For as much as I love makeup—which is enough to make it my job for the past 10 years—occasionally there are trends that I just can't bring myself to try. The latest is what all the beauty bloggers have dubbed "rainbow nails," which is wearing a different brightly colored polish on each finger or toe. Now I admit, it's a cute, cheerful, look. But so are Hello Kitty tee shirts, and you're not going to see me in one of those anytime soon, either.
Earlier this week, my colleague (and Lancôme's VP of PR) Kerry Diamond nudged me towards trying the look when she handed me three bottles of nail polish she thought would look good worn together: A robin's egg blue, a peachy-coral, and a vibrant violet. And she's right—the bottles look just gorgeous sitting next to one another on my desk. But every time I pick them up and contemplate taking the plunge, I chicken out and put them right back down. (But I will say, the bottles make a lovely paperweight.) When I ask my super chic intern Gerry why I'm so reluctant to try this trend, she hits the nail on the head with her response: "I think it's hard to take anyone seriously when they have on a rainbow manicure." Yes, that's it! There's something innately childlike about a look that's described as "rainbow." But then how come it's popping up on fashionable bloggers such as Sea of Shoes's Jane (those are her footsies pictured above) and Shini from Park & Cube (that's her below), and model Tallulah Morton? These are girls with seriously cool style. Jane paired her pedi with Prada chandelier shoes, for goodness sake!
I phone nail guru Michelle Mismas from All Lacquered Up to get her thoughts on the matter. The first thing Michelle does is (very nicely) inform me is that I'm late on this trend. Like, really late. She blogged about it way back in 2007 (click here to read the post) when she started noticing girls posting pictures of their rainbow manicures—or "Skittles nails," as she calls them—on Makeup Alley's nail board. "Amongst nail fanatics, it’s a way to wear all the new colors they want to try all at once," Michelle tells me of the trend, then admits, "It's not exactly an office look." But Michelle offers some comfort when she explains that I don't have to go bright with this look. "You could do a gradation of just one color along each hand to create an ombre-like effect," she says. "Taupe colors are so hot for fall—why not try a gradation starting with a pale grayish beige such as Essie Body Language on your pinky and working up to a richer taupe such as Essie Chinchilly on your thumb?" Well yes, that does sound less intimidating. Actually, that sounds rather pretty. Michelle also suggests that I inch into the trend by painting just one nail—preferably the pinky—a different color, as Vanessa Hudgens did recently when she stepped out with a bright blue manicure and one ring fingernail painted gold. "There are quieter ways to wear this trend, so it more your own style and not so young," says Michelle. Okay, okay, so I might just be convinced to try it after all.
What do you think of the rainbow nail look? And if I try it, which mix of colors should I wear?
PHOTOS FROM SEA OF SHOES AND PARK & CUBE