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Nail polish can look totally professional if you select the right colors. If you're headed to an interview, keep your nails especially conservative but don't hesitate to use clear or light polish. The atmosphere of your workplace determines exactly which shades work for you, If your firm has a vibrant, creative culture, bright nails may fit in well, although conservative nails are the norm in many workplaces.
Pale pink and beige shades work well for just about any office. Think neutral, natural shades that are either pale or similar to your skin tone. Of course, clear polish is always appropriate. French tips look professional as well. Light shimmer is okay, but matte shades are your safest bet. Steer clear of bold shimmer at all costs -- that shiny blue number will have to wait for the weekend. At the office party, or maybe on a casual Friday, spring for a more vibrant color.
Colors and Personality
You'll also want to choose a shade that expresses your personality. This can definitely be tricky when you have such limited options from which to choose, but it's not impossible. Pink looks sweet and girly, so if that's the look you're going for, by all means choose it -- but if not, consider a brown hue. White tips work well if you want to exude sophistication. If your workplace culture gives you more flexibility in your appearance, and you want a bold, confident shade, go with a rich red. Silver and bronze shades with a subtle shimmer also exude creative sophistication.
Embellishments often seem over-the-top in the office climate. However, a tiny gem on each thumbnail or the tip of each fingernail can look polished. Combine them with light nail coloring and a simple, muted design across the top of the nail. Think simple, elegant patterns sweeping across the top in a single color, not complicated, "busy" designs.
No nail polish looks professional if it's sloppily applied. Your nails need to look neat and trim. Long nails can look tacky and will definitely make typing a challenge, so keep them trim, with the ends coming just past your fingertips. Only you know you're hiding some bold colors inside those closed-toe shoes!