Hand Jive

Want to rev up your manicures this season? Read on and be inspired.

Jan Arnold, co-founder and style director of CND, has made it her mission to convince the fashion industry that nails are as much of an accessory as, say, a great handbag or a fabulous pair of slingbacks. This season more than 100 designers in New York City, London, Milan, Paris and Sydney agreed, asking CND to create just the right look for their collections.

"Nails are the modern accessory must," Arnold says. "They're the ultimate cheap thrill, the instant gratification fix that you'll never regret the morning after." How right she is. Lately designers have been asking the company to create custom-blended colors just for them. In London nail tech Amanda Fontanarrosa worked with Marc Jacobs into the wee hours to select just the right shade of enamel to accompany each of his handbags. At Louis Vuitton, CND fine-tuned 17 precise nail colors, six of them custom-blended for the show. Twinkle's Wenlan Chia requested a custom lavender "so women can still feel cool but not so feminine." Meanwhile, Phillip Lim asked CND to create a poppy shade to match a Pantone color in the collection. And at Karen Walker's spring 2008 show, nail techs custom-mixed three pastel-perfect nail colors that supported the collection's journey through a garden party to a "Day at the Races."


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Why not win points with your clients by offering to custom-blend a shade just for them this season? "We live in an era of customization, so why not get the exact color you want on your nails?" says CND's Roxanne Valinoti, who encourages you to experiment, mixing polish, enhancement powders or permanent gels to get any look you want. On this page you'll find a few suggestions that we lifted right from the runway.





Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day, and that includes indulging in that all-important pre-wedding beauty experience—a manicure and a pedicure. Choosing the right shade has just become a lot easier now that Essie has introduced the Bridal Collection, six gorgeous nail polish shades every bride will want to wear. The sheer colors are universally flattering and range from a sweet blushing pink to a barely-there buff. In the weeks leading up to the big day, have the bride-to-be experiment with different shades from the collection until she finds the one that's right for her. Or why not layer the colors to create a personal custom creation? With whimsical names like "Tie the Knot" and "True Love" that are the Essie trademark, these shades will have brides saying "I do" in style. For the record, the colors are not just for brides—anyone can wear them and live happily ever after.





Singer, dancer, fashionista and new mom Jennifer Lopez was guest editor for Shape magazine's March issue, where she revealed her top beauty finds, including OPI Night Brights nail lacquer in I Only Drink Champagne. A pale, shimmery, light gold, it's one of J.Lo's favorites and a perfect choice for anyone who prefers lighter shades of nail color. "We are thrilled that style icon Jennifer Lopez loves this shade," says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director. "And with metallics continuing to be a huge part of the spring and summer fashion story, I Only Drink Champagne is the right accessory for every woman's fingertips and toes." —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY