Norwich girls get those tricky colours nailed

The calendar says it's the height of summer, but the shops are full of jumpers and the weather is grey and chilly, which is making it feel decidedly autumnal. EMMA LEE finds out how to get those tricky transitional season's colours nailed.

According to the calendar it's the height of summer, but there's a distinctly autumnal feel in the shops, and to the weather, already.

Bikinis are being replaced by woolly jumpers and coats. And we're sad to say that opaque tights, generally outlawed between the months of May and September, have been spotted here at Life Matters HQ in July.

It's a tricky time of year – we know we shouldn't be wishing the summer away, but we've got that back to school feeling and are already planning our autumn wardrobes.

And that's not just restricted to clothes.

If you're looking for an easy – and cheap – update to your look, say it with polish.

Your talons are one of your most important accessories – so here's how to get the transitional season's colours nailed.

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Colour blocking

Spring/summer's trend for colour, colour and then some more colour is showing no sign of going anywhere.

One of our favourite nail trends is the graduated mani-pedi – with a bold colour on our toes and a lighter tone for our fingernails.

At the moment we're loving Nailgirls Coral #1 (�10.50, available at Jarrolds) for toenails and Rimmel Apricot Punch (�2.99, Boots) for our fingernails. And as an added bonus, when the Rimmel polish dries, it smells fruity, which (child of the 1980s alert) makes us all nostalgic for our eraser collection.

Summer's bright corals, oranges and yellows are set to mellow into warm berry, jewel and spice tones, such as emerald, sapphire, ruby, russet, tobacco and mustard for autumn.

Rainbow brights

When Life Matters had its annual trip to Latitude the other weekend, we spotted a girl with the most amazing manicure. Our first thought was 'how on earth is she going to put a tent up with those talons?' Removing our practical head and getting in to swoon mode, our second thought was 'we are so going to do that the minute we get home – after a shower, a bath, a lovely cup of tea and a big sleep'.

Each nail was painted a different colour – and clashed with dash. Then we spotted this shot of TV presenter, and new Nails Inc spokesman Jameela Jamil, above, doing the same thing – wearing yellow next to purple and emerald and scarlet.

The new rule is, when it comes to nail colour, there are no rules.

Mellow yellow

Each season Chanel's super limited edition nail polishes have fashionistas sharpening up their elbows. This summer's must have shade was Mimosa, a vibrant yellow.

Nailgirls' Yellow #2 (�10.50, Jarrolds), is purest canary (just a thought – alternate with green to show your support for Norwich City, and be bang on trend too), or for a budget fashion fix, try Barry M's Yellow (�2.99, Boots).

Special effects

It's not just about colour. The trend for embellishment is showing no sign of going anywhere. Thanks to the new generation of special effects polishes, you can get the look yourself. Simply let your colour dry completely (we'd recommend leaving it up to an hour if you're not in a rush), then add a slick of crackle polish over the top and watch the magic happen before your eyes. Nails Inc's Farringdon gold crackle (�11), above, is flying off the counter at Debenhams. Or Barry M's Effects range costs �3.99 from Boots.

Retro red

We're just loving the retro styling (okay, and a generous helping of Ben Whishaw) of the BBC2 show The Hour, and it's got us craving a bit of old-school glamour in our lives.

So the great news is that the most glamourous colour of all – red – is big news for autumn and winter. And no ordinary red will do – this red has to be, well, red. You know what we mean.

For a bit of a twist, we're shunning the glossy finish and are loving Nail Inc's new matte red, Gatwick (�11).