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Happy Monday everyone! It’s finally December and I’m in full holiday-swing. The Christmas tree went up this weekend, my Brenda Lee holiday Pandora station has begun it’s nearly 24/7 serenade, and my coffee cups have been upgraded to coffee bowls. 

Since December seems to be the month of parties and pictures, there’s also lots of prepping to be done! If you don’t have time or the extra cash to run out for a new holiday wardrobe, you already think your locks are lovely, and you don’t get into the sudden makeup-glitter-obsession come the holidays, one thing you can do to cheer up your look is a little nail-love.
Vintage manicure photoOver the weekend, I saw a girl perhaps about twelve or thirteen eating lunch with her mum. My attention was first caught because they seemed to be having such a nice time chatting about nothing in particular and it was sweet. But then, I saw the ugliest set of acrylic nails in a neon, sparkly-blue parading itself across her fingers and my mood suddenly changed. First I was horrified that a girl of that age was wearing acrylic nails, then I was surprised and a little ashamed at how the effect of her unfortunate manicure instantly changed my attitude towards the poor girl.

I know it’s been written a thousand times, but it’s true, if your nails look good you feel better, and what you put on those tiny little guys can say a lot about you. So, in honor of my decision to finally get a manicure this week after many weeks of abuse, and in honor of this book…

How to Look Expensive

…here’s a few tips for your tips before you ruin a lovely holiday picture with a sudden, very bad decision to get a little crazy at the nail polish counter.

Shape Up:

Straight from the pages of How to Look Expensive, fashion guru Andrea Lustig says the only two shapes you should be filing your tips into are 1.) The almond, and    2.) The squoval ( a rounded tip with slightly squared edges). If you still can’t let go of the acrylics in favor of the new shellac manicures, at least forget the hardcore, inch-long, completely square, “look-at-me-I’m-completely-NOT-natural” tips and round them off.

Color me Right

Color: the most important decision; a very difficult decision; I’m almost paralyzed everytime I make this decision. On the shelves, almost every color is entrancing: the  brightest blue, an almost painfully-bright purple, a seaweed green. Shining in their bottles, and making rainbows of beauty, its a tough choice. Lustig narrows it down for us though if you’re a polish commit-a-phobe like I am though. If you want to look chic and expensive for this round of holiday pictures, stick to picking within these color families and you’re sure to color it right:

1.) Nudes / Pinks: Keeping it simple is usually not only a safe choice but also a quietly glamorous one: These colors go with anything, small chips are hard to notice and look better longer, and, Lustig says, just like nude heels trick the eye into making your legs look longer as your shoes fade into your legs, a nude finger or toe-nail makes some thicker appendages appear oh-so-chic.


Cafe Forgot

Tea and Crumpets

Tea and Crumpets

2.) Greys and light browns: You might think these are rather drab to color in a holiday-party nail. But this family never fails to look expensive, looks very winter-appropriate, and is the perfect little complement without overwhelming whatever sparkly-sweater or lace pencil-skirt you’ve picked out that morning:



3.) Reds: Potentially a scary option but this shade is very old-Hollywood (read “timeless”) and there’s lots of darker reds to choose from now that look ultra-modern. Lustig says blue-based reds are the easiest to pull off:

Downtown Brown


4.) Dark, Jewel tones. Probably the boldest choice and the trendiest. Lustig suggests if you’re feeling bold but still want to keep your wild side to yourself, put it on your toes instead of your fingers. Pick emeralds, amethysts,  sapphires, pewter, or even a black.

Velvet voyage




I’m tingling with excitement for my manicure. It’s almost ridiculous how it can boost a mood, but I’m all for mood-boosting, regardless of how insignificant it seems. Happy coloring! Hope this helps your Monday and any potential polish decisions you make this week.

– ❤ A.