Do you remember what it was like when we all wore our fingernails red, or pink, or french tips? If you wanted to get a little crazy you wore glitter, and only the grunge kids wore blue or black. If you saw any sort of outrageous color or nail art it was on the runway at fashion week, or in a Japanese magazine. It was a simpler time.
Then the GFC happened. During the financial crisis of the early 2000s, Leonard Lauder (chairman of the board at Estée Lauder) observed that lipstick sales could be an economic indicator, and that women were substituting lipstick for more expensive purchases like dresses or shoes during the period of economic distress. In the late 2000s and early 2010s as the economy faltered again during the Global Financial Crisis, lipstick was substituted for nail polish as an affordable luxury, and women the world over were lacquering their talons and dabbling in nail art.
Over the last few years I have seen so many different nail polish and nail art products launch. We have had crackle, caviar, and flocking. Glitters that would make your eyes water. Studs that wouldn’t look out of place on a leather jacket. Nails are becoming more and more ornate, and it’s all mainstream. Magazines devoted entirely to nail art have launched. Nails are one of the top things pinned on Pinterest. When nail tattoos launched I thought ‘cool, this is fun’, but last week when Rad Nails launched their cuticle tattoos I stepped back to take stock.
Have we finally gone too far?
For the average woman like you or I, who experiments with color and likes to have her nails painted to go to the office, is cuticle art practical? Does it even look good? Is this the tipping point of nail culture? Will we all go back to simple one-color polish jobs and pack away our tools and diamantes? There are a lot of questions here, and I don’t have answers right now, but I don’t think it’s premature to predict we might be on the downhill run. Email me with your thoughts, I would love to hear what you think.
Yours in polish,