No matter how many squirts of hand sanitizer I use, or how many times I scrub my hands in the glacier water stream, there always seems to be dirt under my fingernails! I know its a fact of life that when you’re roughing it for a couple days, you’re going to get dirtier then usual. But dirty nails are a little pet peeve of mine and I’d rather be blissfully ignorant to them then stare at the grime as I eat my trail mix.
The two success factors to picking a nail polish for your date with the wilderness are colour and durability. You want to pick a colour that’s opaque enough to not let the dirt under your nail shine through. Therefore sheer, neutral or light tones are not suggested. Bright colours often work well and usually work best with coordinating with your hiking attire (added bonus!). The ultimate colours are dark earthy tones as they blend with dirt the best, even hiding the dirt in your nail bed and cuticles. Dark blues, purples, black, and dark mochas (one of my go to colours) give you a bit of an edgy look to your backcountry style.
Understand that you are going to be using your hands a lot (backcountry beauties don’t have time to worry about breaking nails) and chances are you’re going to get chips in your polish. To combat the extent of the damage, choose a high quality nail polish and top coat. I have come to swear by OPI, completing the West Coast Trail (trail review coming soon) with my nails relatively intact! Here are some of my favourites.
Don’t get me wrong, when you’re out exploring the woods and conquering mountains, that’s the last place you should be worrying about your nails. However, having a strong layer of nail polish helps keep the dirt at bay or at least makes you think so! Have fun being a backcountry beauty!