In the final month of a long, dark winter, staying positive can feel like a full-time job. When you’re counting down the days ‘til the sun stops setting at what feels like noon, incorporating little moments of joy into your everyday routines can go a surprisingly long way. One of the easiest swap-outs is with nail polish color. Rather than a winter-chic oxblood or glossy greige, opting for some colorful nail art or an upbeat color will elicit at least a little grin every time you see a pair of cheery-polished thumbs skitter over your phone’s keyboard. Apparently yellow nail polish, of all the others, is the best choice, too.
Not only does every salon have several yellow shades in stock at all times, but the happy color is scientifically proven to be a mood booster — especially when skies are dreary. Selena Gomez, a self-proclaimed optimist, surely knows this. The music-movie-makeup mogul’s latest manicure, created by go-to nail artist Tom Bachik, features the happiest shade of soft butter yellow, an unexpected almost-neutral that adds a serious boost of sunshine to her look.
Gomez’s nails appear to be natural, both long and strong with a rounded, oval tip. The shade itself is neither too warm nor too cool — a true butter or custard-colored yellow — that won’t clash with or compete against clothing colors. But regardless of which shade of yellow speaks to you, count on still reaping those feel-good benefits. CNN’s lengthy series on the psychology of color includes studies that show yellow is most closely associated with emotions like joy, hope, and playfulness, which was only corroborated by reports in Psych Digest and Health magazine. Not only does the color generate good thoughts, but can even boost energy levels and metabolisms.
Once you’ve decided that a sunny, upbeat yellow is right for your next mani, all that’s left is to decide on a shade. For a more striking, avant-garde look, consider an attention-grabbing pick like neon or electric-hued yellow associated with traffic signs and highlighters. For just a touch of yellow, go for a Gomez-approved custard. And for maximum cheer, nothing beats smiley-face yellow — a joy-inducing classic synonymous with happiness for a reason.
Though sunshine-yellow polish can never really beat the benefits of some (responsible!) vitamin D, a cheerful manicure might just be the next-best thing.
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