Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Nailing It

Over the last few years I've come to realize one of the first things people notice about me are my nails. I once overheard a make-up artist saying about me: "every time she comes into the studio her nails look so neat". And someone described me to a friend as "the girl with the really red nails". I confess to having a slight nail fetish (maybe a little more than slight). I've been lucky enough to work with one of Paris's top manicurists; he regularly collaborates with Vogue -among others- and he's got a whole suitcase filled with nail polish which he brings with him every time we are shooting in a studio. He obviously likes me, as not many people get so stupidly overexcited about new colours, products and shapes as I do.
Fetishes aside, I do think smooth hands and tidy nails are de rigueur, as your hands are very visible and say a lot about you, in a non-spoken language kind of way. And of course if your nails are really nice that's a plus. The thing is nail fashions change just like regular fashion, so one season it's all about square long nails and the next one is about short, rounded nails.

Right now there seems to be a revival of the 1930's nail, slightly pointed in an almond-like shape and, for adventurers, with a half-moon (which looks impossible to do but is actually not that hard, all you have to do is start painting the nail on the centre and go towards the sides then to create the half-moon). The look is very sophisticated and grown up, which is why Dita wears it. I actually really like it... although I must confess I'm ultimately and forever a fan of Barbra Streisand's nails!

Upon telling my friend Vanni some time ago that I loved Barbra's look but that many people think her nails are far too long and extravagant, he answered: "What do those people know? Tranny nails, baby, that's the stuff". Well, I guess now I know what I am at heart.
In any case, and while I let my nails grow praying to Saint Barbra (Mama can you hear me?) for them not to break, I'll tell you about my other nail fetish: red polish. One of YSL's fitting models once came to me in shock saying how someone had told her "are you wearing red nails? Don't you know how perfectly vulgar they are? Ladies never wear red nails, just tramps". Investigating a bit further on the subject, I came to know that there are indeed some (aesthetically) conservative people who think all a lady can wear is transparent polish, or light pink and beige at the most. I like pink and beige, but I also do like a little bit of bad taste (it's also de rigueur in any look- perfect good taste is yawn fest) and hey! a wee bit of trampiness is fun. Also, not two reds are alike, so I indulge in my love for red with about 30 different shades of red which invade my fridge (another tip, it's great to keep your polish in there, as it keeps liquid for longer). And yes, there is more nail polish than food in my fridge, that's something people who come to visit seem to notice too. Anyway, this winter it's all about red, and that means the nails too. So here are some of my all-time favourite reds. Which one would you go for?

YSL's Rouge Absolu

Chanel's Dragon is amazing, looks like Chinese lacquer on your nails.

Nars's Dovima

Nars's Jungle Red

OPI's Malaga Wine

YSL's Copyright Rouge, the ultimate classic red!
Nars's Matto Grosso

Chanel's Rouge Noir. The It polish.

MAC's Vintage Vamp
Nars's Saratoga

Illamasqua's Scarab

To go with these beautiful colours, here are some classic products which are guaranteed to make your hands look their best!

Chanel's nail polish remover is the smoothest one around. And instead of smelling like poison it has a soft, nice perfume.
L'Occitane has the best hand creams, especially the karité one. The texture of your hands will positively change after using it for a couple of days.

Dior's Crème d'Abricot is an iconic product; models are all big fans of this nail cream which strenghtens and beautifies your nails and cuticles. It's one of the best presents you can offer yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Dragon looks like a wonderful red!
    I'll have to look into Crème d'Abricot as well - I wasn't familiar with that one.

    Thanks for the tips!


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