Rainbow Nails

Forget primary colours; forget even rainbow colours. The sheer range of nail enamel shades is surpassed only by the Dulux paint section at B&Q.

There is now a colour to suit every piece of clothing you could possibly own. From the palest of creams through pastel shades, bold reds and pink, summery golds to rich purples, browns and, of course, black. There are UV polishes for the clubbers, glitter varnishes for the child in us, and various metallic shades that tend to match several outfits in one fell swoop. So where in heaven's name do you begin??

Clothes are always a good starting point. Pick some outfits that you feel most comfortable in (and by comfortable we mean confident and relaxed, not curled-up-on-the-sofa-in-your-scruff) and look at the colours. Chances are these will be the colours that suit you best, and will therefore look best on your nails. Bear in mind that mixing and matching pastels and deeper colours can result in some strange looks (probably from other co-workers).

Pastel shades are great for summer, especially in warmer tones such as pinks, peaches and golds. For winter, focus on cooler shades such as silver, ice blue and the darker colours: browns, deep reds and plum tones. Products like Rimmel, Maybelline and Bourgeois are excellent for these kinds of tones. For teens and 20s, you're lucky enough to be able to get away with some of the brighter colours, like the yellows, oranges, greens and hot pinks currently flooding the market. These are a fantastic way to make your nails stand out, and ranges like Barry M are more than affordable at around £3 per bottle.

Use sparkly and UV varnishes sparingly: they can have a tendency to make you look severely underage.  Black can usually be carried off by a very bubbly personality; but if you're shy, or worse, wear nothing but black clothes anyway, the gothic image will never be too far from someone's mind.


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