Polished Professional? Nail Polish that is…

Thanks to a wonderful friend and one of the most professional and proper gals I know, this week’s topic is hand and nail care in the workplace. The question I received was, “What are your thoughts on nail colors and what is appropriate for the workplace?”

This is such a great question! Although it may seem like a trivial detail, your hands truly do stand out in the workplace. While shaking hands during introductions, taking notes/typing at meetings, dining with other professionals, and especially talking with your hands, a lot of attention is drawn to your hands making them a focal point. As a result, keeping your nails manicured and your hands presentable is extremely important!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking… “Keep my hands manicured? I cannot afford a weekly/biweekly manicure.” I completely understand! If you are able to afford getting your nails professionally done, go for it, but for those readers who are not able to do so, it is perfectly OK! You can certainly have great hands and nails without the professional care.

  1. Moisturize Your Hands
    • Keep an unscented or very lightly scented hand cream in your desk. If you shake hands a lot or have a hands-on job, your hands have a tendency to dry out (especially during the dry, cold winter months). Dry, rough skin during a handshake is never a good thing. :/ Your hands also look much more presentable when you they are not dry, cracked, or red.
    • Put on cream after you shower or right before bed, it lets the cream set while you are having some down time.
    • Use cuticle oil or cuticle cream.
  2. File Your Nails and Keep Them Shaped
    • Always keep a nail file handy, you never know when you may break a nail.
    • Although pointed nails have been in fashion lately, avoid the “claw/talon” look unless you work in the fashion industry and need to follow all the trends.
    • Keep your nails at a reasonable length. Typically, your nail should be as long as your finger or just slightly longer (when you are looking at your nails from the palm side of your hand).
    • The graphic below shows the main nail shapes. For the office, I recommend the 3 shapes on the right (rounded, squarely rounded, and oval) or a short square shape.

      Photo Credit: Style Craze

      Photo Credit: Style Craze

  3. Nail Color and Design
    • I suggest a nude color, pale pink, or a French manicure.
      • I use a lot of Essie nail polishes. Here are a few of my favorites:

        All Colors from Essie

        All Colors from Essie

    • If you do choose to have colored nails (i.e. a darker shade in the fall/winter), be sure it is subtle and matches your professional wardrobe.
    • Stay away from overly long, bright, and decorated/bejeweled nails.
    • If it is a holiday and your office participates in celebrations, having colored or decorated nails is OK, but I would only keep them for the few days surrounding that holiday.
  4. Keep Your Nails Clean
    • When your nail polish begins to chip or fade, take it off! Having chipped nail polish is very unprofessional and it does not look appealing.
    • If you do not wear nail polish, keep your nails filed and shaped. You can also put a clear coat or nail strengthener on to add a simple shine to your nail!
    • Clean under your nails so dirt and grime do not show.

With all these tips in hand, go pamper yourself and make your nails look fabulous!

Sparkle On,

Alexandra

How to Be a Good Roommate

As part of Week 2 of The DC Ladies Blogtober, today’s writing prompt is your “Favorite Back to School Memory.” My mind immediately went to picking out my first day of school outfit, prepping my Lilly Pulitzer agenda, organizing all my school supplies, and anxiously reading through my syllabi. Those are certainly a few of my favorite back to school activities, but my ultimate favorite back to school memory was moving back in with my roommates after the summer break! Today, I am sharing my tips on how to be a good roommate.

  1. Be Courteous
    • If you are going to invite people over or have guests stay overnight/for the weekend, be sure to ask your roommate and let him/her know of your plans.
    • Keep the noise level down – If your roommate is studying, working from home/after hours, or sleeping, do not make a ruckus.
      • If you are watching a TV show or movie, close your door or keep the volume low if you are in the common area.
      • If you are listening to music, use headphones.
      • If you are in the kitchen, avoid rearranging the pots and pans while cooking.
    • Unless asked by your roommate to go get something, do not go into your roommate’s room or personal things.
    • On a safety note: If you do not plan to come home one evening, are going out town, or will be coming in very late, let your roommate know. It is always good to have someone know where you are, but you also do not want to scare your roommate by not showing up or coming in extremely late.
  2. Keep Your Place Neat and Tidy
    • This is especially true for the common areas and if you share a bathroom!
    • Common Area/Living Room:
      • If you use blankets, pillows, etc. or rearrange the furniture for an evening, be sure to put things back as they were once you are done.
      • Use coasters! It helps to prevent drink stains on coffee and end tables.
      • Share your magazines/books! If you are not going to keep them, put them on the coffee table for your roommates and guests to look at.
      • If you have people over, clean up. If you spill or break something, clean up. No one likes to clean up someone else’s mess.
    • If you share a bathroom:
      • Do not leave things laying all over the countertop.
      • Do not hog all the space on the shower caddy/shelving.
      • Clip your nails over the trashcan.
      • Swifter/Vacuum the floor (especially if you are a girl with long hair… shedding happens).
      • Wash out the sink after you brush your teeth. No one likes dried toothpaste globs!
      • Clean the mirror.
      • Empty the trash (especially if it’s “that” time ladies).
  3. The Kitchen
    • Do not eat food that is not your’s unless your roommate has said you can have some.
      • With that said, if you are making dinner or snacks, ask your roommate to join you for meals! Share your recipes!
    • Clean up your dirty dishes and cookware. Do not leave things sitting on the counter or in the sink for prolonged periods of time.
    • If you use a dishrack instead of a dishwasher, be sure to put your things away when they are dry. A cluttered dishrack does not help your cleaning process.
    • Clean the countertops and appliances after you use them.
    • If you need to borrow a utensil or appliance that is not your’s, be sure to ask first.
  4. Share the Chores
    • Make a list of regular chores (taking out the trash, vacuuming, unloading the dishwahser, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) and alternate responsibilities.
    • For common items (toilet paper, trash bags, etc.) and cleaning supplies, alternate who buys it each month (or however often).
  5. Decorating
    • Before moving in, be sure to discuss who is bringing what. Unless you plan on living together for a very long time, I would avoid splitting the cost for new things. When you move out, it can get complicated as to “who owns what,” especially if it is large pieces of furniture.
    • Do not hang anything in the common area without talking to your roommate first.
    • Before you rearrange the furniture, ask your roommate if he/she has any ideas for a new arrangement.
    • Be culturally sensitive, especially when it comes to the holidays. If you celebrate different holidays, decorate for all of them!

Overall, be courteous and remember you are sharing your living space. Do not do anything you would not want done to you or your things. Whether you are in college or post-grad, I hope these tips help you to live succesfully and comfortably with a roommate.

Enjoy your roommate and have fun together!

Sparkle On,

Alexandra