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.
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
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.