While college has no doubt made me more independent and decisive, I still have trouble knowing what nail color to choose, what the new styles are or when it’s appropriate to start wearing red again (winter, by the way). Well, have no fear because I’ve done the research and can now provide a list of perfect nail wear to suit every college girls’ style:

Trend 1: The Barely There

Always in style and always classy, barely there polish works well for people like me who tend to chip their nails a lot (or can’t fit in a manicure very often). Barely there colors such as whites, pale pinks and beiges are great because they are less noticeable when your manicure starts to fade away or when your nails grow out. And remember, light does not mean boring! My new personal favorite: “Sand Tropez” by Essie. Hint: it goes great with a tan!

Ring from Forever 21

Trend 2: The DIY Sparkle

I love a good sparkly polish but always hated how that single layer of sparkles looked over my manicure. So, I decided to use the sparkles from the very beginning. I simply picked up a nice gold sparkle and applied until my nails were opaque. I would recommend sticking to one color, however. It took three coats but my nails looked awesome! The only downside was that the polish was thicker and began to peel after a week, but it was definitely worth it and touch ups were so easy.

Trend 3: The Appliqué

Nail appliqués are something that I’ve just discovered recently and have heard nothing but great reviews about. These stick-ons are exactly what the name implies, no-polishing-required nail wear. Yes, that means no drying time or next day chipping (finally!). They last long, look neat and are easy to apply. Plus, they cost about as much (or less) than a salon manicure – yay college budget! – and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Simply apply to a clean nail, file away the excess and you’re done. Where to find them: both Sally Hansen and Minx have their own lines and they can be found in most drugstores.

Trend 4: The One-Nail Difference

This is something I’ve been seeing on a lot of celebrities recently – they paint all their nails the same except for one finger on each hand (usually the ring, but it doesn’t matter). I was a bit skeptical at first but I finally tried it and it does look really fun on. I would recommend putting a print, sparkle or colorful French tip on the odd nail out for extra funk. My next manicure: hot pink nails with Sally Hansen’s Wild Child Zebra Nail Effects sticker on the ring fingers.

Still skeptical? I think you can never go wrong with a bright coral. But remember, nail color is a much shorter commitment  than hair dye, so why not spice things up?


Jessica Errera, is currently a Freshman, undecided major at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  She loves theatre, reading, tennis and all things FASHION. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.