Hand and Nail Trends for Spring & Summer

Nail art strips, first knuckle rings, SPF hand cream, and polka dots!

Polka dot nail art and gold memory ring on backdrop of booksNail art continues to be a major trend, seen on celebrities and high schoolers, and everyone in-between! A product that has been popping up in stores a lot, along with nail art kits, is nail art stickers, or nail polish strips. These are packages of pre-printed strips that are sized to fit right on nails. They are self-adhesive, easy to use (once you get the hang of it), and virtually mess free. (I used nail art stickers to create the red and gold polka dot look seen in the photo at right.) These stickers/strips can be found at drugstores, big box stores, beauty supply stores, and even high-end mall stores. They're a fun way to try nail art without having to purchase any polishes or tools.

Memory rings
You might notice, in the photo, the little heart ring that I am wearing at the top of my ring finger. It's called a memory ring, midi ring, or first knuckle ring, another fun new trend. This is kind of like the jewelry equivalent of tying a string around your finger when you need to remember something.

The ring can be worn on a pinky finger and, when one wants a reminder of something (e.g., "remember to buy milk at the store" or "don't forget to pick up AJ from school"), the ring can be moved to the first knuckle of any of the other fingers. Of course, it can also just be worn for style! First knuckle rings are usually gold, silver, or rose gold. They can be plain bands, or they might have a design, like mine.

Taking care of your hands
Hand creams with SPFThe best way to show off nail art and first knuckle rings is on a backdrop of nice, smooth hands. All winter long, the skin on my hands has been getting dried out as I washed my hands many times a day here at the library to prevent the flu and exposed them to the cold air outside. Hand cream helps to soothe dry skin in the winter, but we don't really use it as much in the spring summer, do we? Well, that is about to change!

The new trend in hand cream is SPF! It really makes sense. I am very careful about protecting my skin from the sun in order to minimize aging caused by sun damage, as well as risk of skin cancer. I always put SPF 30 or higher on my face, sometimes layering multiple products that contain sun protection, such as moisturizer and foundation with SPF, along with sunblock for the rest of my body, a big straw hat in the summer and sunglasses (because our eyes can be harmed by the sun's UV rays too!).

However, even with all this protection, I almost never remember to reapply SPF after I wash my hands (which is many times a day). But neglecting your hands is a mistake because our hands are one of the first parts of our bodies that show signs of again and -- guess what -- it's because they're exposed to the sun almost all the time! Because I have very pale skin, I have to be careful of sunburn. But even darker skin needs protection from the sun because everyone can burn -- and most importantly, everyone is susceptible to skin cancer, no matter what skin tone we have.

Polka dots
Finally, I want to talk about polka dots! Stripes, polka dots, and other patterns are so hot in the fashion world right now! Mixing patterns has even become a trend.

I love polka dots because they are a low-key pattern that can be mixed with other patterns without creating an over-the top look. That's why polka dots are perfect for nails! Polka dot nails can be worn with a floral pattern dress, a plaid shirt, or a striped Breton tee (those French inspired sailor striped tees).

Because they are so stylish and in, Mia and I will do a polka dot nail art tutorial for teens on May 20 at 5 p.m.! Join us to learn, step-by-step, how to create your own DIY polka dot nail art look! Please make sure to come to the library with clean nails because we will not have nail polish remover available at the program. We will provide nail polish in a variety of bright colors and all the tools you need for your polka dot manicure. Be sure to get permission to paint your nails from your parent or guardian!   

-- Becky Shaknovich, Children's Librarian