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NYFW Fall 2012: The Fiercest Nail Art

So you won't be wearing winged metallic eyeliner to the office, or attempting a gravity-defying pouf hairdo? That's okay. Some editorial fashion trends just aren't meant to be worn in the real world. But of all the beauty trends on display at Fashion Week, the nail art is one thing goes from runway to realway in a snap. I trolled backstage at dozens of shows, and these were the hottest nail art looks around—and that's not just the lacquer fumes talking.
Polka Dots at Kate Spade
The “Midas Touch” Manicure at Alexandre Herchcovitch
Alice + Olivia
A Blogger’s Cool Blue Water Marble
The “Flirty Flower” Manicure at Rachel Antonoff
The “Starry Night” Manicure at Rachel Antonoff
Charlotte Ronson
Fishnet Nails at Joy Cioci
Chrome French Tips at Behnaz Sarafpour
Gleaming Chrome at Behnaz Sarafpour
Nicole Miller Nails
Joy Arnold’s Nails

Joy Arnold’s Nails

At Joy Cioci, CND’s Co-Founder and Style Director Jan Arnold sported these festive nails, with a black chevron pattern running perpendicular down the nail across a white canvas. “Manicures have become mainstream as a fashion expression,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what your style, your size, or your age…you’ve got twenty palettes to really have fun and thrill yourself.

The “Midas Touch” Manicure at Alexandre Herchcovitch

“This manicure is expensive-looking,” said Creative Nail Design’s Wanda Ruiz, who created this manicure with CND Colour in Gold Chrome. “It’s very greedy.” When applying metallic nail polishes, Wanda recommends using the brush horizontally instead of vertically, applying the polish parallel to the contour of the nail. “Metallic polishes have some texture,” she said, “and with the flat-brush technique, the pigment goes on evenly.”

Alice + Olivia

“Alice + Olivia is always so fashion forward, and the line is always bringing you the newest trends,” said Sephora PRO team member Sara Biria. At the show, the artists used Sephora by OPI Trend Tips in Silver Metallic and Black & Gold Glitter ($12 at Sephora). The tips apply in a snap and are already dry—no waiting or smudging. When using pre-made polish strips, Sara recommends a quick swipe of polish remover before you start, to dry out the nail and help the strip adhere.

A Blogger’s Cool Blue Water Marble

At Tadashi Shoji, I met blogger Carly of Lacquered Lover, who was sporting an amazing water marble manicure. To get the look, start with China Glaze White Out as the base, and then drop a few drops each of China Glaze Blue Year’s Eve, Pelican Grey, and Liquid Leather to a cup of room-temperature water, swirl, and dip.

The “Flirty Flower” Manicure at Rachel Antonoff

The other look at Rachel Antonoff was a bright, hand-drawn flower art on top of a classic red nail. Candace and the CND artists used CND Colour in Flashpoint as the base, then used Brilliant White and Anchor Blue to draw the lotus-like flower design.

The “Starry Night” Manicure at Rachel Antonoff

“This manicure is all about the girl who’s growing up,” said CND’s Candace Manacchio, who created the look. “But she still believes in adventure and magic.” The whimsical tips featured two coats of CND Colour in Midnight Sapphire, with Eclectic Purple and Studio White sponged on top. The look got its mystical, magical effect from CND Effects top coat in Sapphire Sparkle.

Charlotte Ronson

Fleury Rose, the lead nail artist for Color Club, hand-painted models’ nails with a deep plum-purple polish, which was a major trend all over the runways. To make the mani more memorable, she coated the tips with a thin coat of black.

Fishnet Nails at Joy Cioci

These tips, which took the nail team over 60 hours to create by hand, featured CND polish in Putty on the nail bed, leaving the tips clear. Then artists glued actual pieces of fishnet to the nail tip, cutting it to the precise shape of the nail and setting with fabric glue. Then they added a thin strip of CND polish in Blackjack at the seam. Artist Candace Manacchio created the look, which she called “Seductive Survival.” “It’s very femme fatale,” she said. “It’s the girl who gets what she wants when she wants it.

Chrome French Tips at Behnaz Sarafpour

Models at Behnaz Sarafpour wore one of four different nail styles, created by CND’s Roxanne Valinoti. “The story for this show is illumination,” Roxanne said. “We’re illuminating through color and texture.” Some models wore full-on chrome tips, in either silver or gold. Although these tips were created for the show, get the look at home with CND Colour in Silver Chrome or Gold Chrome.

Gleaming Chrome at Behnaz Sarafpour

Other models at the show wore a clear nail with a chrome French tip. “It’s almost like a veil or an x-ray,” Roxanne said, “That allows you to see the nail from the inside out.”

Nicole Miller Nails

CND's Wanda Ruiz created this retro psychedelic look using CND Colours in Plumville, Electric Orange, Bicycle Yellow and Anchor Blue. At home, try using nail art pens to easily get the swirled look, or use a toothpick to create the design. Photo credit: CND

Joy Arnold’s Nails

At Joy Cioci, CND’s Co-Founder and Style Director Jan Arnold sported these festive nails, with a black chevron pattern running perpendicular down the nail across a white canvas. “Manicures have become mainstream as a fashion expression,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what your style, your size, or your age…you’ve got twenty palettes to really have fun and thrill yourself.

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