As students of colour theory can attest, not every colour looks equally impressive on everyone who wears it. The same remains true for nail looks: hair and skin tone, personal style, and age can all impact how shades appear on various wearers. Since hands are one of the first places that initial indicators of aging will show up (tip: remember your hand cream and sunscreen!), they are more likely to be at a disadvantage when trying new nail styles as we age. The skin on the hands gets thinner, revealing the veins more prominently. Cumulative environmental damage (UV rays, dryness, etc.) accelerates the development of hand spots and wrinkles. To lend a hand (if you’ll pardon the pun) to our beauties over 50, we’ve compiled a list of flattering styles that will look gorgeous on all fingertips, no matter their years. Read on for nail looks to recommend for clients over 50.
To begin with, lighter shades will almost always look better on more mature fingertips, as dark nail colours tend to emphasize spotting and discoloration on the hands. Unless you are sure which shades look best for your client, it may be wise to avoid darker tones altogether in favour of lighter polishes. The good news with this tip is that far from inhibiting available options, this still encompasses a massive range of colour choices for beauties of every inclination–baby pinks, whites, and nudes for the natural, pastels, and potentially even neons for the more expressive. Consider having a sample palette of all your best light-coloured polishes on hand to easily showcase and test different shades for your clients when they come in so that they already have a spectrum of fun options to excite their imaginations with–regardless of the depth of tones. Tip: shorter fingers tend to wear bright colours incredibly well, such as hot pink or bright red. Longer, more slender digits will be especially flattered by similarly delicate shades, like light pinks and nudes, which will elevate the manicure without distraction. For length, these beauties tend to look their best with a shorter, squoval (square-oval) shape that will flatter while leaving space for any hands-on tasks throughout their day-to-day lives.
Next, it is worth acknowledging that warmer tones tend to appear more advantageously than cooler tones upon aging skin. Orange-based rather than blue-based colours prevent veins and arteries from showing up even more prominently in the thin skin on the top of the hands than they usually would. This is the classic red nails’ time to shine: bright and orangey red nails will draw the eye to the fabulous manicure rather than highlighting aspects of the hands that we’d prefer to understate. If a client is leaning more toward darker colours, then opting for a warm burgundy, plum, or even brown will show up better than a cooler-toned version of the same shades.
If your client likes to sparkle, consider recommending a shimmer or metallic polish for their look, which will highlight the manicure without distracting via chunkier glitter or confetti. Shimmers work well across the colour spectrum, and colour-loving clients are sure to obsess over the “holographic” style over their favorite colour. This is also an excellent opportunity for clients who prefer dark shades since the holographic powder will lighten the final look. Metallic shades will look great with jewelry (make sure to ask whether your client tends to wear more gold, rose gold, or silver) and are similar enough to nudes to be flattering with every outfit and setting while adding something extra to keep the look exciting.
French tips, and variations thereof, will always be an excellent stylistic choice for any manicure. Especially as we age, playing around with the style of tip and choice of colour for each part of the nail can be fun. The standard nude or pink with white is an elegant classic, and indulging in the same style with different shades can add an innovative touch that will keep the look fresh.
Now, the next time your client comes in hoping for a fresh new mani but is still determining what will look best for them, these colours and styles can be suggested, which will highlight their natural assets while downplaying any detractors that can come with time. Remind the colour-lovers that any shades they’re unsure of for their nails can always be tested on the pedicure first, and don’t be afraid to try new things if they are interested in exploring more options. Together, you and your clients will be all set to grab hold of the new day with new nails!