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From polishes that will best complement your (faux) tan to what your nail shape says about you, VIOLET GREY is here to up your nail game this summer season.
Summer Manicure Guide  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

— PHOTOGRAPHY BY GUY AROCH FOR VIOLET GREY

BEST POLISHES
TO ENHANCE YOUR TAN

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For the polish enthusiast, crimson is the white t-shirt of their lacquer collection. In time for summer, consider a shift from cool blue-reds to warmer, orange-tinged shades, which bring out golden tones in the skin, and add a bit of sizzle to sandal season.  

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Opaque, white polish will forever endure as a nod to the mod, but RGB’s bright white polish, which refuses to turn yellow at the edges despite lingering residue from multiple SPF applications, instantly makes tanned skin appear live-at-the-beach bronze. 

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Paint your tips the color of an azure pool as a constant reminder that summer schedules call for more lounging, less dashing.  

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Milky, pinky-red polish has been associated with the over-65 set for as long as we can remember. It’s time to give this flattering shade another look and acknowledge that women of a certain age may understand some things that rest of us don’t — starting with the appeal of a set of perfectly manicured peachy nails.

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For those who adhere to upholding their signature neutral nail look despite changes in the thermostat reading, this is a failsafe shade that feels especially right for the hot months ahead.

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Punchy and playful, a bright, pop-art pink is the stuff of summer manicure dreams. Pair Tom Ford’s Indian Pink with any piece in your swim wardrobe for an added tropical punch.

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For those who spend the off-season in safe beiges and dependable mauves, consider changing lanes with a hue on the opposite side of the spectrum. YSL’s Violine Surrealiste is altogether audacious, yet royally dignified.

MANICURE
MAINTENANCE

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Whether obsessed with nail upkeep or packing for a weeklong holiday, Rubis’ compact nail set comes complete with all of the tools necessary for manicure maintenance (including an itty-bitty crystal nail file) when travel plans takes your far-and-away from your neighborhood salon.

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RGB’s ingenious, individually-wrapped nail remover pads are ideal travel companions. The soy-based formula easily wipes away the deepest of nail colors on all 10-digits, while leaving cuticles and nail beds nourished and hydrated.

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The life of a good paint-job depends on the quality of its foundation. RGB’s quick-drying formula acts as the perfect primer for a summer full of long-lasting manicures.

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Despite the name, JinSoon Top Gloss penetrates beyond the outermost layer of the polish and bonds with the base coat below to create an impenetrable lacquer protector. Its unique formula also includes UV-filters that prevent color-fade throughout the sunniest days of the year.

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La Prairie’s multi-tasking formula not only envelops hands with its intensely hydrating, caviar-based formula, but also diminishes the appearance of dark spots (effects of sun, age) and provides both UVA/UVB protection.
SHORT & SPORTY
The Look: Filed (or cut) to hug the natural curve of your finger.
Ideal For: Those who put a premium on simplicity and ease. Busy multi-taskers, beauty minimalists and beach-combers who prefer sand to the salon.
Maintenance Level: Low. Just cut and file as needed and maintain a monthly manicure appointment for professional upkeep.
Key Tools: Clippers and a nail file; cuticle cream.
IN-BETWEEN PHASES
The Look: Round tips that peek discreetly over the edge of your fingertips (or the outgrowth of the aforementioned Short & Sporty after a two-week tour of the Mediterranean).
Ideal For: The end of a summer holiday when a subtle nail touch-up is required. Fourth of July barbeques that demand both an attractive manicure and full use of your hands (those limes are not going to squeeze themselves).
Maintenance Level: Medium, pending on how quickly your nails grow. Have a file handy to keep edges smoothly rounded and even.
Key Tools: Nail file; no clippers necessary.
RETRO FIT
The Look: Vintage-inspired, almond-shaped tips that taper softly to an oval point.
Ideal For: Channeling Faye Dunaway in Network or Joan Crawford in anything. Impatiently drumming your fingers while your backgammon partner ponders their next move. Ladies who lunch (at the tennis club).  
Maintenance Level: High. Expect weekly trips to the nail salon. Button flies and soda tabs might also pose a challenge.  
Key Tools: A trusty file, nail strengthener, a standing manicure appointment.
STILETTO
The Look: Glamorously impractical. Long, sharp and filed to a point.
Ideal For: Accessorizing an itsy-bitsy bikini. Back scratches for your paramour.
Maintenance Level: Extremely High. Button flies, iPhones and soda tabs might pose a challenge. 
Key Tools: Do not try this at home. Trusted nail artist should be kept on speed dial.  

pack your vacation
beauty bag

Celebrity makeup artist Kira Nasrat shares summer beauty must-haves.