While fun nail art and glittery, ombré talons certainly have their time and place, nothing can beat the elegance of the classic manicure – it’s the epitome of chic, and perfect for every imaginable scenario. But while the classic mani is fuss-free and uncomplicated, it’s also deceptively simple – nailing it is a studied art in itself.

Sitchu recently asked Sigourney about her favourite salons in Sydney, including that of Jocelyn Petroni, renowned facialist and official manicurist for Chanel Australia, who pampers a host of celebrity and well-heeled clients in her Woollahra salon. While we were there, we got Joss’s take on the classic manicure, its enduring appeal and how to get the perfect mani at home.No matter the season or occasion, a classic manicure is the swiftest way to instantly look groomed and polished (quite literally). We asked Jocelyn how she defines the perfect classic manicure. “A meticulous treatment that improves the condition of the nails long term,” says Jocelyn. “It will repair and strengthen the nails with a natural perfectly painted polish to finish, that lasts 7 days without chipping.”

STICK TO CLASSIC COLOURS

The most time-honoured colours? Without a doubt, reds and nudes. Jocelyn attributes the enduring appeal of these shades to the fact that they suit absolutely everyone – plus, they’re always in style and can take you seamlessly from work to after hours. “Nudes and reds are the most complimentary colours to wear on your hands,” tells Jocelyn. “Nudes naturally enhance the fingers, making them look leaner and longer, whilst red is a bold, feminine colour that empowers women and suits all wardrobes.” For a classic shape, Jocelyn suggests a neat and short style.Nudes and reds have limitless shades, so you might need a bit of trial and error to find the best hues for you. Jocelyn advises, “the key to a good nude is finding a shade that is not too opaque and also not too translucent.” That said, she still recommends some favourite hues that suit everybody – Chanel’s Organdi, a beautiful blush pink that adapts to all skin tones, and Chanel’s Emblématique, a deep jewel-toned red that is rich in pigment and vibrantly glossy.

CUSTOMISE YOUR SHADES

At Jocelyn’s salon, you can try her signature Custom-Blend Manicure to attain the ideal shade crafted just for you. “I like to personalise the colour by layering it with other nude polishes to create the perfect nude for each individual skin tone and nail shape,” tells Jocelyn. “The Custom-Blend Manicure allows us to pick up all the right tones to compliment our client’s skin.”

DO YOUR NAILS SOME GOOD

We asked Jocelyn how often we should be getting a professional mani, and it really depends. “Everyone has individual nails, just like the skin, and so each person requires a slightly different nail program for best results,” Jocelyn states. “If you can find a good manicurist to assess your nails, a professional manicure should last 2 weeks.” The best news? Treating yourself to a manicure might actually do some good to your nails in the long run. “Having a quality fortnightly manicure will strengthen the nail plate long term by treating and conditioning the nail plate as it grows, along with treating your individual nail concerns.” Plus, regular manicures help your nails adapt to polish, meaning you’ll get longer lasting results with each manicure.

GET THE LOOK AT HOME

If you prefer to DIY your nails, Jocelyn has some rules to swear by to achieve that salon manicure look at home. “Always lightly buff the nails, followed with a swipe of polish remover to remove all traces of oil so that the polish can ‘anchor’ to the plate rather than peel away, making the polish more chip resistant,” she recommends. And don’t feel bad if your nail colour always ends up looking a little messy – you’ll get better with time. “Practice makes perfect, there are no short cuts and I’m still perfecting my technique,” she assures.

MAKE IT LAST

Squeezing a few extra days out of your manicure turns out not to be as tricky as it might seem. “Applying top coat every day will lengthen the duration of your manicured nails by protecting the polish from chipping and sealing the free edge of the nail where polish wears away first,” suggests Jocelyn. “Start by washing your hands with a mild soap, dry and then apply top coat to all fingers.” Jocelyn does this every night 15 minutes before bed, then applies cuticle oil before going to sleep to keep her nails perfectly painted and cuticles nourished.

LUXE IT UP

What does Jocelyn do for her celebrity clients (including models Miranda Kerr, Megan Gale and Gemma Ward) to give their manicure that luxurious touch? “Everyone loves a good firm hand massage!” says Jocelyn. “Myself and my staff perform a hand massage that incorporates shiatsu pressure points and reiki healing, for something special with every manicure. It’s during this time that we connect good energy with our clients to recharge the batteries and lift the spirit.” Why not recreate the celebrity experience at home and pamper your hands with a well-deserved massage? Pay particular attention to massaging the nail bed (to stimulate growth) and the area between the thumb and forefinger, which tends to hold a lot of accumulated tension.

Photography: Blake Heywood
Hair & Makeup: Jessica Diez
Words by Tess Schlink for BEAUTICATE