believe in manicures ... I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls,” said Audrey Hepburn of the fact that a perfectly polished nail makes us feel instantly more chic, pulled together, and content. To appreciate a fabulous blow-dry or the results of a radiance-enhancing facial you have to look in the mirror, yet to reap the uplifting benefits of a manicure you simply have to glance downwards at your hands. “A good manicure shows attention to detail and it’s the cornerstone of any groomed woman’s beauty regime,” according to nail expert Leighton Denny.
On a spiritual level, Ila Spa founder Denise Leicester says: “The hand is connected to the heart in terms of our chakras, so taking care of your hands and nails instantly makes you feel happier.”
Of course, it follows that the adverse is true: a chipped nail can have a demoralising effect. Denny suggests carefully “sealing the edge of the nails with the first layer of colour and then again with the top coat” to prolong your manicure.
The importance of a glossy, chip-free finish is something everyone would agree on, but finding the colour that will elevate your mood simply by catching your eye is much more personal. Hepburn preferred pink, Diana Vreeland was known for her striking red; but with a rainbow of hues now available – from yellow and orange to green and blue – it’s less about following the trends and more about picking out the shade that stands out to you. As BAZAAR advised in 1941: “Experiment with new shades and switch them about as easily as you do your hats. For the colour of your polish can change the expression of your hands as lipstick can change the expression of your face.”