{Day 22} Nails: Fashion & Beauty For Women Over 40

I can’t believe we’re on Day 22 of my 31 days series of Fashion & Beauty for Women Over 40! It’s flying by! Today we’re going to talk about our nails, so hang on!

When I first read in Charla Krupps book, How Not To Look Old, that acrylic nails and dark nail polish makes you look old, I was shocked. But after several days of thinking about it, it kind of makes sense.

As we age, our hands age right along with the rest of our body. The point is, not to draw attention to the parts of our body that are aging. If you have long, young looking hands by all means wear dark nail polish and/or acrylic nails.

But if your hands are aging, try to go with a manicured short neutral nail (there seems to be a theme to the neutral look!).

I have short fingers and my hands have started to age. I’ve noticed when I wear dark nail polish my hands look shorter and stubby. Nail polish that is close to your skin color will elongate your hands.

So here’s the young and hip nail tips, according to Charla Krupp:

Shape: “Squoval” Not quite square and not quite oval, this is the flattering shape in between.

Length: Keep nails no longer than a quarter inch beyond your fingertips. I don’t know how women do anything with super long nails!

Color: Save your fun colors for your toes. On fingernails a pretty, sheer pink or beige will take you anywhere. Again, light colors elongate the look of your fingers.

The french manicure can be tricky if not done right (Krupp says acrylic nails can age you, I’m just telling you what she says, you don’t have to agree with her. She says you would have a hard time finding a salon that did acrylic nails in Manhattan, who knew?)

If you have to have acrylic nails, Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist says, “the French manicure should be a soft white, not a stark white and the tip (white part) should be applied very thin. Nine times out of ten, it’s too thick, which makes it not chic.”

Also, no nail art, and avoid excessive glitter! (This makes you look like you’re trying too hard to look young!)

Well, what do you all think? Agree or disagree? I can’t wait to hear from you!

I love to chat on facebook, you can follow me on facebook here, I also love to add things to my pinterest boards and if you’d like to follow some of my pictures throughout the day, you can follow me on Instagram.

**If you’ve missed any of my posts in this series or want to start from the beginning you can go here!

Beauty For the Heart~~Proverbs 31:10-13

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

Have a blessed day!

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  1. I agree I thik natural nails are more classy. My husband says acrylic nails look fso fake. I do love the schellac. I work for a doctors office snd natural nails are more preferred plus they go with any outfit. do like coral in the summer and I wear red around Christmas and love color on my toes. You have been a great help and others should follow you as well.

  2. Jill, I will be 52 in April and have recently conquered the habit! And my nails were atrocious! Like you, I tried everything but anything I would paint on them, whether that be polish or the nasty tasting stuff, I would simply scrape off with my teeth and then back to business as usual! My victory was actually Gods victory. I realize this may sound super weird to some but here goes. I wasn’t even trying at the time and He led me to remembering what just may have triggered the “nervousness” or need to comfort myself all those many years ago. When I remember i have been redeemed of all of my junk, my now growing nails are a representation of that victory and I pretty much refuse to have the other side represented by bitten up nails! Now I keep a file with me so when I get a snag, instead of “fixing” it with my teeth (you know where that leads!) I file. And I started using Hard as Nails regularly…and cuticle cream and lotion. Best of luck to you!

  3. I agree with all of this except the nail art. As an artist this is part of me. Can’t give it up just cuz I hit some stupid number. And I only do 2 nails on each hand so that it doesn’t look overdone and gaudy anyway. Great articles.

  4. jennifer g says:

    I had not thought about it…but this makes complete sense. Especially since my hands get dry, rough and old looking this time of year, with the weather changing and all the extra hand-washing due to cold and flu season being upon us.

  5. 110% agree!! I’ve always loved the look of clean, fresh, lightly pale pink or creme nails. My nails are naturally very white on the tips anyway so when I swipe some pale pink polish on them it looks as if I’ve had a very natural American manicure. Would much rather see the soft look rather than the opposite. Day 22 ROCKED!

  6. Well, hallelujah. I’m so glad to know that I should be going with more of a natural and neutral look on my nails–my fingernails just WILL NOT keep dark polish looking fresh for more than one day, but I’ll never again think it’s what I should aspire to! (Unfortunately, my nails usually look a little too “natural” for beauty–I really need to take better care of my hands!)

  7. Giada has beautiful nails, you’re right!! Oh I wish I had some solution for you with biting nails. If I find a solution, I’ll let you know!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Oh thanks Judy for that Essie color, I’m going to have to check it out! And you’re absolutely right, chipped nails etc. look horrible. Nice nails are a must!

  9. So glad you’ve picked up a few tips! I’m kicking and screaming a little bit :-)
    I just don’t know how I got to this age so quick!!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. That’s true Dorothy! I love red polish around Christmas. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Natural is best and less expensive! Thanks for stopping by Bonnie!

  12. Okay Jennie you just made me start craving an eggnog latte! Yum Yum!!
    It does sound cozy and festive.

  13. Absolutely Teresa unkept nails destroy the look! Whatever we do we need nice looking nails.
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Thanks Cathy!! I’m sure those colors look great on you!! I’m with you, I use to spend too much money on my nails.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Thanks Lori! I’m glad you’re enjoying this series. I didn’t think everyone would probably think neutral and pale nail polish would look good on them. You know what looks best with your skin. I think having nice looking nails completes our look!

  16. Thanks Jamie and thanks for stopping by! I think acrylic nails are becoming less popular. As least we’re saving money! :-)

  17. Loving this series of posts, Cyndi! I am such a terrible nail biter. I would love it if someone who’s fought this battle would give me some good ideas to stop this terrible habit! I’ve tried painting my nails with the product that tastes bitter but it didn’t stop me. I am 47 and all my life I’ve been envious of beautiful hand/nails. I think Giada on the Food Network has beautiful nails and is a good example of what you’re describing in this post.

  18. I agree with you 100% Cyndi! Nails can make a world of difference to the aging hand. I do wear fun colors on my toes in the summer (never black, though). I love Essie’s Boy Best Friend on my shortish fingernails year round. I might add one more thing that says volumes about a woman, especially to those who don’t know her; cracked, chipping nail polish that looks like it’s been on nails forever is a total turn-off. Even if everything else is perfect, THAT is a deal breaker. Thank you for the Proverbs verse, I’ve always been so fond of that one.

  19. So far I have enjoyed your “31 days” and feel like I have picked up a few tips. I am 58 years old and would much rather go kicking and screaming into old age in something other than black, white, gray or neutral. Guess I am just not afraid to age and would rather have fun……….

  20. Dorothy Terwilliger says:

    I am 59 years old and never was able to have good nails. Now I wear the shellac and am so happy with it. I wore pale colors in the summer but now am going to the bronze or burgundy to match the season. And a bright red can be very attractive. It is a pick-me up for me and I get lots of compliments. You just have to be selective and not pick too unusual a color.

  21. I read several years ago that all the beauty editors wore their nails short and either just buffer to a shine or with light nude or pink polish–or classic red. I suspect the black-ish, eggplanty, etc. colors MIGHT have changed this a little bit but the acrylic nail trend seems to be over….and I for one am glad. Never did it but at times it felt like I was the only one.

  22. I love your series but totally agree with Lori and Cathy on this one. Dark colors are fun, especially in the fall. Spicy plum on my nails with an eggnog latte in hand feels cozy and festive… so nice! Glitter is better on my daughters, though.

    Thanks for writing! I’m learning so much!

  23. I agree on all points. The very dark colours looks goulish and nail art looks like something a child would wear. Shortiish, clean and pale. I’m sure even with ruddy skin there is some paler shade to counteract that. I still like reds sometime,s but have never worn coloured polish on my hands. It’s too much upkeep and I do pottery and play piano so only short nails for me.
    I’m lucky to have strong nails that grow quickly so could never understand the need (or expense) of acrylic.
    I am a big fan of super buffed nails…beautiful, natural and healthy looking. CTD
    I guess it didn’t need saying that nothing destroys the look like dirty nails and chipped polish.

  24. Cathy Grasinger says:

    I have to say I LOVE the dark colors!!!! I’m 52 and think they look sooooooo chic!! I wore acrylics for years and years and I just spent so much money on them…UGH!!! but now they are so not attractive and so dated and now I’m into all the pretty deeper shades of purples and grays!!!! In the summer I loved the corals sometimes when I’m tan! I agree all the sparkles and shimmer are for the younger girls..not a fan!! Love this series!!!!! So fun!!!

  25. I agree with everything but the dark colors. I am a fair-skinned blonde and my skin tone is very pink, even on my hands. Very light colors make my hands look red, while the darker ones make then look whiter and prettier. I don’t do crazy shades, but true reds/burgundy colors look really good. I do agree about acrylics–I think they’ve gone the way of 80s hair! In our area, shellac is the big thing and I recently started getting it. I absolutely LOVE it! My nails truly stay looking good for two weeks (longer if I get a french manicure)! Love this series–I’m learning a lot!

  26. I completely agree with this article you wrote. I am only 34 (about to be 35) and I haven’t worn dark nail polish since I left my mid 20s I think. I either always go clear or light sheer pink or a soft beige like color.
    My toes are my playground just as you wrote. I use to wear acrylic, but stopped that about 4 yrs ago. I never wore them long, but I just like the natural look now as I get “older”. Plus they were so hard to do my crafts with. :)
    Great article. Completely agree with it.
    **And I would not have thought it would be hard to get acrylics in Manhattan – interesting. Guess that should tell us something then.
    Wishing y’all a Blessed day!


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