It might technically be the end of summer, but while wide-brimmed hats and salty hair are taking a natural exit, our perma-pedi in eye-catching colours doesn’t have to go anywhere. With Chanel’s Spring 2016 colour collection, L.A Sunrise palette promising the ‘vibrant mood of an endless Los Angeles summer’ we decided too to hold onto balmy nights and sun-filled days by the tips of our fingers. With a bevy of bright shades on offer to experiment with, Canberra-based Beauticater and self-confessed adorer of an attention-grabbing talon, Katherine Ring painted her way through a selection of the perkiest varnishes we could find.

BEST FOR: A HIT OF GLAM

Ciate Cupcake Queen 011

CIATE CUPCAKE QUEEN 011, $20

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fall in love with each bottle of Ciate nail varnish on first sight. These might just be the most handsome polish bottles on the market. This fuchsia pink contains a very slight oil-slick glimmer to give a certain je ne sais quoi to your manicure, and the formulation is rich and smooth.”

BEST FOR: NO-FUSS APPLICATION

Dior Bonheur 661

DIOR BONHEUR 661, $43

“This hot pink shade from Dior packs a real pigment punch – I find one coat does the trick, and the brand’s trademark wide brush with a nicely rounded edge makes application extra quick.”

BEST FOR: NASTY-FREE FORMULATION

Kester Black Coral

KESTER BLACK CORAL, $20

“This classic coral shade is perhaps the chicest summer accessory, but best of all this formula contains no DBP, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formadehyde Resin or Camphor (also known as 5-Free), so it’s kind on your nail beds as well. Two coats are essential.”

BEST FOR: VERSATILE COLOUR

OPI Are We There Yet?

OPI ARE WE THERE YET?, $19.95

“OPI’s slightly more muted coral offering contains a very subtle shimmer, perhaps lending itself to that Antipodean novelty of Christmas in summer. This slightly thinner formulation applies very easily but definitely requires two coats.”

BEST FOR: NAIL VARNISH NOVICES

Essie Blossom Dandy

ESSIE BLOSSOM DANDY, $8.50

“For those a bit nervous at the prospect of adorning their trotters with such vibrant shades, take a cue from Essie’s sweet duck-egg-blue polish. Essie also champions the wider brush and once applied this colour offers a subtle nod to the season without shouting. Apply two coats for best result.”

BEST FOR: RULE BREAKING SHADE

Mecca Cosmetica Valeria

MECCA COSMETICA VALERIA, $22

“Mecca offers a supremely shiny aqua shade to break up the traditional summer pinks and reds, and this colour is as glossy and sweet as seasonal candies. Application needs two coats.”

BEST FOR: LONG-LASTING COLOUR

Jamberry Getaway 125

JAMBERRY GETAWAY 125, $22

“This Jamberry shade is not for the light-hearted! A deep turquoise such as this brings a little of the ocean to your fingertips, and best of all is 5-Free! Perhaps the trade-off for such a benefit is that at least two coats (perhaps three) are required to achieve a nice even colour. But what’s so great about Jamberry – no waiting for them to dry. They last ages, and I think this innovation is the best.”

Quick tip: Don’t forget to always apply a nourishing base coat before colour, and finish off with a high-shine, quick-dry top coat to lock in your favourite shade. Find the time to massage cuticle oil in to the nail beds twice a week, and your digits will look pristine for longer.

Review by Katherine Ring

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