Featured Wear It, Work It — 12 March 2012
Die With Your Face On: Nailing It Into Shape

By Lisa Somerset

Beauty and glamour extends from the top of your head to the tips of your toes AND out to the tips of your fingers! Fresh nails should be a part of your total look. Gone are the days of the chunky, squared off French manicures that look like they’re painted with liquid paper. We don’t want the tired 80s tanning salon clerk or check cashing place employee nail now do we? There’s no question that the almond shaped nail is de riguer. From the ladylike oval to the dominatrix dagger, the stiletto nail is everywhere.

The almond nail was fashionable in the 1930s and again in the early 60s, and in its current incarnations it can be any length.Some people prefer short with the “moon” manicure (where the a small half circle at the base of the nail is left free of polish) and others are doing ultra long and super pointy. I always think of Tura Satana’s nails in “The Astro Zombies” from 1968. They’re long and off white with a sharp, cat claw look. To rock this version of the look implies naughtiness with a whiff of danger, we love that.

The almond style is best achieved with acrylic or gel nails, as filing the sides of your real nails will make them super weak and prone to tearing off. To achieve this look on the cheap, bust out an old school favourite, press on nails. They’re not what they used to be, no longer the choice of only ladies of the night and child pageant queens. Kiss brand make a good oval shape that can be used to make a quickie DIY version of this look. It’s a classic vintage look that can be tweaked and modernised with not-your-grandma’s colour.

L.A. dwellers tend to be a little bit conservative as far as length, but we do like color! For early spring we’re spoiled for choice in vivid colors and all sorts of textures. The UK brand Nails Inc. is now carried at Sephora and offer everything from loads of saturated colours to glittery shades to magnetic polish (you use an actual magnet to make little waves and patterns in the polish). Le Metier de Beaute available at Neiman Marcus have a delicious limited edition range featuring juicy hot pink, tart orange and buzzing yellow varnishes.

What’s your nail vibe? Dragon lady, Honey Boo Boo Chile, Glitterista or Natural Nudes?

Look for us to dig in to more nail looks in future columns.

Follow Lisa Somerset on Twitter at @LisaSomerset

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