Not buying it
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.
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