Bridal Beauty: Picking the Perfect Nail Polish {Jennie Fresa}


I’m so delighted to be back to share some more beauty tips with all of you Lovely Little Details readers! Today, I would like to bestow my guidelines for selecting the perfect manicure color for your wedding day. With so many of my brides this season asking my opinion on which hue is best, I decided to round up my top color selections and put together an easy instructional for how to find the perfect shade. First, you have to consider the 3 S’s:  Skin tone, Season & Style.

Lets begin with skin tone. Are you warm or cool? Women with a yellow or olive skin complexion are considered warm. Those with pink undertones are cool.  Are you fair, medium or dark skinned? The darker your skin, the more opaque you want the color to be. Sheer colors work best on fair skin. Ladies with a yellow base skin should select colors that are beigy-nude or peachy. If you have a cool skin, then select pinkish nudes. Easy, right?!

What season is your wedding? Light or bright colors are pretty during the Spring/Summer season and deeper, jeweled-tones are more appropriate for Fall/Winter. Summer-time brides with warm skin tones can play with orange-based brights and sheer corals. In the winter, opt for a chocolate brown. Cool skin tones can try blue-based brights, like fuschia, for a Spring wedding, and deep violet for Fall.

Now, for the most important of all the S’s - the “style” of your wedding. Are you getting married outside in a garden? Try a sheer lilac. Is the affair a formal, black-tie event?  Go for crimson red. Are you boho-chic or vintage-glam? Select a color that works with your overall approach. Neutrals are classic and always a safe bet. Though there are hordes of options out there, I have listed some of my top picks below. You can try Dutchess Kate’s custom blend manicure—Rose Lounge by Bourjois mixed with Essie’s Allure. Don’t be afraid to try some color-even if it’s a sheer tone. Nail polish is a fun way to show your personality and style! If you’re less daring and more traditional, perhaps you can keep your digits nude and be more playful with your pedicure? There is no rule stating you have to be matchy-matchy, by the way. In fact, I think it’s way more modern and sophisticated to wear non-matching mani-pedi colors!

There is also the question of traditional manicure vs. the shellac manicure. In case you’re unfamiliar with shellac, it’s a new non-chipping gel-based formula that last’s longer than a regular manicure. For some it’s the holy grail of manicures but there are pro’s and con’s. Let me break it down for you so you can decide for yourself:

*lasts 14 days
*zero dry time
*glossy finish and no chipping

*it’s more expensive (about 50% more!)
*limited color selection
*toxic ingredients & UV lights used.
*have to go back to the salon to have it removed

If you ask me, I say stick with a regular manicure for the wedding and for daily wear. My monday manicures are a ritual that I look forward to, and trying a new color each week is part of the fun! Though, I would suggest the shellac manicure for a 2 week vacation or your Honeymoon. You have your engagement to try different colors to see what works best. The first thing I did after he proposed was run off and get a manicure! Who else did the same?!

Here are my top picks for bridal polish colors:
Essie: (1)Blushing Bride, (2)Allure & (3)Sugar Daddy
Chanel: (4)Le Vernis Lilac Sky
Nars: (5)Ecume
Orly: (6)Flirty Girl
OPI: (7)Bare it in Trafalgar Square, (8)Coney Island Cotton Candy & (9)A to Zurich
Deborah Lippmann (I’m LOVIN’ her entire collection!): (10)Clean Bare Beige, (11)Sheer Champagne & (12)Bring on the Bling

I’m always available to answer your beauty questions and/or concerns. Feel free to contact me anytime! If you have a specific topic you would like me to cover, please let me know! Looking forward to hearing from you! In the mean time…..Happy Painting!

XO, jennie

  • Jessica says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Every nail polish I own is pink, minus one. I love pale pink manicures! I’ve never done the shellac but might have to just to check it out.

  • Laura *You Stir Me* says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    great selections! My personal favorite is #4, obviously because it is the perfect shade of pink:) I was on vacation when my Mr. proposed but luckily I had painted my nails a pretty nude color because I had a hunch I might be needing them front and center that week;) Thanks Jennie!

  • Stephanie/ TheVintageModernBride says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    i love these nail colors! so cute. i’ve never had the shellac but i have had something similar. when i get my nails done and painted, the nail tech puts my hands under a UV light just for one person (not the long one for like 4-6 people). She puts the timer for 2 mins, and after 2 mins my nails are perfect and dry! It lasts as long as the shellac (and maybe it IS the shellac..but i just get it on my fake nails) and i really love it.

  • Jessica [Shimmer+Silk] says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    These are really awesome tips! Nail polish was one of the last things I thought of on my wedding week and I wish I had considered it sooner. Thanks for sharing! xo

  • Alexa @ A Life in Drive says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    I love the shade of that Orly “Flirty GIrl”!

  • ana {lucky in love sf} says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for sharing these adorable polish colors! I haven’t tried the shellac polishes yet. They kind of scare me but the benefit of not going every week may have me changing my mind. Then again, in SF its so cheap (I found a place for $8!) that I don’t mind switching it up weekly :)

  • Laura says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Essie’s the best and I’ve worn blushing bride before. It’s a great soft color. Perhaps for a wedding day!

  • Laura says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Perhaps = Perfect. oops

  • HiLLjO says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Lol I used #1 with a #2 topcoat for my nails! Great tips!!!

  • Sarah {A Paper Proposal} says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Great tips and love your picks for nail colors! I definitely went and got a manicure right after I got engaged (bright red, if I remember correctly ;), and agree with you about regular over shellac or gel manicures. One other drawback I’ve noticed is that they damage your real nails underneath…I feel like they thin out as if you were wearing regular acrylics!

  • Stephanie Elizabeth {Fab You Bliss} says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    I need to try Nars & Deborah Lippmann…the rest I’ve tried and love, but new ones are always fun!

  • Lena says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    I love a bit of pretty pink blush-these tips for choosing the right shade are so ingenious!

  • Colleen @ Soundtrack To I Do says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Love these tips! I work with teenagers so I’ve been experimenting with crazy nail colors lately - I think it’s time for a simple, lovely pink like #8. :)

  • Liesl says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Great tips! I’m an Essie fan and only just bought my first polish color by them last month, but I have to say it doesn’t chip and has great lasting quality! I am currently using “Ballet Slippers,” which is close to the “Blushing Bride” color, but want to try that one next!

    Liesl :)

  • jennie says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    @ Sarah, yes good point. My nails were definitely brittle after the shellac manicure, another disadvantage. @ Stephanie, check out Deborah Lippmann’s website to see the entire color collection-there are so many great colors and the names are so much fun! Thanks to all who chimed in to the post! SO glad you all found the tips helpful. I love hearing feedback from all of you! And, thanks to LLD for having me visit! Until next time….XOXO

  • cris from kiss my tulle says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    WHAT?!?! No OPI”s I’m Not Really A Waitress? Blasphemy, I tell you… ;)

    (I bought a bottle of Essie’s Blushing Bride for the littlest girls in my wedding party so that they could get their nails “done”, too.)

  • Diana says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    I heard about the gel nails and was thinking about getting them done, but now that i see your cons about the uv lights and toxic ingredients im not so sure! Thanks for the great tips.

  • Adventures in Dressmaking says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    Nice! I was insistent on shell pink nails for my wedding (5 days ago) and wore a pale pink Sally Hansen complete manicure since I am terrible with nail polish and always chip it within hours-except that stuff. Love the pale OPIs-just like Chelsea Clinton’s wedding nails!

  • erin * sparkle & hay says on August 11, 2011 Reply

    ooooooh i love them all - but i must say that essie ballet slipper is my color of choice (before, during, and after the wedding :)) but lately i am loving the gellash/shellacs - mine have been lasting 3 weeks!

  • Jess@DestinationInspirations says on August 12, 2011 Reply

    This is great advice not only for the bride but for bridesmaids to - I have 3 weddings I am in this coming fall and am saving this post to my favorites :)

  • The Perfect Palette says on August 14, 2011 Reply

    loving all the light shades of pink!

    xo, chrissy
    The Perfect Palette

  • paloma says on August 15, 2011 Reply

    I bet I would do the same thing, Jennie! (Run out for a mani right after a proposal :))

  • Kristen Steele Photography says on August 16, 2011 Reply

    One of my favorite engagement presents was a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure… I thought that was SUCH a thoughtful engagement present and I needed it to show off my bling! :)

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