Grey skies and rainy days call for a new winter manicure colour palette, and it’s more than likely that you now have wine hues, rich chocolate tones, a splash of navy and lots of charcoal and black on high rotation.
To ensure these colours look their best, it’s important you not only get the application right, but you should also make a point to have tidy cuticles and a healthy-looking nail base for maximum results.
So here are our five essential (but totally easy) tricks you should try before wearing a dark or bold nail shade.
Trick to try: File your nails
The most complementary shape for dark nail colours is short and squoval - that is, a square tip with rounded edges. With Scholl’s Velvet Smooth Electronic Nail Care System, use the file head and move the device from one side of your nail to the other to shorten and shape it, making sure to round the edges as you file.
Trick to try: Apply a base
Bold and dark nail shades contain certain dyes that can stain your cuticles and nail beds. Prevent this from happening by applying a base coat to create a barrier between your nails and the polish, protecting your digits from looking yellowed when you remove the colour. Sally Hansen Smooth and Strong Base Coat works well here.
Trick to try: Take a break
As your nails are made from a protein called keratin, they can become damaged from being exposed to certain ingredients, including those found in nail polishes. To encourage healthy-looking nails, simply put the polish down and give your fingers some breathing space when you’re swapping between your dark colours (or any shades, for that matter). When you maximise your overall nail health, you’ll be left with a better-looking manicure in the long run.
Trick to try: Thin layers
Patience is key when you’re applying nail polish, so don’t be tempted to paint on thick, goopy layers to achieve the dark, pigmented finish you desire, as this can lead to smudging and chipping. Instead, go for light strokes – three layers are ideal – and build up your bold hue gradually.
Trick to try: Soak it away
To easily wipe away dark nail polish, hold a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover on your nail for a few seconds, then wipe away from your cuticle. If any of the colour smudges onto skin, use a clean cotton pad for a quick clean up, then when you’re done, apply some hand cream to hydrate your skin.
Trick to try: Make your mani last
You normally don’t notice a chip or two when you’re wearing nude polishes, but they’re incredibly obvious when you’re wearing a dark shade. So, to prevent chipping (and having all of your hard work go to waste), after applying your nail polish, finish with a top coat formulated to protect the finish of your nails, like essie good to go.
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and previously in SHOP Til You Drop and Cosmopolitan.