Photo: CND Nail Color in French Pink. Photo courtesy of CND

Calling all polish obsessed! Breaking nail news (okay, bad choice of words), but trust me, you don't want to miss this!

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be giving you a sneak peek at the biggest Fall '09 nail trends. That way, you can figure out which colors suit your style and work them into your repertoire, long before the masses get their grubby mitts on them.


Let's ease into this series, starting with one of the most basic -- yet most beautiful -- trends: the opaque nude nail.

A cream-colored nail was the must-have accessory on the runways of Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka and Donna Karan in New York, but unlike other beauty trends, it was also the tip tone of choice in London, Paris and Milan.

Why the transcontinental appeal? "Because it's natural, chic and flattering on everyone," says CND nail tech, Amanda Fontanarrosa, who found herself dipping into creamy, pale neutrals like CND Nail Polish in Cocoa ($6) and CND Nail Polish in French Pink ($6) at a ton of the 30-plus shows she worked on during Fall Fashion Week.

Not only does a natural nail color go with everything, the continuity of color creates an optical illusion of longer fingers on many women. (And if you're a member of the Stubby Digit Club like myself, you're grateful for every perceived half-centimeter you can get.)

Nude nails on the runway: Abaeté (left), and Carolina Herrera (right). Photos courtesy of CND

To get that perfect, supernaturally-nude nail, apply two coats of a nude-to-ivory colored polish and a slick of CND Super Shiney Top Coat ($12). Then, because opaque colors tend to show nicks and chips more easily than shimmery ones, follow Fontanarrosa's advice and regularly massage cuticle oil onto your actual fingernails (not just your cuticles).

"A good cuticle oil like CND Solaroil ($10.95) will penetrate through the polish, making it more flexible, and therefore, less likely to chip or nick."

Treat your nude manicure like a brand new car, and think of cuticle oil as the bumper. Now you're cruising!