50 shades of nail

25 March 2014

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Rarely will you see a woman these days that doesn’t have fabulous nails. Nail salons have taken over shopping strips, all competing for that common question: “Where did you get your shellac done?!”

Colourful fingers and toes have become a spectacle among fashionistas, adding that something extra to a weekend outfit or just some fun to your everyday wardrobe.

According to Elle Magazine, colour pallets for your extremities are changing. That fuchsia pink you rocked all summer should be substituted for a subtle pastel or perhaps some standout sparkles.

Admittedly though, the university student budget doesn’t often extend to those $45 shellac sessions (unless mum and dad are feeling generous, of course). But don’t fret people; you can still get magnificent looking digits without having to spend a fortune.

These colour trends will ensure your autumn nails never fail to impress:


Shimmer Shaker –

This season sparkles are a must. Think glittery gold and bold bronze. Team it with your best ‘LBD’, some killer heels and you’ll definitely be turning heads.

OPI has a beautiful ‘Rose of Light’ shade for only $6.95 at beyondpolish.com.

Bloomingdales.com has a slightly more expensive option, Illamasqua Shattered Stars Nail Varnish in ‘Trilliant’ for $17.

Or sepfora.com has Ciate mini paint pot nail polish in ‘Members Only’ for just $8.


Magnificent Mint –

A cool shade of green is the pastel of the season. Subtle, yet extremely classy, this retrained beauty will take you from work to a party without a hitch.

For long lasting polish, try out Dior’s Vernis True Colour Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer in ‘Pampille’ for $24, available at dior.com.

If budget is on your mind, then try out Jamberry Professional Nail Lacquer for $15, at jamberrynails.net.

nail polish 3


Bold and Bright –

Summer’s tropical brights may still be in the mix for autumn, but don’t be fooled into thinking that bright blue nails are still the go-to colour.

Yellows and oranges are taking favour this season, so dust off your inner child and indulge in some in-your-face nail art.

Sally Hansen comes through with the goods, offering Triple Shine in ‘Lemon Shark’ for only $4 at ultra.com. From all the sisters out there, THANK YOU SALLY!

A more expensive option is a beautiful burnt orange colour, ‘Winder Dancer’, by NARS for $19, from narscosmetics.com.

Mischo Beauty is also on board with bold colouring, offering ‘Marilyn’ for $18 from their luxury collection. Get it from mischobeauty.com.


Latte Lovers –

Deep, rich tones of buttery browns and delicate skin colours are perfect for the not-so-adventurous woman who prefers to keep her look restrained and classic.

These colours are perfect for the office, as they will keep your look professional and discreet.

Butter London has a colour in ‘Trallop’ for $15, found at sephora.com.

Yves Saint Laurent has a beautiful muted yellow (imagine the colour of the Sahara Desert) called ‘Safran Sultan’ for an affordable $27. You can get this at yslbeautyus.com.

If you’re after a deeper brown, go for RBG Nail Foundation’s ‘HIPP F4’ for only $18, available at net-a-porter.com.


Daring Blues –

Metallic shades are still going strong, proving that if it works, hold on to that baby.

To inject interest into your outfit, try Marc Jacobs Nail Glaze in ‘Enamored’ for $18 at marcjacobs.com.

Once again, if money is a little tight, you can still achieve this look with E.L.F Essential Nail Polish in ‘Sea Escape’ for only $2 at eyeslipsface.com.


Blushing Babe –

Pink, Pink, Pink!

Every girl loves a feminine touch and with baby pinks taking over, it’s easily achievable.

ORLY Nail Lacquer in ‘Naked Canvas’ is only $8.50 from orlybeauty.com.

Tom Ford offers a more expensive tone in ‘Mink Brule’ for $32 from saksfifthavenue.com.

nail polish

Black Beauty –

Women love a bit of mystery and with these shades of charcoal and black you’ll be able to go around feeling all James Bond-esq.

Red Carpet Manicure has ‘Caviar Dreams’ for only $8, from ultra.com.

M.A.C Nail Lacquer is sporting ‘Nocturnelle’ this season for a darker look. Available for $16 at maccosmetics.com.au.


Raunchy Red –

Who doesn’t love bright red nail polish accompanying their outfit? No one!

This trusty companion is back for another season and is still leading the pack, thank God!

Every girls favourite, Chanel, is offering the best of the bunch with ‘Tapage’ for $27 from neimanmarcus.com.

Jisoon Nail Lacquer has a more subtle red in ‘Cherry Berry’ for $18 from nordstrom.com.

And finally, Dolce & Gabbana has ‘True Red’ for $25, available at sephora.com.


There you have it ladies, colour pallets for your digits are changing this season, but that doesn’t mean things have to get boring. Try these trends out and when someone asks, “Where did you get your shellac done?!”, you’ll be able to smile and reply, “Oh I can’t even remember!”

Alice PiperTHUMB


Alice Piper is the fashion & lifestyle editor for upstart. Follow her on Twitter: @PiperAlice