Work-Appropriate Nails: Length, Shape, Color, and More!

work appropriate nailsHere’s a topic we haven’t discussed in FOREVER: nails and the office. What’s your definition of work-appropriate nails? Do you think there are any definite nail DON’TS for the office? What is your favorite nail polish color and nail shape to wear to work? And, readers — as busy women, do you prefer gel or acrylic over regular nail polish? Reader L has a great question:

I have read a good deal of advice online about work appropriate nail colors, but I cannot find much on length and shape. I like to wear acrylics that are modestly long and rounded in order to enlongate my stubby fingers. They are short enough to look natural, but they are about a centimeter past my finger tips. I also always wear nude or light pink polish to soften the look. I will be starting at a somewhat conservative firm in the fall. Can I keep my nails?

We’ve talked in the past about finding a nail salon near your office, nail care for the minimalists, and the best nail colors for work. But we’ve never talked shape/length, and even our work-appropriate nail color discussion was many moons ago. So let’s talk, ladies!

For my $.02, I’m hoping Reader L meant a millimeter instead of a centimeter — holding up a ruler against my very short nails, a centimeter past my fingertip looks like it would be double the length of my nail.  (#NoNosferatuNails!) (Admittedly, my ruler is neon pink and see-through, so, uh, perhaps the measurements are off?) I’m going to take a hard line position and say that if your nails interfere with regular typing, they’re too long. In terms of the best shape of nails for work, I think it really comes down to preference.

In terms of color, I think colorful nails have come a long way towards being work-appropriate; when I started this blog we were debating whether dark red nails were professional! I still think it’s very much a “know your office” thing, though — so I’d advise women to stay away from wackier colors and designs if it’s your first week on the job or if you have a big meeting with new clients.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on work-appropriate nails? What length do you like to keep your nails? What shape and color are your favorites to wear to work?

(Pictured above: stock art from Pixabay. This is a prime example of why I personally can’t stand nail polish, though — her nails look super raggedy and gross to me! I guess that’s another question — if you wear nail polish at work, do you have a “no chip” policy? What crosses the line into “I need to remove this polish STAT” territory?) 

 

work-appropriate nailswork-appropriate nails

Comments

  1. I’m sitting here with robin’s egg blue nails. I don’t have a court appearance or anything else that requires me to be in front of people this week, so I figured it was fine. No one has said anything.

    On the subject of blue nail polish more generally, the consensus in my office seems to be that it’s okay – and I figured once I saw blue nail polish featured in my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens a few years ago, that it’s probably not considered all that risque anymore.

    • Anonymous :

      +1. I’ve seen quite a few women at my firm wear blue nail polish. The shade of blue definitely seems to matter though — I don’t see any bright cobalt nails, but pale blue and medium greyish blue are all over the place.

    • +1 as well. Blue, usually a deep sapphire, has been my go-to color for years, including when I was an associate in DC biglaw. Blue is such a basic neutral color and goes with everything. I also liked that it reads less girly than pink or vampy than red.

      I also had acrylics for years, as my nails have always been pathetically weak, but I kept them short and round. To be honest, my manicured acrylics were much, much more professional looking than the always-splitting, super short natural nails I have now. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a full set of blues this weekend to distract myself from events in the world.

  2. A centimeter past the fingertip sounds super dated and long. Double down on acrylics and it just seems like a 90’s look.

    Until you KYO I’d stick with traditional colors in the nude/ pink family. As I got more senior in Biglaw, I rocked unusual or fashiony colors if it was a week without client meetings – Wicked, gray, brown, navy, dark foresty green, etc. However, I would stay clear of super bright unusual colors like seafoam or teal, because some partners were super traditional and would definitely have noticed.

    Now that I’m in-house, I don’t get manicures as frequently, but as a general rule people pay WAY less attention to my appearance in my new job than my old one. So when I do get my nails done, I choose whatever color I want (again, unless there’s a Big Meeting on the horizon).

  3. Oh so anon :

    Please no false nails. Even in a very relaxed office setting, they tend to read as a bit tacky and str**per. I have seen every colour of polish on short nails on women of all ages and seniority in my organization.

    • chalkboard :

      I can’t tell the difference sometimes. My law clerk has long nails but they are her painted nails (not even gels). Then, the other clerk has slightly shorter longer nails and hers look natural but are acrylic. But what do I know. I pick off my gel nails in the tub :-D

    • I so agree with this! I have 3 rules: 1) No False Nails; 2) You MUST learn to take Care of your nails, and 3) go to a nail salon where there are women who have a CLEAN utensil to keep your cuticels looking great.

      When I was in DC, my freind Laurie went to a nail salon in NW near Chinatown where the lady’s utensil was not clean. She got an infection in her cuticel and had to get antibiotic’s to take (both internaly as well as topically) to get rid of it. When she went back to the lady, the lady just said “not my utensil”. But she ONLEY had her done there so it HAD to be her utensil. I say FOOEY to unhygenic utensil. THE HIVE should be VERY carful of lady if she has a dirty utensil. FOOEY!

    • Girl.

  4. Anonymous :

    Short nails are better. Much more hygienic than all that dirt hiding underneath fingernails.

  5. I generally paint my own nails every Sunday night. I keep them filed short and rounded, and typically paint them a conservative color. Today they are a pale shell pink. I’ll sometimes do grey or red or a brighter pink, but only if the week’s schedule allows. I’ve experimented with a lot of products but have settled on ORLY Bonder as a basecoat, and the Essie Gel Setter as a top coat. It’s not gel, but keeps them from chipping all week long.

    Having polish on my nails helps me feel more put together, even when everything else might be falling apart. But more importantly, if I don’t wear it, I will pick at my cuticles when I’m anxious, and there’s nothing professional about walking into a meeting with bloody cuticles.

    • Sunday night is my routine also. I have the same cuticle picking issue too :(

      • Anonymous :

        What helped me stop picking my cuticles was to keep a cuticle nipper and hand cream at my desk. Whenever I get the urge I’ll put the hand cream on. Also keeps my hands out of my mouth. And gel polish (so it’s harder to grab on to the cuticle to pick it.)

    • WorkingMom :

      Sunday night nail-painter here too! I am not a lawyer but work in a large corporation – I agree that short, well-kept nails can still carry some fun color, and even some simple nail art/glitter, etc.

  6. Very KYO. I am in a non-legal role now and very rarely interact with customers face-to-face. We are also business casual, with many erring on the side of casual. I keep my nails short because they are brittle and I type all day. My nail polish collection runs the rainbow, but end up staying away from the bright blue, greens, and yellows, only because I don’t like the way they look on my hands. I could absolutely get away with wearing them here. FWIW, I still occasionally sport the probably out-of-trend accent nail with (subtle?) glitter polish.

  7. Anonymous :

    I could use some help and success stories to stop biting my nails and cuticles. I’ve tried on and off for many, many years. The only thing that works for me seems to be going on a week-long vacation to let my nails and cuticles heal/grow out, getting a mani before getting on the plane to go home, and getting weekly manis thereafter. This works for about a month. Then I start biting again.

    Any success stories out there?

    • I still bit sometimes, so I can’t say I’m a success story. That said, I tend to bit when they’re raggedy. Something about raggedy nails makes me want to bite to “fix” them. I started carrying an emery board and nail clippers in my bag, so if I feel the need I can excuse myself and file a bit. For me it’s an anxious habit, not something I don’t even notice I’m doing. I try to distract myself and put my energy elsewhere when I feel the anxiety coming on. Hope that helps!

      • chalkboard :

        +1 to having clippers on you. I have them at my desk, by my bed (for cuticles), in my car and in my purse.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I pick at my nails rather than bite, but I’ve recently had some luck with clipping them very short, keeping the ends as smooth as possible, and moisturizing as often as possible. Always having a nail file is a good strategy.

      I was looking pretty good after the holidays, but this last week has been incredibly stressful and mine are all raggedy again. :(

    • nomorebiting! :

      Somehow I broke myself of the biting habit (though stress does sometimes get the better of me). When I got the urge to bite my nails, I restricted my biting to my pinky nails only. I think being mindful helped, and eventually I was able to cut it out altogether. I do a weekly filing now (and sometimes polish, which helps) but really the main thing was being mindful of the urge to bite and giving that urge a controlled expression, rather than going cold turkey/willpower alone.

    • Marshmallow :

      I was a biter my whole life until I graduated college and got my first “real” job. I wanted to look professional and in my head that meant non-bitten nails. It was probably not the greatest idea, but I started getting gel nails and just kept them up for about two years. Investing the time and money made me hate the idea of ruining my expensive manicure!

      Now I don’t get gel anymore (got tired of the expense) but I have to keep my nails manicured at all times or I will pick. I mostly do them myself at home now, with Vinylux polish because it tends to dry faster and last longer. And I ALWAYS have a nail file on me. The biggest trigger for biting was feeling like I just needed to get that little hangnail or rough spot, and then before I knew it two weeks’ growth was gone. So now I carry a mini file in my wallet.

      I am sitting here with bare nails that I filed way down because they were looking a little raggedy, and regretting that I did not give myself my weekly mani a few days ago. Apparently I never learn!

    • Not a success story here. The only thing that temporarily cured me of biting my nails was having my jaw wired shut (for entirely unrelated reasons, by the way).

      The only thing that works for me is keeping my nails quite short and filed and my hands moisturized. As long as they are quite short I leave them alone — the second they get even a smidge of length, I start biting again. But I’ve come to the conclusion that short and well-groomed is better than the waste of mental energy that not-biting requires.

    • Anonymous :

      I was a nail biter for like 20 years before I stopped. The ONLY thing that worked for me was treating my anxiety/depression (I bit my nails when I was stressed and anxious). I tried everything and nothing else worked. But I never get the urge to bite now, it’s a remarkable change.

    • Anonymous :

      Start filing them. I bite my nails when they’re jagged or weak. Trim them to get the weak bits off the end, get a nice nail file (like a crystal one), and file your nails at least once a week. If you want a pair of heavy duty clippers, get Japanese ones like green bell.

    • The Power of Habit (book by Charles Duhigg) has a story about someone breaking this habit. IIRC it’s about figuring out what triggers the habit and finding a new action to take when you get triggered. Learning about how habits work is useful in many situations; Gretchen Rubin’s book on the subject (Better than Before) is also really good.

    • This is why I have acrylic nails – was a nail biter all my life and still will pick at them if there are ragged edges, etc. But if I have short, pretty, plastic nails and keep a cuticle clipper and a nail file in my desk, then I can avoid it. Good luck!

    • Bit my nails for years and then paid for silk wraps once I had my first law firm job, and the idea of biting off what I paid for was enough to make me stop. That said, I still chew my thumb when excessively stressed (30 years later) and actually had my GC comment on it once so very conscious of it now. I keep a nail file in my purse, my briefcase and my desk and file away anytime I get a raggedy edge. Otherwise I’m going to chew…

  8. Diana Barry :

    I don’t care any more and wear whatever color I want. Right now I have an OPI black base with black and silver glitter in it – I like to do glitter topcoats too since those sometimes elongate wear time. My nails are quite short – I used to play piano and can’t stand any clicking!

  9. I say, polish-wise, anything goes. I frequent the federal courts and this is just not an issue. If you have clients (or jurors?) who might be offended or bothered, I suppose tone it down. But seriously, colors are fine. Art is fine. As with clothes, accessories, etc., it’s always nice not to look tacky, but that’s pretty subjective.

    BTW, I am also firmly in the camp of no-polish-required. Manicures (home or prof) are not a requirement for women in the workplace. Neat, clean, period.

    • +1, thank you. I’m tired of obssessing over every detail of my appearance, especially since no one else cares so long as you’re clean, neat and reasonably (not perfectly!) dressed for the situation. Do whatever makes you feel happy and confident. Hair length/color, makeup, whatever.

  10. I am in-house, working in a business casual environment. I rock what you could call the “poor girl’s manicure” – hands well moisturized; cuticles pushed back and dead skin clipped as necessary; nails only a couple of centimeters long that are filed and buffed to a high shine. I can do this in the privacy of my home once a week while I indulge in the latest Netflix binge, and it is another “feminine-compliant” grooming requirement that I don’t have to p*ss away money on!

  11. I bite my nails when I’m nervous/stressed, which poses a professionalism problem as my job can have periods of very stressful weeks. I tried nail polish (even the “bad tasting” nail polish marketing specifically to nail-biters), but found that my nails would just even worse because it didn’t stop me from biting. Instead, I just had unsightly, unevenly painted red nails.

    My solution has been to forego nail polish completely and simply carry a nail file in my bag so that I can rectify the damage once its done rather than attempt to prevent it.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you try gel polish? I found I couldn’t bite that successfully, so I stopped trying and actually broke the habit over about a year. I still fall back into it, but when I see what I’m doing, I keep my nails gel polished for a while.

  12. Anonymous :

    I’m not sure I’ll ever have my s h * t together enough to actually maintain a consistent manicure… even if I wanted to spend my money on getting regular professional manicures (I can’t imagine anything I’d less rather spend money on), the time requirement of going every. week. makes me want to pull my hair out. I know a lot of women do this, but it totally blows my mind.

    • Anonymous :

      +1. I’m a biter and have given up on my fingernails. No thank you to another thing I’m supposed to be maintaining at 100%.

  13. Anonymous :

    I don’t let my nails chip (remover in my desk for emergencies, and my nails are weak so polish chips quickly on me), but I figure at least on the West Coast, short nails can be pretty much any color.

    My internal rule is that nails can be a balance of (1) length, (2) finish (flat color vs shimmery/metallic/glittery), and (3) color. Extremes in all three would be too much, in my experience. For example, I tend to wear more taupe/mauve colors (for my skin color, these are in the natural tone palette, whereas most pinks that look classic on different skin colors look cotton candyish on me) if the polishes are shimmery or otherwise remarkable, but I think that for flat polishes pretty much anything goes. Does anyone else think like this or am I just off on my own island?

    • Of Counsel :

      I think you are right. Short black or dark blue nails (or bright red) look well-groomed and fashionable. Those same nails an inch or two longer are distracting and tacky looking. I feel like my nails can be longer and a very natural color or they can be shorter and dark, but not long AND dark. I avoid glittery nails except for the holidays.

      Of course I usually get my gels re-done every 3 weeks in a nude color so that the grow-out is less obvious.

      The one place I draw the line is that if your nails are so long that they click when you type they are TOO LONG -but that may be because I find the noise so annoying.

  14. chalkboard :

    I try to get gel manis but if I don’t go with a friend, it’s pure torture. At least with pedis I can read. But the salon doesn’t have TV on so I just stare at the same 3 cliche nail salon posters (depending on the station) of 80s (or 90s?) nails. If I do not have a gel mani, I buff, trim, and file them and make sure they aren’t dry or bleeding since I pick. I used to try not to pick them but I am so impatient and it takes forever to soak them off at the salon.

    I stopped going and didn’t paint them at all for awhile to save money and it does save a lot of money. But if my nails are nice, I feel so much better about myself.

  15. No long nails if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. Manicures are OK. Color is OK. But those long talons look ridiculous. Especially the pointed ones.

    • I feel like this is just another cultural code imposed by the in-the-knows to keep out the “others.”

      • YUP.

        It’s exhausting to have to try to learn these very specific cultural rules to try to impress people who — by their very insistence on these rules! — have demonstrated they are biased against me. I ricochet between wanting to spend all my money and energy trying to conform to wanting to go out with my friends to get my nails done pointy and with chrome gels.

  16. I’m in tech, so knowing my own office, I stay with either a longer shape and more neutral color, or if I want them to be dark or bold, a short and round shape. Right now, I have on OPI you dont know jacques- a gray-brown neutral, and a rounded almond shape. I wanted to get Lincoln Park After Dark and then realized that with the current almond shape, it was looking a little too kylie-jenner for even my workplace.

    A tip for ladies with gel polish- a nail tech once told me that colors with some shimmer in them (OPI humidi-tea is a favorite of mine!) are less likely to lift and peel than the solid creme colors- the individual pieces of shimmer just stick better and wont come off in one solid piece off your nail.

  17. another cpa :

    I’m curious to hear if people use jamberry/other nailwraps. I like the look -I’ve only used the plain color/conservative prints while working, and fun prints while on vacation. However, I have trouble applying and getting the success stories the many people claim, so then it just seems easier to paint my nails and remove when they chip. Just curious if it’s something that I need more practice to get better at, and if other have experiences to share.
    Thanks!

    • Oh god no, not those nail stickers. MLM nail stickers no less. Don’t do it.

    • lucy stone :

      I use them and love them! I tend to stick with the solids most of the time, but can get two weeks out of them easy. I am in a community where most women have fake nails and this is a much more palatable alternative to me.

      • another cpa :

        Thanks lucy stone. I really don’t like the mlm model, but I’ve found I can get half-sheets on amazon/ebay, which makes it easier to try the different styles.
        lucy stone, did you find a big learning curve for using them? I don’t know if I’m just bad at applying them and need to keep working at it or if they’re just not for me.

        • There are application tricks that a consultant can help you with. (Full disclosure-I an a consultant, mainly for the discount. Not expecting to get rich.) They can look just as professional as gels.

  18. Anonymous :

    From what I am tell, nails are regional. Really, specificly regional. There are areas here in the ny suburbs where most well-dressed woman have longish (likely acrylic) nails. In manhattan, a weekly professional application of Mademoiselle or ballet slippers on a natural nail was standard. When I lived in rural PA, manicures were for special occasions, mostly. I guess my point is that what reads “stripper” in muhlenberg looks standard in massapequa.

    • A cute slob? :

      I’d never pinpointed this before, but I think you’re exactly right. In my suburban neighborhood, short nails with a dark, trendy color is the norm for the stylish soccer moms. It’s a completely different story in the rest of my city, depending on the woman’s age, occupation and neighborhood.

    • Absolutely. Long Island nail fashion and Manhattan nail fashion are VERY DIFFERENT.

      • Anonymous :

        I know! And Long Island men sometimes genuinely care about a woman’s nails. My husband loves an acrylic nail look-I never once met a man in NYC who even noticed.

  19. A cute slob? :

    I’d love to hear about how others got into the habit of doing their nails weekly. When I paint my nails, I love the result and vow to keep it up, but it never happens. I feel like I have to plan my entire evening around sitting still long enough to let them cure so I don’t nick the h3ll out of them.

    • Shopaholic :

      I actually do them a couple times a week. It doesn’t seem like a big chore to me. I’ll either sit in bed or do it on the couch in front of the TV while I’m watching something entertaining. I’ll do one coat of base, 2 of polish and a quick dry top coat (I like the Deborah Lippmann one, I think it’s called Addicted to Speed). I usually space the coats out 3-5 minutes each and then the top coat makes it all dry pretty quickly. So it’s not a whole evening, it’s maybe 30 mins while I’m already just hanging out.

      I love the look of having my nails painted but I hate going to get them done on a regular basis so this is the only way I can do it.

    • I used to get weekly Manis when I worked in Manhattan- they’re cheap there ($10 +tip), my salon was near Penn Station, and sitting on the train home was good drying time. I had a client-facing role at that time in the fashion/luxury advertising business, so I felt like it was part of the “look” I needed.

      Can’t afford that luxury any more, as my new local market rate for manicures is $20, and I have to actually plan a trip to the nail salon :-( No more clients (corporate role), so I don’t feel so bad about bare nails.

  20. I think this is a b9llsh3t concern. However, I do have a story. And I promise that I am not Ell3n.

    My claws tend to grow very fast. At my offices, I notice that “male” colors of blue, green, black, gray go unnoticed while the stereotypical reds and pinks tend to draw attention. I was in the mood for blue anyway and I painted my very well-maintained and 5mm long nails blue. So, my nails were looooong (and at that length, do look fake). I was at a meeting and I receive a note from a project manager sitting next to me asking if I always match my nails to my phone case. After I was done rawring with laughter, I took a picture of his handwritten note and he told me not to get him in trouble. I showed the picture to A LOT of people.

    He tells me that when he was 15 (he’s probably in his 50s/60s now), his mother had cancer and he would file and paint her nails for her. And now he notices everyone’s nails and it annoys him when his daughter doesn’t maintain her nails. Sweet but weird. For a few times after that, he would ask me what color my nails were that day. Using my infinite charm, I yelled at him to get away from me enough times that he finally stopped asking me about my nails.

    Fin.

    • My claws grow super fast too. Right now they’re about a half inch long with rounded tips. I run my own consulting company so I don’t have to worry about how the office perceives them. One woman who works for me has even longer nails. I have only had positive feedback on them from my clients. I love how you handled that project manager by showing people a photo of his note and it’s great that he finally stopped bothering you about your nails. Years ago, there was a guy who always sat beside me at meetings so he could look at my legs. Finally I got fed up and said in a loud voice “Ken – will you please stop staring at my legs!”. The whole room went quiet and Ken’s face went though about a dozen colors. Later, he tried to apologize. But I just walked away from him without saying anything. The best way to deal with these creeps is to out them when you can.

    • Unless I constantly cut my nails, I just have long nails and I like them that way. I keep them well maintained and they aren’t pointed. I do them myself once a week. Normally, I wear either periwinkle (summer) or gunmetal (winter), but right now they are flat out Carnival purple. I don’t care.

  21. It’s all I can do to keep my nails neat and clean; polish is just not on my list of things I have time to care about. I do think my nails look pretty painted, but they only get painted like once a year for a special event and .

    My boss (GC of an 1100 employee company with a business casual dress code) keeps hers painted and not always in a conservative color (sometimes they’re green or blue). I think as far as color, no one cares.

    Long nails though, real or fake, will get you a lot of side-eye. I think they’re associated with not being able to use your hands properly and are generally unprofessional.

  22. Katherine K :

    I definitely think it’s a “know your office” thing – I work in a rural area with a lot of elderly clients, and I think it would garner comments/be a distraction if I showed up with, say, neon nails.

    The idea of spending the money for a weekly manicure, sitting for that period of time, and immediately chipping it gives me hives. That said, I want to have nice-looking nails. I’ve been using cuticle cream for over a year, and it’s made a world of difference in the strength of my nails, which means much less picking! I keep Burt’s Bees lemon butter cuticle cream in my desk, and use Sally Hansen apricot cuticle cream every night before bed.

  23. KS IT Chick :

    I work in a hospital. My employer has a section of the dress code devoted to fingernails. As long as my nailbed can be “visualized”, I’m technically within policy. Most people who wear polish ignore that part of policy, though

    Since I’m not in a clinical or patient care role, I have acrylic nails. My natural nails split, tear & peel like crazy, and I can break even a gel manicure without acrylics in about 4 days.

    I only notice when someone’s polish is chipped or their fingers/cuticles are bleeding. Otherwise, I don’t really notice or care.

  24. Normal Ellen :

    I have worn almost every shade to my midwest-biglaw firm and no one has batted an eye, including a subtle nail art design with a metallic stripe down the middle. The only time I would tone it down is for court appearances, but you can definitely still wear color.

    Re nail biting – the way I stopped this was to get another habit. I “roll paper.” (No, I don’t do drugs, ha). I like to tear off the bottom of a post it – maybe half an inch thick section, and roll it back and forth. This is a good mindless thing to do so you don’t bit your nails :).

    I also would make a plug for people who want to do manicures more is to just buy your own gel lamp for home use. You can get them at a nail supply store online for around $100 (which is easily 2.5 salon gel manicures). Just make sure you get the remover wraps so you can remove them yourself. I have a couple of go-to gel colors I purchased as well. And, I find that I am much better at doing my own nails with gel polish than regular. Something about the consistency of the gel makes you less likely to mess up in my mind!

  25. I love gel manicures but hate the price and having to schedule appointments. I spent about $150 and purchased the LED light and all the gel polishes to do it at home. I can now do it at my leisure and still get the benefit of the long-lasting polish. It takes practice but it’s well worth the effort. It’s $40 to get a gel polish done in the shop so I was able to recoup my costs quickly.

    Things to make note of: strong antibacterial hand sanitizer is hard on gel nails. If you have gel polished nails, use soap & water.

  26. What’s with all the female-on-female judgement for liking acrylics?

    This. Is. The. Problem.

    As long as they’re still functional (can type/ do your job), most men aren’t going to notice (save Godzilla’s hilarious story). I personally don’t wear them, but I’ve known other women in fields that work with their hands a lot and they take a beating (hospitality/ nursing) who feel like they need the extra boost to look polished.

    I’m a short nail and frequent manicure kind of woman, and I usually choose dark, vampy reds or purples. I rocked gold glitter once. I doubt anyone noticed.

    Only thing I really “notice”/judge is when the nail polish is badly chipped and should have been removed days ago. As long as the nails are decently kept, bare or painted, I think it’s a non-issue.

  27. Brunette Elle Woods :

    I refuse to spend money on my nails. I prefer to do them at home. Usually I stick with classic pinks, reds, nudes, etc. I do have a few non-neutral colors that I love: sparkly gold, blue, green, silver, etc. I currently work in a very casual office so I can get away with a lot. My nails are not painted right now since I’ve been too busy.

  28. I think my stepdad was attracted to my mom for her gorgeous hands and long, well kept, semi-pointy nails colored always in a pearly white. He tells me my nails are ugly when they are any color than is not lady-like pink or nude or white. I think it is a fetish.

  29. I personally always keep my nails long, filed, and unpolished. When I wear nail polish I feel like I’m suffocating. For the longest time I thought I must be the only one who felt that way, but last fall I discovered the OPI made a “breatheable” nail polish.

    I tried it in a sea foam green, and it was really pretty, but I was still itching to take it off almost immediately.

    In addition, I think while having nice classic painted nails is totally cool, the more designs and jewels put on them, the tackier they look. That said, sometimes its fun to express yourself through your nails, and if its a little unprofessional, then whatever. Manicures usually only last for a week or two anyway.

    And if the men in your professional life treat you differently because your nails are purple and jeweled up instead of red or clear, then how about instead of changing your style we confront the patriarchy? lol!

  30. Hello ladies,

    Thank you for this wonderful feedback! I did miscalculate my nail length. I was estimating. I just measured, and they are actually a half centimeter. My main take away is that I need to get them a little shorter so that they don’t click when I type. They don’t get in the way at this length, but it is even more important that they don’t appear to ge in the way to my colleagues and clients.

    I definitely agree with the posters that mentioned that nail length is a regional thing. I had my acrylics put on in south Florida, but I will be working in Manhattan. I need to file them down to Manhattan standards.

    My $0.02 is that acrylics when well shaped and maintained look much cleaner than natural nails. The polish does not chip at all, which is a huge benefit with my busy schedule. I have also tried gels, and I do not think they hold up as well. My nails break very easily and do so even with gels.

    I really appreciated hearing your stories and experiences. I am looking forward to starting work with appropriate nails.

    Thanks,

    L

  31. I always had weak, ragged nails that peeled and tore and just looked awful. A manicurist told me to try Rejuvacote by Duri. It works phenomenally! I have to clip my nails every couple of weeks now because they get too long. They are really strong now. It’s very inexpensive — you can buy it on Amazon for about eight bucks. I swear I am not an investor or anything. It’s just a really great product. But MAKE SURE you follow the instructions.

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