The manicure is the wellness trend you are not thinking about but should — where you can lean into mindfulness while practicing self-care.
Gel manicures have risen to popularity in recent years, but the long-wear formula does not come without risks. The UVA exposure, says a 2016 American Academy of Dermatology report, could lead to premature aging and skin cancer. But unnecessary UVA exposure and harsh acetone removal aside, abandoning gel might be just the thing we need for our mental health, too. Yes, you read that right.
Is meditation not your thing? Or do you have a hard time relaxing at yoga classes? Take the plunge and invest in a healthy manicure for a healthy mind; because beauty can be just as much for your mind as it is for your skin. Wellness starts with self-care, and self-care starts at your fingertips.
So, set aside thirty minutes a week for your manicure, and use that time to center, meditate and clear your mind. Instead of texting or checking your social feeds, try listening to a podcast like The Meditation Podcast, or open a guided meditation app like Headspace, all while giving your nails some TLC. Sounds like a win-win.
Next time you go in for a “mindfulness mani,” put the gel down and pick up one of these polishes that will have you showing off at your next wellness retreat.
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JINsoon, Pop Orange
This bright orange shade literally screams happiness. I discovered JINsoon polish three years ago, and it has been life-changing. If your main concern with a normal manicure is chipping, meet your new favorite formula. These polishes do not chip. Ever. Honestly, it is like magic. Star manicurist Jin Soon Choi creates formulas that are 9/10-free, which means they are free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, triphenyl phosphate, parabens and lead.
Smith & Cult, Kundalini Hustle
Kundalini Hustle is, quite frankly, a superb shade of red. Even the name — Kundalini just rolls off the tongue — gets you in the yogi state of mind. And, it is flattering for all skin tones, which let me tell you is not an easy task (I have pale skin with red undertones, and most reds do not work for me). As soon as I tried the Smith & Cult-favorite I was hooked, and I am not alone. Smith & Cult nail polish is so well-liked that Instagram famous Gelcream once awarded the brand a perfect score of 5/5. And, it is also an 8-free polish, if you are committed to clean beauty.
OPI, Russian Navy
OPI nail polishes are like your grandmother’s secret cookie recipe. They are classics, and when you find a good classic, you stick with it. Russian Navy was one of the first nail colors I fell in love with. Blue polishes are fierce, and the Russian Navy was my first lesson in this. Just ask Julia Roberts, who is making the case for a navy polish after clapping back at an Instagram troll. Russian Navy is the perfect deep indigo for the dreary days of winter when you need a pick-me-up. Or, a cookie (strong proponent that cookies are an act of self-care).
CND Vinylux, Studio White
Studio White comes from the CND weekly polish line, and it is infused with Jojoba Oil, Keratin and Vitamin E for a manicure that takes care of your nails while you take care of yourself. This color is perfect for a night on the town or sipping a matcha latte after an extra touch cycling class. Even celebs are following suit as we saw white nails all over the 2018 VMAs Pink Carpet (for good reason). But, the best part for those of you who haven’t decided to ditch the gel manicure just yet? The weekly CND polish comes with the gel-like shine you crave.
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour, Ballerina 167
A good nude nail polish is hard to find. But, this one is really good. Are you about to enter wedding season? Celebrating an anniversary, and your outfit calls for a barely-there nail? I always turn to this Chanel polish. It is more of a pearly ivory with pink touches, and the shine is out of this world. Ballerina, as cute as its moniker, is delicate and simple, and it lets you be you. That is what self-care is all about.