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January 31, 2011

How to Make Your Nails Stand Out in Winter

For this winter season, drabs, nudes, and neutrals are the hot colors for the wardrobe and makeup. However, this is an excellent opportunity for accessories to stand out and shine with bold colors, which is also a strong trend for the season.

Winter accessories like scarves and earmuffs are great when you’re out and about, but what happens when you get to the office and all of those great accessories sit on the coat rack for eight hours? That’s why it’s important not to forget to accessorize your body as well, and fingernails are a great way to add some zing to the olive greens and grays of the rest of your outfit. Since we teach our students nail technology courses here at Phagans, we thought we’d share some of our thoughts on how to get your nails to pop during these long, gray months.

Neon colors

One trend that looks great with all skin tones, especially set against the drab neutrals, are neon colored nails. This style can go all year as well, so there’s no worry about buying a good set of neon polish (even if you don’t break the bank with your set), only to have it sit around after April. This look is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a way for women to be bold without being over the top, which is great for the office or a night on the town.

A few things to remember:

  • Although neon is great for all skin tones, it’s still important to remember which colors match your skin tones to begin with. As usual, darker skin tones can rock the yellows and reds, while lighter skin tones should go with greens and purples.
  • Keeping your nails small is important to this look. Neon on longer nails just looks like a, well, a neon sign. It will take your look from bold to ridiculous. Short and rounded is the key to neon nails.
  • Using a white base coat will make the color pop.
  • Remember not to have competing accessories or clothes to your neon nails.


Just like with the neon trend, even professionally manicured nails are now short and oval. Here are three hot styles for this length that you can ask for when you visit one of the Phagans salons:

  • Metallic is in. The hot look is a base coat, then two coats of color, then a metallic overlay. Metallic colors are a great look in the winter that pop against the drabs of the season.
  • Red is always in. Red is an easy go-to color for any season, but those deep, bold reds are a great look in the winter.
  • Deep, rich colors are in. Dark colors can have the same effect as the vibrant neon colors. Forest green, maroon, navy blue, and purple are great looks for the season. These colors also look great with a metallic topcoat or a decal.
  • French twist. One interesting look this season is a twist on the standard French manicure, which offsets white and a pale pink. This season, look for light blues to be the color of choice of the French manicure.

Winter Nails – Keeping them Healthy

One way to keep your nails looking fabulous in the winter is to make sure your nails (and even your hands) are clean and healthy. Not only do healthy nails give a great base to start with for lighter nail colors (such as the French manicure), but they also provide a strong and sturdy nail that is less likely to chip or break and ruin your hard work or waste the money you spent at the spa.

To keep your nails healthy this winter:

  • Eat a healthy diet with Vitamin B complex supplements (otherwise known as biotin).
  • Use moisturizers that include lactic acid, urea, or phospholipids on your cuticles and nails daily.
  • Wash your hands to keep them clean, but keep them dry as well.
  • Don’t dig too deeply under your nails to clean or remove the cuticles. This can lead to infections in your nails.
  • Check for green discoloration if you use artificial nails. This can be a sign of a bacterial infection.
  • When you have your nails done professionally, make sure the salon adheres to the highest sanitation guidelines like the salons at Phagans do. This will reduce your risk of infection.

It’s no good if your fingernails look absolutely stunning, only to attract attention to your dried and cracked winter hands. Here are a few tips to keep your hands looking healthy, too:

  • Wearing gloves outside helps protects hands from the cold. Wearing gloves while washing dishes and doing housework also helps, too.
  • Use generous amounts of hand cream at least twice a day.
  • Change to a lipid-based soap instead of your usual soap.
  • Avoid alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Alcohol can dry out your hands, and you should expose your body to some germs in order to stave off colds. If you use an anti-bacterial soap in the bathroom, that’s enough protection from germs.
  • Treat yourself to a professional manicure. The manicures at Phagans will remove dry, dead skin and moisturize your hands, leaving them soft and beautifully healthy.

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11860 SE 82nd Ave
Happy Valley, OR
(503) 652-2668