Polished to Perfection

Edgy desert fashion lies at your fingertips

The modified cat eye and flawless cream-to-powder finishes are hot at Agim Salon.


There’s good news for fashionistas immersed in the race to look on-trend this spring. The key to chic, of-the-minute style is — literally — at the tips of your fingers. Perfectly groomed nails dressed in the freshest colors and finishes signal a woman who’s tuned in to fashion without being a fashion victim.

With-it desert salons are taking cues from spring runway looks — from Chanel to Kate Spade to Rodarte — and focusing on pale colors and exotic finishes. Pastels, nudes, and neons are replacing the moody darks of winter. Metallics, holograms, fine glitters,  and mattes make elaborate decorations  and heavy, chunky glitter look “so 2013.”  So get those pretty fingers dialing and book some style therapy from the best in the business.

Brush on a fresh look
Eliza Audrey Lee at Shear Hair Design is the go-to paint wizard when you want the freshest take on nail art — subtle ombrés, precise French tips, and mesmerizing graphic designs. Salon owner Alma Diaz says spring will bring “Tiffany blue, light lavender, and lots of pastels, along with matte finishes. Designs might be part matte, part shiny, using the base color in one finish and the design in its opposite.” Natural nails are also overtaking acrylics in popularity, she notes, with new gels and shellacs that last more than two weeks and won’t damage natural nails. 73896 El Paseo, Palm Desert. 760-340-1377; shearhairdesignelpaseo.com

Soak up old-school luxury
Natalie at Studio M Salon and Spa is famous for her traditional, ultra- pampering ¬¬nail services. This manicure/pedicure maven reigns over a serene, private room where you can relax with a glass of Champagne while your digits are transformed from grubby to glam. She uses only Spa Ritual polishes, formulated without DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin. Choices run the gamut of creams, shimmers, glitters, and metallic. Iridescent topcoats amp up the glitz factor for any solid color. 2465 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. 1025, Palm Springs. 760-327-9000; studiomsalonandspa.com

Step away from the crystals and flowers
J. Russell! The Salon specializes in classic, sophisticated nails and shies away from overwrought decoration. “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should,” says Kevin Kersey. “Some say that French tips are out of style,” he notes, “but they are really classic. The new way to do them is with off-white or dark tips in black or red, instead of the old-style stark white.” CND’s Vinyl Lux shellac is a “remarkable new product” that goes on without a base coat, is cured by natural light and lasts a full week with no chipping. 72996 El  Paseo, Palm Desert. 760-340-2638;  jrussellthesalon.com

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