Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Lady Varnishes

The Lady Varnishes..

Nail art has been trending for sometime. Pat McGrath, Creative Director of Dolce&Gabanna The Make-Up was promoting the "Fashion French" back in 2008 (and let's face it, when it comes to beauty, what Pat says goes in the world of maquillage). Now, everywhere you look, from Barry M, Revlon, Rimmel and Max Factor on the high street to Essie, OPI, Ciate, Chanel, Illamasqua, Dolce&Gabbana and YSL, self expression through the accessorising of one's nails is de rigeur.

Minx captured the market for foil nails and wraps, launching a huge ongoing trend. Ghetto chic has slowly filtered into mainstream fashion with Wah! Nails outposts cropping up throughout the UK. It seems that if you haven't had your nails did at Wah!, or your barnet dip dyed at Bleach, then you clearly hit the "snooze" button on your fashion alarm.

Nail Artist du jour Sophy Robson came onto my radar via Illamasqua's nail tutorials (trust Alex Box to be ahead of the curve, she also brought Mike Pocock to my attention). Marian Newman was Sophy's predecessor as the "It Manicurist".

Leighton Denny was the first big editorial manicurist that I was aware of. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times at QVC and he is such a lovely chap, a wealth of friendly advice and so down to earth. I told him I loved Dita Von Teese's nails and he said that she's his client and that he still does her nails when she's in town. He often does a crescent moon manicure for her, which inspired the one I created for my mother on Sunday, though I opted for a nude pink base and a raspberry pink tip rather than the crescent design.

I had prepped mum's nails the day before. I soaked her hands in a bowl of comfortably hot water laced with Neom Organics bath oil. I exfoliated her hands with a mixture of brown sugar and almond oil then gently towel dried them. I filed her nails then massaged Leighton Denny manicure oil into her nails, hands and arms. I wrapped the tip of an orange stick with cotton wool soaked in almond oil and gently pushed back mum's cuticles. I finished with a generous layer of Creme De La Mer hand cream. I used a tissue to remove any excess moisture from her nails then applied one coat of Illamasqua base coat.

The next day I applied two coats of Dolce&Gabbana Intense Nail Lacquer in Petal (a nude ballet slipper pink) as a base colour. Once it had dried, I applied the Shocking shade (a vibrant raspberry pink) as a Fashion French tip. I finished with the NARS Top Coat to seal the design and add a glossy finish. I have to say I love the Dolce varnishes, they have some gorgeous colours and a very high end glassy finish.

I was really pleased with the result, I'm definitely going to experiment with different designs and colour combinations (beware all female friends and family members).

Dolce&Gabbana Intense Nail Lacquer in Petal - £18
Dolce&Gabbana Intense Nail Lacquer in Shocking - £18