To me the most affordable luxury is my weekly manicure. I would rather starve than give up my manicure!

I figure my hands are on show just as much as my face, so they have to look well groomed and nourished at all times. Cuticle oil and hand cream are on hand in my kitchen, on my bedside table, in the car and in my handbag.

Each week I try a totally different nail color or design – nails are now a major fashion trend with the hottest look right now being, ‘stiletto nails’ – nails are long and tapered making hands look elongated and feminine. Designer digits are no longer considered tacky and frivolous – the masters of nail art have taken painting on polish to a completely new level. Once considered a last minute finish at fashion shows, designers are now consulting weeks in advance with nail artists so they can come-up with a unique design for their shows.

Nail companies have also spruced up their advertising campaigns with celebrity endorsements, muses and seasonal color trends to entice us to buy complete color pallets. Women have always had a selection of lipstick shades and now it goes without saying that most women today have several nail colors on hand to change their nail color or art to match their mood or fashion style.

He’s your cheat sheet so you nail the look!

Update your shape… The squoval is passé! Bring on the oval shape – It’s very feminine and it makes your fingers look longer and slimmer.

File right… File in only one direction to prevent your nails from shedding and splitting.

Use a base coat… Always! This prevents nails from staining and also helps polish last longer.

Brush strokes…Polish should be applied in thin layers and if nails are long paint the tips first and slightly under nails to prevent chipping. Finish with a topcoat and cuticle oil drops.

Clean up… Spills with an orange stick dipped in remover – it won’t leave any fuzz behind like a cotton bud.

Up keep… Your manicure by applying a top coat every other day and apply cuticle oil daily – Your manicure will last longer and nails will look freshly painted.

Debra Lippmann is the queen of fashion nail colors – here’s my favorite line up!

Swagga Like Us, $20USD.
Copper and teal collide to create this one-of-a-kind chrome lacquer that puts a 24-karat swing in your step!

Nefertiti, $20USD.
One of the original shades that drips with gorgeous-ness! Rich and decadent with a frosty finish.

Sugar Daddy, $20USD.
A glistening champagne that looks as expensive as it sounds. It imparts the lightest mirror finish.

Believe, $20USD.
Created for Cher, this shade is like no other. It’s a cocktail of different shades blended to create this unique metallic gold beige.

Photography: Darren Tieste

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