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Jo from "Patent Purple Life" Talks About Colour

Whether you like to colour block, colour clash or are matchy-matchy (like me) you can wear any colour you like.

There is no point wearing green nail varnish if every time you look at your nails, the colour reminds you of your school uniform, and your school days which were the unhappiest days of your life.  Your nail varnish, unlike your eye shadow is as much on show to you as it is to the rest of the world.  You should like the colour and try not to get distracted by:-

Your age – if you treat your hands to lots of moisturising hand cream  and a rich cuticle oil they will be the perfect canvas for nail colour.  Age is irrelevant.

The length/shape of your nails - it does not matter whether your nails are long or short, oval, stiletto or square as long as your nails are filed, and an even length across your hand you can wear  it

The colour of your skin - there is no colour that you can't wear.  Seriously.  Whether you share Christine Ohuruogu's beautiful ebony or Jessica Ennis' golden tan there are plenty of colours for you to wear.  Nail colour thankfully is no longer restricted to burgundy red and pink.

So, how do you go about choose the shade that is right for you?

Contrasting colours - if you have Ashley Madekwe's complexion, dark colours provide a greater contract to your skin then lighter colours.   For Alek Wek however, the opposite is true.  Imagine both these ladies with a deep blue manicure like Dielle's Modern goddess (love this colour)- this provides the greater contrast for Frieda, then for Alek.  Gorgeous on both ladies of course.   

Complementary colours - Are shades with a tone or depth that is a complementary shade to your skin tone.  A complimentary shade is not the same as a nude shade.  Think about the intensity of the colour. What I mean is the intensity of the colour. For me, Everlasting is a complementary rather than contrasting colour… and it is teal!  It is a mid to deep shade. It is not super dark or super bright on my skin. The mid tones are great because they are less of a shock to the system. If you are new to nail colour then this is a good place to start.

Nude colours - they have taken a life of their own recently with the beige/greige/mushroom fashion trend that has become a fashion staple. For me, this is one of the trickiest one to get right, ie, the easiest one to get very very wrong. The colour needs to have the right combination of shade, and tone and is the one.  Sweet Virtue on violinist Vanessa Mae would be a soft nude, but on Saxophonist YolanDa Brown is a contrasting colour, Secret Mercy would be a better nude option.

Special effects - metallics are the most common special effect nails but there are other nail trends including caviar, neon, sequin, magnetic etc.  The principles of contrasting, complementary and nude shades still applies but with all the fun of the special effect.

Once you have decided with you want a contrasting, complementary or nude colour, the fun begins. Enjoy!

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