When I was growing up, my mom had this rule that I couldn’t paint my nails until I was 16. So naturally when the time came, I went crazy. I bought bottles of nail polish left and right, of all colors. Red. Blue. Yellow. Glitter. I was the queen of nail painting.

Since I had no experience painting my nails, I was also terrible at it. Absolutely horrible. The coats weren’t even, the colors were off and in the end, my fingers had their own coats of polish. It just didn’t look good. So it was settled: I couldn’t paint my nails. But I was 16 and it was finally time! I refused to give up so easily. Thus began my longest relationship ever, the only one that never brings heartache and disappointment, between my manicurist and me.

And I could not be happier. I talk, she paints, I hand over a wad of cash and and then I leave the building with a set of gorgeous nails, just like that. It’s a match made in heaven, I tell you. And with the explosion of nail art, our relationship has only gotten stronger. Right now, I’m in an accent nail phase, just like everyone else it seems. Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Rihanna are all hooked. It’s the summer’s hottest trend. And they’re always simple and elegant at the same time. One nail (I usually go for the ring finger) is just a little different from the rest and the way it stands out is beautiful. Change up the color or the design; add some glitter or some rhinestones and you’ll add flare to what could’ve been an “ordinary” manicure.

Being a Boston girl my entire life (well up until the Midwest sucked me in for college), I know of more than a few places  where you can get the perfect accent nails. Rainbow Nails in Egleston Square, for example, is perfect. Any accent you could ever want is made possible there and the price range is very reasonable. Right down the street is Gala Nails, another gem. The detail and attention these people put into your nails is amazing and the nail polish selection is to die for. Whatever you want, you’ll definitely find it here. I’ve found my own nail niche in Dorchester at Mimosa Nails. Sandy always takes care of me; she always knows how to do exactly what I want. Boston is jam-packed with great nail salons. Try your hand at a couple to see which one is perfect for you. And get a pedicure while you’re at it. I know how hard those can be to resist.

But maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you’re a pro at painting your own nails. If you are, accept this challenge: try out as many accent nail designs on yourself and your friends as possible. Become a pro in a trend that looks like it’s here to stay.

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