As bright nails replace lippy as the ultimate mood booster, we reveal how you can get salon-worthy nails at home – The Sun


SWEEPING on a layer of bright lipstick in the morning to lift your mood is nothing new.

Dubbed “the lipstick effect”, history has shown that in times of economic or emotional stress women turn to small luxuries, in particular cosmetics, to cheer themselves up.

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The Great Depression and World War Two saw sales spike, while Estée Lauder reported lipstick trade doubling in the months after 9/11.

But during this global pandemic, it seems our preference has shifted from lips to nails.

According to data company NPD Group, nail varnish sales were up 102 per cent in the first week of lockdown compared with the previous year.

Emma Fishwick, account manager for NPD UK Beauty, reckons it indicates that nail care could be the Covid-19 equivalent of the lipstick effect.

She says: “Consumers are increasingly turning to self-care and home-based beauty treatments like at-home manicures to improve wellbeing.”

With many of the world’s beauty salons temporarily shut, the hashtag #nailfie — social media lingo for a nail selfie — has gained 1.6million posts on Instagram.

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith told her army of 10.4million Insta followers “the struggle is real” after her acrylics broke in quarantine.

TV presenter Stacey Solomon bought custom-made, press-on acrylic nails and was so happy she said: “I could cry right now because my nails have been SHOCKING.”


Dr Gareth J. Harvey, lecturer in consumer psychology at Bangor University, says: “Research has shown that when people experience low moods or loneliness they are more likely to engage in self-gifting to boost their mood.

“We expect one-half to two-thirds of self-gifting behaviour can be explained by this mood-repair motivation.”

High-street favourite Superdrug has also reported high recent demand for nail products — with the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Strengthener seeing a 135-per-cent increase.

BarryM.com says nail-polish sales online have soared 727 per cent since the lockdown began.

A spokesperson says: “Blue nail paint sales have also increased — possibly because people are wanting to support the NHS.”

So how can you achieve that professional home manicure, minimise chips and even experiment with some clever nail art while you have a bit of time to spare?

Here, celebrity manicurist Emma Welsh, who counts the likes of Daisy Lowe and Angelina Jolie as clients, offers expert tips . . .

The perfect manicure

  1. SPEND about three minutes massaging a small amount of hand cream into your hands, concentrating on your nails and cuticle areas.
  2. Put your fingers in a bowl of warm water and soak for a few minutes, then pat dry.
  3. Apply a rice grain-sized amount of hand cream or nail oil to each nail and rub in.
  4. Use a cuticle pusher to push back any cuticle that has grown on to the nail.
  5. File nails in just one direction, not in a see-sawing motion.
  6. Wipe each nail with nail polish remover.
  7. Apply a thin layer of base coat to each nail, making sure to brush the tip to seal it. Allow a few minutes to dry.
  8. Apply two thin coats of your chosen colour, remembering the tip of the nail, and allow to dry.
  9. Apply a top coat to help your manicure last longer.
  10. When dry, finish with a small drop of oil at the base of the nail and lightly rub over the nail.

Funky nail designs

ONE of the most popular designs on social media is a cow print, which is so easy to do.

Apply a base coat, add two layers of white polish, let them dry. Then drip and splodge black polish in random shapes and sizes.

Do some up to the edge for a better effect. Allow to dry properly, then apply a top coat.

Wear your heart on your nails: Apply a base coat and two coats of your chosen background colour  and allow to dry. Then dip a cocktail stick in red polish and apply three dots to your nail, in a triangle.

Blend them with the stick – two dots form the curves at the top of the heart, the third forms the middle, then draw in a point at the bottom. Allow to dry before applying a top coat.

Use the same procedure for a cherry decoration – two red dots and then use the tip of the cocktail stick to draw the green stalks.


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