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All Hands On Deck!: Summer Nail Trends

Forget delicate lady fingers. This summer you’ve got to battle the recession blues with vibrant hues— and that means getting your hands flirty and dirty in regards to the color wheel. All those tan shades and blush pinks can wait ’til winter, girls! It’s time to razzle-dazzle ‘em with those fingernails.

Whether you opt for neon oranges and yellow, perky coral pinks, ocean-flavored blues and greens, gold and silver metallic accents, this season’s polish options all feature a sexy brazenness sure to steam up your look. If you’re the adventurous type, call upon your inner muse and experiment with funky nail designs from the comfort of your own home. And, if you’re more of a no-assembly-required gal, then you might consider some of glue-on nails with unique, runway-ready designs.

Here, a guide to the best enamel colors, artificial nail sets, nail design tools and more! And, for an extra treat, I added a couple of pics of my own creations (okay, I’m not exactly a celebrity manicurist, but I think some are kinda swaggalicious). Enjoy!


Follow the Skittles mantra and “taste the rainbow” with neon bright, candy-colored hues like Zoya’s “Pippa,” a delicious yellow shade that will have everyone around you yielding like crazy, Jessica’s “My Cabana Boy,” a neon pink worthy of an M.I.A. music video, and Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri “Orange You Fast!,” a quick-drying orange color reminiscent of those Mike & Ike candies, or Orly’s Sol Cabana, an orange creamsicle shade that always makes me hunger for a frozen treat.

4918D Shade assortment
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color: Rapidly Rosy, Lemon Dash, Pronto Purple, Orange You Fast!,  Flyin’ Fuchsia, Brisk Blue, Lickety-Split Lime and Coral Rush. Available at drugstores nationwide.Visit SallyHanse.com for more info.

Zoya Nail Polish La-Di-Da Collection (Ali; Paz; Pippa; America; Dita; and Renee shades); $36 for Sampler Pack. Visit ArtofBeauty.com

Jessica “Life’s A Beach” collection shades: Under My Umbrella; Loving the Lifeguard; Bikini Bottoms; No Tan Lines; Diva On The Dunes; and My Cabana Boy; $7 each. Available at JessicaCosmetics.com

Orly Sol Cabana, $7.50. Available at OrlyBeauty.com


Lately, beauty companies have been churning out quite a few collections (from M.A.C’s A Rose Romance to Clinique’s Bamboo Pink) that really focus in on pink and the nuanced shades within that color family. This summer, Essie brought that concept to our fingertips with an array of shades ranging from blushing bride (the “Luscious Lips” shade) to bright salmon pink (“Cute As A Button”) to ’80s video-ready shocking pink (“Funny Face”). Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippman, meanwhile, offered her own floral-inspired, sheer shade, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), a perfect hue for garden parties and tea socials.
Essie Summer 2009 shades: Lovie Dovie; Chubby Cheeks; Luscious Lips; Not Just A Pretty Face; Cute As A Button; and Funny Face; $8 each. Visit Essie.com


Lippman Collection P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), $15. Visit DeborahLippmann.com


Once the temperature rises, there’s one destination we all dream of: the beach. Whether we envision yachting near a Mediterranean island, sipping frozen drinks in a tropical hut in a fancy Caribbean resort, or simply laying out in the sand at a nearby beach, summer makes us really appreciate the ocean’s innate beauty. You can entertain your own inner mermaid (or Poseidon devotee) with aquatic hues like Swizzle Stix, a sky blue hue, Orly’s “Calypso Breeze,” a deep blue, or sultrier options like Barielle’s “Decadence” and N.Y.C. New York Color’s In A New York Minute! “East Village,” both metallic turquoise shades.

Barielle Decadence, $8. Visit Barielle.com

Barielle Swizzle Stix, $8. Visit Barielle.com

Orly Calypso Breeze, $7.50. Visit OrlyBeauty.com

Barielle Sweet Addiction, $8. Visit Barielle.com


Just like we want to resemble bronzed goddesses, with our bare skin shimmering in the sun, we like our nails to do some shining of their very own. If you want a luxurious treat, find a salon where you can Minx your nails (probably THE biggest manicure-related fad at the moment) or, for a more affordable alternative, invest in metallic hues like those in Zoya’s La-Di-Da collection (even the green “Midori,” shade features a dramatic, high gloss finish).


Zoya Nail Polish Ooh-La-La Collection (Ginessa; Katy; Tallulah; Goldie; Emme; and Midori); $36 for Sampler Pack. Visit ArtofBeauty.com


I’m always fascinated by really funky nail designs — one of my closest friends just got a manicure, so that each of her nails reads “I <3 MJ” in a white script with a red heart against a black backdrop, and I couldn’t  stop complimenting her! But seeing as I like to channel my personality with my nails and I simply don’t have the time to run to the nail salon at my every whim, I’ve taken to experimenting with some nail art tools — and I must say I’ve had a blast (scroll down for some of my inventions).

Apparently, lots of ladies are taking a DIY approach to nail art, which explains why companies like Sally Hansen have developed user-friendly tools like the Nail Art Pen, a marker with which you can scribble complex designs, or NYX Cosmetics’ INK Nail Art Pens, which feature long, thin brushes with which you can sweep color.

4090-xx NlArtPns A

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens in White, Black, Light Pink, Hot Pink, Blue, Red, Silver and Gold; $7.95 each. Available at drugstores nationwide.

NYX Cosmetics INK Nail Art Pen in Silver Glitter. Visit NYXcosmetics.com

                                 P7050150 P7050086P7050151
L.A. Colors Art Deco Nail Art Lacquer in Blue, Hot Pink and Mint, $3 each. Available at Forever 21 stores.


                     P7050116 P7050131 P7050139 P7050125 

Kiss Brush-On Nail Art Paint in Soft Purple, Soft Blue, Dark Purple and Neon Orange, $1.99 each. Available at most beauty supply stores.


Fake nails get a bum rap — especially those of a press-on or glue-on variety. And it’s easy to understand why. After all, they almost inevitably damage your real nails and oftentimes can pop off at the most inconvenient of locations (plus they have a way of torpedoing across a room and landing somewhere really embarrassing). But, when you’re strapped for time, they can be a lifesaver. And thanks to Revlon’s latest line of artificial nails, if you need flawless, ready-made hands, they’re just a box away!

Revlon’s collection ranges from the subtle (such as the “Ballet Pink” set, designed to look like a modern twist on a French manicure) to the sultry (such as the “Mystic” set I applied onto my natural nails in the photo below). Just one warning: the glue is extra potent and will dry on skin a;most immediately so be extra careful or you’ll have a mess on your hands — literally!



Revlon Naturally Chic Artificial Nails in Ballet Pink (pictured in box) and Runway Collection Artificial Nails in Mystic, $9.99. Available at drugstores.


As promised, I’m going to show you some of the doodles I worked on with my own nail art tools. Now, I’m not exactly Picasso but I was pretty proud of myself. Check out my handiwork:


To get this look (inspired by Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing movie poster and M.I.A.’s Arular album cover), I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in “Orange You Fast!,” brushed on two triangle shaped lines using NYX Cosmetics’ INK Nail Art Pen in Light Green, and sealed the look with Zoya’s Armor Top Coat.


I was having an ’80s baby moment on this one, so I reached for Zoya’s “Dita” shade and then got my Kiss Brush-On Nail Art Pens in Soft Blue and Soft Purple and swept two diagonal lines across each nail — it was beyond simple and looked pretty fresh (at least when you weren’t looking too closely!)


** Need a little bit more inspiration? Check out my homegirl Afrobella’s post on Fresh Fly Nailpolish Trends

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