By Colby Smith, Assistant Account Executive and Photographer/Videographer
Whenever I’m in Target, the first section I wander to is cosmetics. Call me a girly-girl, but I love nail polish.
The recent trend of “nail art” has been a catalyst for me to spend what little money I have in my bank account on small brushes and more nail polish colors.
Nail art can get pretty crazy. It ranges from fake, 4-inch-long nails that are plastered in rhinestones, to glittery stickers that are pre-made and ready to place over your already-polished nails, to do-it-yourself patterns.
My favorite nail blog, “Hey, Nice Nails!,” is run by two women who paint on all their art by hand, using tiny little brushes and TONS of patience.
The brand that seems to have every color I have ever wanted, Essie, has recently teamed up with my favorite company, TOMS Shoes. They have created a color called “Barefoot in Blue” to wear during the annual “One Day Without Shoes” event in April.
While Essie and OPI are my first picks to buy, they can be a little pricey. My go-to, cheaper alternatives are NYC and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear.
My Take on Nails in the Professional World
With a handful of my girlfriends getting ready to graduate and preparing for job interviews, one of them mentioned to me that “proper” interview polish should be light or no polish at all. And certainly, no nail art.
Could you get anymore BORING?
While I agree that outrageously long, blinged-out nails are a bit much to rock to an interview, I don’t necessarily agree that you should go in bare-nailed. That is, unless you’re not into nail polish which is acceptable – it’s not everyone’s forte.
But if you are into nail polish, check out my tips for how your nails should look for an interview.
Colby’s Top Tips on Nail Etiquette in the Professional World
1. Plan your nail polish color around your outfit. If you are already wearing a kelly green blazer, you don’t need bright nails to match it. I think the employer will get the picture. Bright nails + bright clothes = too loud! You don’t want to come off obnoxious. You want just the right amount of color to show your individuality and creativity.
2. Fake nails are a no-no. Yes, acrylic nails can be fun. But they might give off too much of an “uppity” vibe to someone who doesn’t know you at all. Go natural!
3. Nails should be appropriate length. Appropriate length meaning short nails are better than long! If you think they are too long, cut ‘em!
4. Keep glitter to a BARE minimum. I personally despise glitter and refuse to wear any polish or clothing that is remotely glittery or sparkly. But if you love glitter on your nails, keep it minimal for an interview. Glitter is not considered professional, but if it is absolutely you, here are some great examples of just the right amount of “professional” sparkle.
5. Be creative! But not too creative. Nail art is OK. Public relations is a creative industry, therefore get creative with your nails – but not out of line. Something like this or this is a good amount of nail art.
6. Last but not least: ABSOLUTELY NO CHIPPING! Chipping of polish looks tacky and unprofessional. Worried about it? Keep the bottle of polish that is currently on your nails in your purse, just in case you need some last minute touch-ups!
Nail polish is a great way to show your personality in a professional and probably nervous interview situation. We are in public relations, ladies – let’s get creative!