The Panel: Twinkle toes
If you paid attention to last week’s Panel, you should have your feet fit for exposure in summer shoes or for completely bare on the beach.
When your feet are like hard hooves, nail polish can look a bit like a pathetic distraction, but when feet are smooth and soft, polish is the finishing touch. No more than you’d wear any old lipstick colour, however, some care should be taken with the choice of nail colour.
If you’re heading off on holiday, pick a colour that will look good when your feet are pale and then, with any luck, a bit tanned. Be daring, but test before you buy.
Be aware that some reds and coral tones can make toes look piggy-pink, while very chalky-looking pastels can provide too much pale contrast if your feet tend to turn red in the heat. And any of the plum, navy or burgundy shades are no friend of the varicose veins.
And, when it comes to the feet, maintenance is everything. You have to stay on your toes, so to speak.
Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Pretty in Pink, €4.99, available nationwide Pale and very pretty, this polish is a little like a tinted Tippex and the key to preventing it from looking thick is to paint on two thin coats. As the shade name suggests, it’s a pale pink, but with a tinge of coral, which is more forgiving of pale feet than a straight pink and also works well with a tan. “Love the size of the bottle, because you can throw it in the bag and top up on holidays,” said a panellist, “but the colour is good, too, and kind of goes with everything.”
BEST HAPPY FEET
Chanel Le Vernis in Holiday, €21.99 A holiday treat, for more people than care to admit it, is the pre-getaway purchase of one of the latest nail shades from this brand. And this one is not called Holiday for nothing. It is orange, but with enough red that it’s not totally citrus, and it’s a great alternative to straight scarlet. “A fab colour with a tan,” said one panelist, “and, heading away, it was also fine on my milk-bottle feet.”
BEST TWINKLY TOES
L’Oreal Colour Riche in French Riviera, €7.55, available nationwide This is a good choice for those who like to steer clear of the obvious reds, pinks and plums come summer and who like to make more of a statement with their toes. A pale blue with good opacity and a little bit of opalescence to lift the paleness, it’s pretty and kind to most skin tones. “I love the wide, foolproof brushes on these travel-size bottles and this is a sweet colour that looks great in full holiday sunlight,” a panellist said.
BEST FOR CHANGE OF HEART
Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, €6.99, available nationwide Given the welcome trend for petite polish bottles that allow you to consider a change of polish mid-holiday, the issue of removal arises. Shampoo or shower gel spills in a suitcase are irritating, but nail-polish remover could prove a nightmare, and so, this tub of remover-soaked sponge could be just the thing. Dip fingers or toes into it one by one and the polish is stripped in a minute. “Clever and not at all harsh,” said one panellist. “It doesn’t smell of the advertised red fruit and vanilla, but who cares when it works so well?”
BEST FOR PEDICURE PANIC
Broadway Nails ImPress Press-On Pedicure, from €8, selected pharmacies and department stores nationwide Many of us are too clumsy, too time-starved, or have nails that are just too horrible to polish, and for any of the above, the press-on nail is worth investigating. There are plenty of fingernail alternatives around, but few toe options, and these are very knacky, with numbered, shaped nails, good adhesion and a very good selection of finishes. “I could do these and they looked good and they stayed on — three miracles in one,” said a panellist.