Roundup: The best nail looks from New York Fashion Week
There was something crisp and charming about the colorful range of polishes used at Prabal Gurung this season. It was only up close that you could see a subtle contrast between the matte nail bed and the shiny tip. To create the look, the Sally Hansen team used a rainbow of eight polishes: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in All Fired Up(a true red); Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in White On; Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color in Lemon Shark and Brisk Blue;Sally Hansen Triple Shine in Kelp Out (a kelly green) and Lemon Shark(yellow); and two shimmery Complete Salon Manicure shades created by the designer himself:Lady Lavender and Mint Condition. Models received one of the eight creamy shades topped with the new Sally Hansen matte topcoat(out in November) that stopped just before the tips for a monochromatic French manicure that was clean and modern.
The delicately glittered nails at Jenny Packham were the perfect complement to the bejeweled chiffon dresses that flowed down the runway. The creamy base was created using a coat of Essie nail polish in Eternal Optimist (a pink-y beige that's as warm as the name suggests) and a coat of Essie nail polish in Allure (a glossy, barely there nude that's popular around these parts for obvious reasons). In order to transform this elegant neutral from everyday wear to fairy-tale princess, a mix of pink and silver glitter polishes (Essie nail polish in A Cut Above and Essie Luxeffects in Set in Stones) were applied so the shimmer was concentrated at the base and faded as it moved up the nail. This gave nails just the right amount of twinkle without looking juvenile.
A textured chocolate brown manicure—for spring? Leave it to Marc and celebrity manicurist Marian Newman to create a look "so wrong, it's right," says Newman. The creamy chocolate brown Marc Jacobs Beauty shade (Bark!, which launches in summer 2014) was adorned with opaque black stones from Swarovski—three or four per nail, depending on the width. (That's about 4,000 total.) To keep the nail shape uniform, Newman's team prepared press-on nails that were all short, square, and coated in just one layer of deep chocolate polish. "There's a hardness to the look," Newman says. "Everything about it is a little wrong, but because it's so wrong and so imperfect, it's perfect."
Design duo Phillipe and David Blond have created flamboyant looks for Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry, and the nail looks they sent down their runway were no less audacious. The Blonds are known for their outrageous prints and embellishments, and each of the 36 looks that went down the runway had its own custom nail design. CND's lead artist, Roxanne Valinoti, was inspired by animation and surrealism: "We had this idea of sort of a hedonistic, dangerous paradise, so that's where the sharper shapes, the spikes, and the neons come in."
"We're calling the nail look faded rose garden," said lead Morgan Taylor manicurist Gina Edwards. And the ombré rose-and-lavender nails look just as romantic and feminine as she suggests. Inspired by Impressionist paintings of gardens, Edwards started with a coat of Morgan Taylor nail polish in Coming Up Roses (a purply pink) and then used a tiny sponge to dab on Morgan Taylor nail polish in Polished Up (a creamy lavender) from mid-nail to the tip. The clear topcoat was applied while the colors were still wet. "It kind of mixes and disperses the colors so you don't get that obvious line," says Edwards.
Rodarte is known for its ambitious nail looks, and this season was no different. Sally Hansen manicurist Tracylee created a tortoiseshell manicure using two limited-edition polish shades, out in March 2014: Clay, a terra-cotta, and Cinnamon, a dark reddish brown. The two shades were layered using a makeup wedge for a speckled and slightly ombré effect. Nails were topped with a superglossy Mega Shine topcoat for a glam finish.
The ivory-studded, almond-shaped nails created by Deborah Lippmann for Honor were equal parts elegant and edgy. The team used two coats of a custom, slightly shimmery pale pink (Deborah Lippmann nail polish in La Vie en Rose) and applied six small Swarovski crystals in a pyramid at the base of each nail. The oval tips and strategically placed rhinestones gave the delicate pale color some necessary dimension and paired nicely with the ethereal clothes in the collection.
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Matte, ombré and straight-up wild: This was another season of experimentation when it came to nails on the runway. Here are our picks for the best shapes, polishes, and embellishments at New York Fashion Week.