InStyle talks with manicurist Josephine Allen about her favorite tips for two-week manicures and some of her favorite custom-color combinations.

  1. Do 1 ½ base coats. Apply the base coat to the upper half of the nail and after it dries, apply another coat to the whole nail for a stronger foundation.
  2. Pile on the polish. Allen advises using generous amounts of lacquer for each of the two layers of polish.
  3. Seal the deal. Apply one coat of Nailtiques 2, followed by one coat of Seche Clear for a strong topcoat that helps the polish dry fast.
  4. Cool it. Dip hands in and out of a bowl of ice water to help speed drying time. “This helps to set the lacquer,” Allen says.


Josephine Allen’s favorite Essie color combos: 

  1. Apertif + Russian Roulette = The Perfect Red
  2. Sugar Daddy + Blushing Bride = The Perfect Pale
  3. Swing Velvet + Bordeaux = The Perfect Dark

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