Thursday, 31 January 2013

Catwoman would be proud

I have a friend that claims nail art is the most pointless thing. Men do not even notice, he says, and only a handfull of women would advert nail decorations, when truly outstanding.
My answer? To hell with that!

Nails have been an undeniable element of adornment since all the way back to the Babylonian Empire (around 1894 B.C.E., although Indians have been said to tint nails with henna even earlier), where oils and scents were used to tint nails. Back at the time, nail decoration had not only beautification purposes, but also spoke about social status, rank and power.

Nevertheless, nail decoration did not become big and mainstream until the 1920s, when nail varnishes had evolved and become the essential version of what we know and use nowadays. Although, some very remarkable nail art styles began to source in the following years, and not only colour, but design, nail shape and size became key elements to the perfect manicure.

Adrienne Ames Nail do
Joan Crawford

Marlene Dietrich

Out of all this historical information, I am capturing a particular look and evidencing its comeback as a hit in our modern time: vampy nails.
Catwalks, red carpets and asphalt jungles surrender to fierce scratches caused by knife-sharp angled nail-tips and rich pigmented polishes that evoke the glamourous 30s.

Street shots from New York Fashion Week AW 2013
Lana del Rey

Bottega Veneta

Even the shortest nails have plenty of options with the very many techniques developed to give bitten nails all their length and glamour. For inspiration and amazing images, check out these master sites for nail art: Madeline Poole, Miss Ladyfinger, Wah-nails. And for some audiovisual tips, here are some juicy, crazy tutorials by nail artist Sophy Robson.

Go draw those nails and follow your gut with this feline trend!