While black still cast its spell on nails on the fall runways, new alternatives to the moody hue that were inspired by the darkest shades of the earth and sky also enchanted us. Think oxbloods, midnight blues, amethysts, and mossy and emerald greens. Though pros often match dark lacquer hues to shorter nails, Chanel manicurist Ashlie Johnson warned, “Dark pigments can sometimes make your hands look a little unladylike if your nails are super short.” Instead, she advised saving your duskier varnishes for nails that are “just past the fingertip and filed to more of an almond or oval shape. This will help elongate your fingers.”
When a burst of bright yellow appeared on nail tips at Lela Rose and tapered talons lit up in the hottest fuchsia ever at Kate Spade (pictured here), the heaviness of autumn seemed to lift for a moment. The manicurist behind both looks, Deborah Lippmann, predicted that bold color and textures are what will speak to women this season. “Put your sheer pinks away,” she laughed. Instead, coat nails in electric hues, like poppy, fiery orange, chartreuse, ultraviolet, and bright cobalt, for the perfect pick-me-up to your fall wardrobe.
We often think of the big three-gold, silver, and bronze-when it comes to metallics. But it’s time to expand our understanding of metals beyond an Olympic hopeful’s dream-at least when it comes to polish. Though burnished gold struck, well, gold on such runways as Antipodium and Felder Felder, Johnson recommended training your eyes to unusual tinny hues, like the steely lavender Essie in Nothing Else Metals seen here at Costello Tagliapietra. “Metallics are always a huge hit, and why wouldn’t they be when they seem to match everything? This is a trend that reigns over and over, but for fall we’ll see it with a twist,” she said, citing Chanel Limited Edition Le Vernis Nail Colour in Alchimie, a mossy green chrome, as a perfect example. While full-coverage chromes dazzle, the newest additions to the metallic family retain holographic, shade-shifting capabilities that grant you a multitude of hues on your ten tiny canvases.
Go, Go Glitter!
On the fall catwalks, glitter either flecked (at Anna Sui) or blanketed (at Clover Canyon, pictured here) nails to dazzling effect. But if you think you’ve seen every glitter polish possible, you haven’t seen anything as stunning as what’s on the horizon. Lippmann stumbled across new holographic glitters that she simply had to have; the multisize sparklers found in three of her six fall polishes transform nails into jewel-encrusted showpieces. Other innovations: matte glitter suspended in swarthy hues, glitter that appears like graffiti splatters, or opaque micro-shimmer swimming in color-complementary (think: gold and purple) large glitter particles. Indeed, innovation is alive and well when it comes to glitzed digits. And, if full-coverage flash seems too sparkle-heavy, manicurist Dawn Sterling offered this advice: “Wear a clear or neutral base color and swipe glitter polish across the tips of your nails. This is a more simple yet eye-catching way to wear your glitter.”
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