Monthly Archives: October 2012

On… extreme nail art

For the first year of Errol’s life, I ignored my nails. I kept them very very short, bare and buffed to a lovely shininess. Something was too fake and chemically about nail polish to be around my tiny perfect baby. Ditto perfume. Ditto lipstick.

But he’s one now. He’s a toddler. So bring on the fakey chemicals / scent / slap, my friends.

I wrote a piece about nails for Tatler just before Errol was born. (You can read ithere.) In it, I came down with all the righteous fury I could muster on the Marie Antoinette-ship-in-the-hair-like trend towards ricockulous nail art. Think about it: how idle must we be if we can spend six hours a week getting tiny 3-D Hello Kitty dolls mounted onto our nails?

You thought I was kidding about the Hello Kitty thing, didn’t you? Ha.

I believe this is inspired by Japan’s natural beauty. That’s a heron. And that’s a lady in a kimono taking a walk with a parasol.

Fuck’s sake.

In case you haven’t seen the ship-in-the-hair thing, this was Marie Antoinette’s favourite coif. Shortly before the rest of France decided to kill her. And some day soon, some chick is going to wake up thinking ‘screw it, I’m gonna glue a fucking cruise ship to my pinky’.

Even at the less extreme end of things, nail art is bizarre. Tiny charms, mirrors, bells, flowers… you name it, some one out there right now is sitting down with some superglue and way too much time on their hands. Literally.

So I stand firm on my stance on extreme nail art. It’s fucking stupid.

But then last week I was getting my nails done – fifteen minutes, a quick file and two coats of pale-pink-nude Sugar Daddy, the most boring-sorry-I-mean-chic-yeah-chic shade you can possibly get – and I saw this.

ESSIE Luxeffects in Set In Stones. Great gallumphing chunks of shiny silver sparkles. And I asked the nice nail lady to paint it on the lower third of my nails over the Sugar Daddy.


Every time I looked at my nails I thought OH MY GOD MY HANDS ARE SO PRETTY. There’s nothing subtle or understated about this glitter: it’s chunky and fat and gorgeous and very-nearly-3D. Like Cinderella fairy godmother wish sparkles had drifted down and collected at the bottom of my digits. Like Tinkerbell kisses. Like disco snowflakes. Like Disney had taken a big poo on my hands, basically.

I didn’t take a decent photo, but here’s one I found online of someone else doing the same thing over a grey base shade.

This week I got my little mani with OPI Black Onyx. (I pretty much only wear nude or black these days.) They didn’t have the Luxeffects in this particular nail salon, so I went to the nearest big Duane Reade and bought it myself, and when I get time today, I’m going to paint Essie Luxeffects Set In Stones over the top. Yeah, it’s immature, and yeah, it’s probably one step down the short road towards full ship-in-the-hair pointless vanity. I don’t care. I am PSYCHED.

PS You can buy Essie Luxeffects online here with international free delivery.