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.