Afrobella is all about beauty and bath products, but you all may have noticed one gaping hole in my beauty review resume. I’ve never done a post on nails.

I’ve just never been a manicure kind of girl. I’ve always been into some kind of art — I love painting when I can find the time, and I was a sculpture minor in college (handbuilding, not the wheel. I suck at the wheel). Either way, I often had paint or clay under my fingernails, so it was almost impossible to maintain a mani. In high school I bit my nails to the nub, but I managed to quit the habit with the use of a nasty-tasting nail treatment. But now, my nails are long and strong and looking good. I can attribute that to regular use of Sally Hansen’s Teflon Tuff Extra Strength Nail Protector. It definitely helps to keep my nails hard enough to use for random everyday tasks, and has helped my nails to grow. It’s a very shiny nail protecting treatment that I use all the time, or as a base and top coat when I actually do wear polish. The product needs reapplication every two days or so — it definitely doesn’t stay on long enough. And please keep in mind, what works for me may not work for everybody. The epinions on this product are all over the map. If you’ve got a 100% guaranteed nail hardening treatment, let me know about it!

When I was growing up, my mom always wore Theons #5. I should buy a bottle, just for the nostalgia value. The color stained her nails a light yellow-orange, a color that has only faded now that she goes for regular manicures. When I have gotten a mani, I usually go for the basic French. But now that my nails are clean, pretty, and long, I’m seriously thinking about some nail art. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Flo Jo — but I’m feeling some of these funky new looks. My nails will never look like SWV’s in the video for Downtown. I’m still a little conservative, but I’m finding inspiration on some of my favorite websites.

The ladies over at Missbehave Magazine have an entire tag devoted to fly nail art. I’m not slick with the details, so my personal favorite look is the glitter and sparkles fadeout. It’s a look that would be easy to achieve with a sparkling top coat like Cover Girl’s Goddess for starters. Sephora’s scented glitter polish also looks cute, and they’re $3.50 a pop! (who cares if they’re marketed to kids? How many kids do you see shopping at Sephora?)

My beauty inspiration, Tia Williams just gave a glowing review to the YSL Sun Line Nail Touch Brush Pen, but at $23, I can’t justify that purchase. Plus it’s unavailable at Nordstroms. You all know that I’m a bella on a budget, so I’m riding with this post on The Frugal Face. I tend to buy nail polishes that cost less than $5. Her suggestions on using arts and crafts glitter and old eye shadows to create custom polishes (all you need is a bottle of clear polish) are intriguing. I’ll give them a try and let you see my results. If that doesn’t work out, Milani has some great summer colors that are just $2.99.

According to the latest (last?) issue of Vibe Vixen, nail artist Bernadette Thompson says yellow and white are the new trends of the summer. These days, I’m obsessed with bright yellow. Women of color, bright colors are your friend! And yellow looks absolutely stunning on black skin. So when I saw this adorable toenail art over at one of my favorite blogs, Fly, I was immediately inspired. Rakia’s polka dots are too cute! That’s the kind of style I can do.

If you head to your neighborhood Sally’s, there are loads of super bright, cheap nail polishes and stick-on nail art accessories you can experiment with. Remember, always use a good base and top coat to maintain your polish as long as possible, and experiment away!

Listen to Kid Sister for nail decoration inspiration. Pro Nails is the jam, and I’m feeling her flow!

Do you have a favorite fingernail look for the summer? Tell me about it!

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Kim says:
August 1, 2007, 11:10 am
hmm yellow nails? I'll think about it. Sounds kinda fly.
RyanB says:
August 1, 2007, 11:11 am
Hot pink. Hot anything. Especially on the toes... I'm telling you.
Peajai says:
August 1, 2007, 11:20 am
I was all about the polka dot nails when I was twelve! I used to stay up late into the night, painting and polka dotting. My favortie was a red nail/black dots on one hand and black nail/red dots on the other. I also had a yellow polish that I would use with a glitter top coat. Now that I am older, I prefer the look of natural finger nails, but I would definitely go all out for the toes! I am going to request my old red/black special next time I get pedi. Thanks for taking me back down memory lane. :)
sTaR says:
August 1, 2007, 11:42 am
Hi Bella, well my mom like yours always wore Theon #5 and I fell in love w/it as well. However, now I'm into more earth tone colors.....but while out about 2 weeks ago I did break down and purchase some T#5. I only polish my toes, for some reason polish doesn't do well on my finger I only use clear polish for the finger nails.....have a good day!!!!!!
bella says:
August 1, 2007, 11:44 am
Where'd you get it, Star? I need a bottle for my dresser so I can completely recreate my childhood, LOL... Peajai, that color combo sounds so cute!! Black and yellow would also be bangin'. So would hot pink, Ryan!
ceecee says:
August 1, 2007, 12:32 pm
is it fashion faux pax to have a different color for your hands than your nails?
ceecee says:
August 1, 2007, 12:32 pm
than your feet i meant. (blame my typo on my keyboard!)
AppleDiva says:
August 1, 2007, 1:15 pm
@ ceecee. I do not think so. Who wants to be matchy-matchy... Go for what you know!!
bella says:
August 1, 2007, 1:21 pm
I'm with AppleDiva - I think those old rules have gone out the window. Have fun with color, experiment! I've seen women with a different color on each finger!
Sunshine says:
August 1, 2007, 1:51 pm
I am a mani pedi addict!! I too read Vibe Vixen and have been living in yellow nails all summer! I get stopped on the street by people telling me my nails are beautiful.My manicurist did a mix of a teal blue with an shimmery silver on top and that was hot too. On my feet i like bright orange, or hot pink. Nothing dark in the summer-I hate to see girls in the dark dark wine/red colors of fall in the summertime.
MsRebecca says:
August 1, 2007, 2:15 pm
I think hot pink is cute too, I keep doin' the french manicure for some reason though, goes with EVERYTHING..
Nerd Girl says:
August 1, 2007, 2:56 pm
I rarely paint my fingernails - a clear coat every once in a while is the best I can manage. But I love to do my feet. I usually switch between hot pink, coppery orange, and a shimmery champagne color in the summer. Always a pearl finish, never flat. Lately I've been putting four tiny "diamonds" on my big toe in a vertical line - really cute and more work appropriate than it probably sounds!
sunsail says:
August 1, 2007, 3:12 pm
Um, no. He heee, to each their own, but this is one fashion trend i cannot get down with. While I see and respect the artfulness of the pedi in the picture, to me, it looks like her toes came down with a case of the pox. Not attractive in my eyes. :) And I won't even start on the nails... signed, an occasionally conservative sunsail
Niki says:
August 1, 2007, 3:31 pm
I used to rock the acrylics when I was younger, otherwise I can't seem to break my nail-munching habit. I do get pedicures fairly regularly and I think summer is the perfect time to experiment with color and design on your toes. There's something about getting your 'nails did' that is so femenine and fierce to me.
tia says:
August 1, 2007, 3:56 pm
my favorite thing to do for a pedi is pick two complimentary or contrasting shades (as long as they look good together) and have them painted on every other toe. this summer i've been doing greens and blues. i haven't found a shade of yellow i like yet.
Jazzy A says:
August 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
Love this post! I don't paint my fingernails, but I go all out with the toes! I love the polka dot toes, do it all the time. I use to do all kinds of art; from black & white dominoes to ladybugs (can you tell I like dots?) to flowers and white clouds in the blue sky. I have been looking for a good yellow polish for the longest, have got to find it, those nails are hot
Tameir says:
August 1, 2007, 7:54 pm
I agree with the pink ladies. I'm currently wearing the brightest neon pink I could find on my toes. I switch off in the summer between neon pink, bright pearly royal purple, barbie pink, candy apple red, orange, and rosy-reddish pink. Anything bright and fun since I'm in sandals all the time. ~T~
WildMagnolia says:
August 2, 2007, 1:23 am
I'm totally into mani/pedi's. My fave color is OPI's, 'I'm Not Really A Waitress" which is a slightly metallic red. I've been considering Chanels Black Satin (all the rage for the past year). It's hard to find though because it's selling out so much. I've heard it's an irredescent black. The dark colors tend to look good with my coloring but I haven't tried it yet. I keep my nails natural with just a smidge of length. When they get too long I find they break easily. If anyone has tried the Black Satin, let me know how you like it. X
ceecee says:
August 2, 2007, 9:46 am
@ WildMagnolia you should try using Sally Hansen nail hardener, my nails are typically very soft. But I've been using the nail hardener for a month or two and there is a marked difference, my nails don't peel/break off anymore. Thanks for the input on the fashion faux pax or not. I'm currently rocking peachy glittery color on my fingernails and brown on my toe nails. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only crazycool one out there in the world :)
karenenna says:
August 3, 2007, 5:18 pm
I've been wearing silver polish in the summer for years now. Looks really good too! But, I have to share this with you: add some crushed garlic(!) to your base or top coat and forget about it. The tip of a paring knife is enough. 2 coats and it's the best nail strengthener you'll find. I think I heard this on "the View" or some morning show one day so I tried it just to see and it worked! I use Orly's "Top 2 Bottom". Recently, while reading labels in the beauty supply( Ulta ), I ran across a nail strengthener which contained... you guessed it: GARLIC OIL! Orly's "Sec n' Dry" is almost like glue and your manicure will last for a good week 1/2 to 2 weeks.
karenenna says:
August 3, 2007, 5:38 pm
You've got to be consistent with being good to your hands and feet though. You deserve it. As I'm getting older now, I'm REALLY loving my manicures and pedicures. I've been lovin' the dark colors! Chanel's Black Satin is almost impossible to find even if you order it but Opi's got a couple of shiny blacks and Milani has a nice one, but it contains formaldehyde/touloune resin. Somehow, I've become extremely allergic to that so I have to look for polishes and lacquers that have acrylic resin instead. You should Google formaldehyde/touloune toxicity. Check it out. It's very traumatic for a polish lover like me. I had to toss a rainbow... but there IS hope.
purefiyah says:
August 6, 2007, 9:44 am
i got this done over the weekend and I sure was SHOW STOPPING! I wouldnt do it everyday but it sure was different and cute.. I keep looking at them evry other minute or so...
JinLeeHui says:
July 29, 2010, 11:52 pm
Thanks for your post and that wonderful blog you are running!
Nail Tattoos says:
August 3, 2010, 2:08 am
you have just won a new blog reader :)
Lucy @ Nail Nation says:
June 2, 2013, 12:08 pm
Hey, my mum always wears a dark brownish color not sure what its called going to have to go and check now. =)


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