Ivan McClellan/flickr

Not buying it

Friday, 17 May 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I like to stay on top of trends, but the world of nail art and nail polish has gone insane. I mean really, "suede" nails? That's right, nail polish infused with suede texturizer to make your nails look and feel fuzzy, like suede or velvet. I want to know just who is behind this so-called craze. Is the need for The Next Big Thing so strong that we're going to pretend hideous is actually halfway appealing? If something is so extremely UNappealing, does it eventually start to look good in the same way hate isn't so far from love?

I know the nail business has exploded over the last five years.  Could the recession have had something to do with it?  Naturally.  A $25 manicure is more palpable than a new pair of shoes and still gives you a lift.  Having a fresh manicure tends to make me feel like I’ve got my shit together, even if I’m late for a meeting and forgot to pay my visa bill.

So I’m glad manicured nails are in style as that means there are lots of places to get them done. But I don’t think the fuzzy nail thing is doing anything for anyone, young or old (and I asked an 11 year old friend; she doesn’t get suede nails either).


Fuzzy textured nails (photo by insidi0us)

Same goes for “cracked” polish; there is indeed a way to do punk that is still refined (just look at goop’s latest newsletter).  Cracked polish doesn’t look purposeful, but rather like you can’t be bothered to clean yourself up.  I’d rather walk around with dirt under my nails.


I like things that are shiny, so I maintain nail polish should be.  Same goes for cars. (That whole matte finish trend won’t go anywhere, trust me.  A car can never be too shiny).

So before you head to the salon to fuzzy it up, ask yourself if it will actually look good.  Or appropriate.  

It won’t, and it probably isn’t.  

Unfortunately there are only so many colours in the rainbow; only so many attempts one can make at the perfect red or just the right nude.  The matte, cracked, and fuzzy finishes are just plain desperation on the part of nail polish producers.  Don’t fall for it.

The Makers of Stuff constantly launch new versions of the same thing to fool you into believing there is something new on the market that you’ve just got to have.  Cereal makers come out with a new box design in hopes it’ll make us buy.  Or it might remind you of a brand you’d forgotten about, like Shreddies transforming their squares into diamonds by turning the image slightly sideways on the box.  Brilliant.  


Or perhaps it’s a new colour on the package that catches your eye to a brand you’ve never tried.  Typically it comes down to repackaging the same old thing. Have you seen the new Budweiser cans?  You actually get less beer so it amounts to a price increase.  Packaging that just gets thrown out.  But they keep doing it so we obviously fall for it.Image courtesy Budweiser Media Relations

Don’t get me wrong, I love great design and I’m all for re-inventing the wheel, but I drink my beer out of a glass.


For what it’s worth, I do believe Chanel consistently comes out with the best nail polish colours.  “Ballerina” (167) is the perfect nude on any skin tone and “Rouge Noir” (18) is ideal for a vampy – not trampy – look.  Chanel comes out with mostly great new colours every season, some of which are limited edition (translation: makes you run to the store and buy 3 bottles) but which are always on trend and still sophisticated and, well, polished.



Top photo by Ivan McClelland/flickr



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  • http://twitter.com/SomeOfEvrything House Girl

    I gave up on nail polish years ago, but I have GOT to agree with you here Anna! Suede? Crackle? and now I see Revlon has whole new line of “special” colours you can create designs with on your nails. Couldn’t that be done before? The commercial shows women using one color as a base coat and another, or two, or three, to create whatever image/design you wish on top.
    HUH? You could do that with any of them ! “Money making scheme” are the words coming to my mind. But suede? Honestly? Hmph. If I see anyone wearing suede nailpolish I’ll probably snicker and move on…but if I know anyone who uses it , I may just end our friendship right there…..

  • CanadianErin

    Well as a single mom, I had inda bought into the trends — I could do my own nails and have them look similar to all the married moms (double-incomes, ya know?) who go to the salons every second week…

    …except that some of these products are CRAP! I love Essie polishes, but the snakeskin ones SUCK! The only way it can be accomplished is with one stroke of the polish at a time… then you race to hold the magnet over it before it dries a bit.
    End result? My nails looked like I was painting them while building a deck — a mess! All it looked like is that I smudged it everywhere! Waste of $12 for 2 bottles.
    The crackle ones? I can’t even get up the ooomph’s to try them, although I have a few (I sold Avon for a while, so had their first 2, and I go some Nicole by OPI ones on sale at the local drugstore), because as a mom I have sooo little me-time that I don’t want to waste it painting my nails & then having to remove it & repaint them when they look stupid!

    I’m out in the garden all the time right now, so it”s not going to be a good idea to do my fingernails right now, they just get chipped, even with gloves, so why bother?

  • KLenz85

    I think the nail trends are super fun, the more the merrier! Of course they look about 100 times better on bloggers, who test out products daily, and have a ton of experience, and amazing skills…. so you as a consumer need to know what you have the ability to and not to do. Fuzzy nails/flocking powder is not for everyone… but I have seen some truly awe-inspiring looks, suede/matte nails have been around for a looooonnng time, I consider my matte top coat a staple. I realize I *may* be in the minority here with my 400+ stash of np!…. Just have fun with it!! 🙂