Whether your look is sweet, bohemian, sexy or all three this spring and summer, your nails should be pale. Not only is pink a major theme in makeup trends, but it's the ultrafeminine accessory to this season's sheer, flowing camisoles, flirty floral dresses and beaded sandals and wedges.
To get the latest on the new pinks and beautiful hands, we spoke to Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics, Ltd. If there is one person who knows pink, it's Essie. She is famous for creating perhaps the best-known pink polish in the country 20 years ago. The reason it's been so successful, she says, is that it looks great with all skin tones. "It's very sheer, yet there is some pink in it," she explains. "It's just yummy." Today, Ballet Slippers is just one of a dozen subtle, sheer pinkish polishes the company offers. Other shades include the shimmery pink Dune Road, the light pink Limo-Scene and the super-sheer It's Delicate.
The beauty of using pale polish, says Essie, is not just that it makes everyone's hands look feminine, but also, pink shades are easier to maintain than darker shades and they look good on short nails as well as long. For warm, active days and vacations, the best nail length is short, she says. And the shape should match your cuticles: If your cuticles are oval, file your nails into an oval shape; if they're square, give your nails a square shape.
Here, more seasonal manicure tips (and a few pedicure suggestions) from Essie:
- Moisturize your hands with your favorite hand cream at least once a day to prevent dry, cracked nails and skin.
- Use sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 on the backs of your hands and on your feet if they're exposed. Your hands usually age before any other part of your body because they're always moving and are the most sun-exposed skin on your body. Daily sun protection will slow down the appearance of aging.
- Use a cuticle oil to soothe, hydrate and revitalize cuticles and nails. Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($8) is a classic that softens overgrown cuticles so it's easy to remove them without cutting.
- If you're taking your pink-polished fingers to the beach, apply a sun-blocking top coat to keep the shade true. Essie Non-Yellowing Top Coat ($8) protects light nail polish from ultraviolet rays to prevent it from changing color. Don't forget to protect your toenails too, especially if you wear sandals or open-toed shoes.
- Exfoliate your heels and feet at least once a week using an exfoliating product or pumice stone.