish shades to get you excited for spring. I prefer to not have the proverbial “carpet match the drapes.” In other words, I like to have a coordinating nail color on my hands and feet but not necessarily the exact same color for both.
Here is some advice on which nail bed to choose for what event and how to care for your nails.
Care options: What are care options? If you are able to file, clean and or remove your cuticles and paint your nails evenly, then you can save a lot of money with the at-home option. However, if you are like most, a professional manicure might be the way to go. There is the traditional manicure, where you pick the nail color and the nail technician takes it from there. Other options are gel, acrylic, or shellac nails.
Acrylics and gels are imitation nails placed over your natural ones. Both can be made to match the shape of the nail or to extend it. So, when you want longer nails, you are asking for either acrylic or gel extensions.
Gels: Gel should not be confused with acrylic nails, which are created using liquid monomer and polymer powder. All gel services are performed using some form of gel, which usually comes in pots of gel or bottles of gel polish. Gels are brushed onto your nails in three steps—a base coat, polish color and top coat. Each coat has to be cured (hardened) in a UV light for two to three minutes.
Acrylics and gels are very different products, different ingredients, different application techniques, and different pros and cons. Here are reasons to consider using gel nails and some of the disadvantages.
• Natural, glossy, freshly-manicured look;
• Lasts up to 14 days;
• Curing time is faster;
• More flexible than the acrylic nails;
• Easier to remove;
• Gel nail mixtures lack the fumes associated with acrylic nails.
• More expensive than other artificial nails;
• Self-fixing a break at home is complicated;
• Removal can result in nail damage if gel is used too frequently.
Shellac: Many people confuse gels with shellac. This is because shellac contains gel, so many consumers have mixed up their terminology, asking for a “gel manicure” when what they want is shellac. People in the industry always use the term shellac. Shellac and gels are not the same service. Just as the ingredients, procedures and results for acrylics and gels differ, the same is true about shellac vs gels. Because of the trade-off of cost, time and effort, most people choose shellac over gel or acrylic.
Shellac is a blend of gel and nail polish. Because it is like a polish, it can’t be used to extend your nail. Because it is like a gel, however, it does add strength and durability. In the long term shellac is much less damaging to nails than traditional gels (or acrylics). Once you have the shellac applied you put your hands under a UV light to cure (dry) the gel. The main benefit is that it reduces chipping and a shellac manicure can last up to two or more weeks.
• Thin and strong product with both flexibility and durability;
• Natural look combined with the shine associated with gel nails;
• Lasts up to 14 days;
• Removal technique through acetone wraps does not leave nails dry, thin, or torn.
• Unlike other artificial nails, you cannot use shellac to strengthen or lengthen your nails;
• Shellac is only sold to licensed professionals and requires a special removal process—you cannot apply shellac, repair a break or even remove it at home;
• Shellac is not for everyone as it requires a healthy nail bed.
Acrylic: As stated above, if you want to extend your natural nails, then acrylic is another option. There are two main approaches to creating artificial nails—tips and forms. Tips are made of lightweight plastic plates that are “nail”-shaped. They are glued on the end of the natural nail and acrylic is then applied over the entire nail. Acrylic nails are a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer. They create a hard protective layer over your natural nails. The product hardens as it is exposed to the air. Acrylic is transparent. A nail polish is added after.
• Provides a perfect canvas for applying nail color;
• Hard and very robust nails;
• Lasts longer, potentially up to 20 days;
• Easy removal;
• When you break an acrylic nail, you can almost always fix it at home by super gluing the nail to the nail bed.
• They can damage your nail bed;
• Acrylics may look less natural than gel nails, especially if applied incorrectly;
• The application process involves chemicals and fumes.
In fact, just looking at these colors has us ready for some outdoor cocktails, so whether you’re headed for warmer temps in search of the perfect spring vacation or just daydreaming of the first spring day, we hope this helps with your nail maintenance and selecting the “in” spring colors.
A light blue
1. NARS ‘Iconic Color’ Nail Polish in Ikiru
(a great color for your toes)
A pastel, orange creme
2. OPI Nail Lacquer Is Mai Tai Crooked?
(another great choice for a pedicure and very professional for the work place)
A blue, gray creme
3. Zoya in Lake
(a great manicure option for a vacation)
A Hot Pink
4. Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Indian Pink
(great choice for a pop of color on the toes, another great option for the work place)
A mint, aqua creme
5. Essie Nail Polish in Blossom Dandy
(another beachy pedicure look)
l A sage green
6. Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Bitter Buddhist
(great color to coordinate with an outfit; looks great with black)
The perfect pink nude
7. Burberry Nail Polish in Nude Pink (my go-to for an everyday, professional fingernail wear)
An opaque, crisp white
8. OPI Nail Lacquer in Alpine Snow
(looks great on both toes and hands—especially with a tan)
A light lilac
9. Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer in English Lavender
(great toe color or used for a French manicure with white tips)
A pale, yellow/lime7
10. Essie Cream Polish in Chillato
(great spring color for the toes)