Style & Then Some have been reporting on the growing trend for nail art a lot so far this year. And there’s a reason for this. Nails have become big, fat juicy business once again. And I’m not talking ‘Footballer’s Wives’ style (can anyone else remember Tanya’s claws?) but rather emerging innovative products such as minx, nail wraps and crackle paint have completely swept through Boots et al. You will be hard pressed to find a beauty brand who don’t have their own version of Barry M’s crackle varnish this season.
And although we are all familiar with our favorite designers tapping in to the beauty arena as soon as they join the Gucci Group or LVMH (naturally a way for them to reach a wider audience who may otherwise not be able to afford to buy in to their brand) it seems all our favourite high street chains want in on the action too. Take Superdry for example. They have recently launched a range of nail polish for SS12, and naturally the colours are bang on trend.
For example, I test drove the Pink Rose and Jade shades and for a quick fix to match your outfit on the cheap (or to colour coordinate with your Superdry hoodie!) this range is great. My only qualm was it didn’t go on as easy as other more well-known brands, and as it is quite thick, you can’t do two coats, but hey, for a first attempt these are a positive offering from the brand. At £6 quid a pot, it’s not braking the bank, and the Pink rose shade seems to complement a nice, albeit fake, tan rather well!
Recently I’ve really got back into nail varnish.
When I say got back into it I mean that after several years of only lacquering up with bright red polish probably once a year, I suddenly find myself wanting to wear it all the time. I found an old purple Nails inc shade that I love and picked up a Rimmel dark grey (it’s a new one called Man Overboard) from the freebies box at the Press Association where I’m doing work experience at the moment and all of a sudden I find myself reapplying on a daily basis.
It got me thinking, is this purely a personal thing – I happened to find a couple of shades I like? Or I am part of one of those trends supposedly brought on by the recession, like that claim that lipstick sales go up, while hemlines drop, when the stock market is in peril? I had also noticed a lot more creative nail art around, like HelloGiggles.com’s adorable nails of the day feature which always pops up in my Facebook feed with intricate nail illustrations and cutesy cartoons.
I got my answer by way of a New York Times article that I saw on the Business of Fashion daily digest (a mailing list you should definitely be signed up to) yesterday. The article said that department store nail polish sales in the US rose by 67% in 2011 and that shades and patterns beyond the usual pinks and reds are become more popular – things like cracked polish effects, multicoloured French manicures, shiny metallics and all kinds of glitter. The theory goes that with when our shopping budgets are under threat we look for cheaper ways to get a quick aesthetic fix. With nail varnish, you can try out something novel and get an instant, fashionable fingertip transformation for less than a fiver. It’s more noticeable than, say, a new mascara or foundation, but if it doesn’t elicit the compliments you were expecting, don’t worry, you can get rid just as fast. Contrast that with an £80 dress that you might not like once you get it home from the shop and the appeal is obvious. It’s low risk, high return. Actually, isn’t that the perfect equation for stock market success too?
So is it just me or are you trying out different nail colours and patterns recently? Would you go as far as Angry Bird nail art? What are you favourites? Leave me a comment with your recommendations.