Nailing It
Manicure trends of the moment are decidedly outré
Style / 12 Jul 2011
This summer’s primary style theme seems to center on exploiting new creative forms and processes to near shocking effect. Given fashion trends such as feather hair extensions, it was only a matter of time before nails went from being a spot for color coordination to one for complex designs and 3-D art. New manicure styles, and nail accessories, are appearing even on formerly conservative hands.
Nail Patterns:
Some nail painters are finding that a solid polish no longer offers their clients the distinctive aesthetic they seek. In response, an emerging trend in nail art involves using a top coat that shrinks when it dries to create a “broken” effect. Brands such as OPI and Sally Hansen are marketing polishes that offer this “crackle” or “shattered” look. A more personalized look can be achieved with specialized nail pens used to draw intricate designs, including Aztec patterns, flowers, and leopard spots. Nail artists who lack the dexterity required for such details can fulfill their creative impulses with a more forgiving technique: tie-dye.
Decaled and Decoupaged Nails: These nail decals featuring the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
may be little more than a by-product of Royal Wedding mania, but the simple application of photos on nails is evolving into more elaborate nail collages. One way women are doing this is with newsprint—transferring the words from a newspaper onto each nail for a decoupaged layered effect, using everything from crossword puzzles to comic strips. All that’s needed is clear polish, rubbing alcohol, and a tear-out of one’s choice. Should the old-fashioned newspaper cease to exist, as is rumored, it wouldn’t be hard to envision a spin-off trend: the status update manicure.
3-D Nail Art:
It’s becoming increasingly common for women to devote the kind of attention typically reserved for their clothes to their nails, to the point of treating those nails as a sculptural canvas. Creative manicurists are affixing tiny pieces of ceramic fruit to nails and even piercing the tips. The practicality of this 3-D style remains questionable, however, particularly because it demands a bold nail length that exceeds the bed. (Of course, those with nails too brittle for hoop earrings can fake the necessary length with synthetics.) How one can text without prompting an Auto Correct disaster remains another story.
©The Intelligence Group