Michelle Mismas is the founder and editor of the blog All Lacquered Up. She has created nail polish colors with both Barielle and Rescue Beauty Lounge.
While I have never shied away from bold nail colors, it wasn’t that long ago that buying a green nail polish in August caused a store clerk to ask, “Getting ready for Christmas kind of early, don’t you think?”
Nails have become an inexpensive way to inject a season’s hottest color trends into your wardrobe.
The truth is, unique and outrageous nail polish shades aren’t exactly new. In the 1980s, neon colors were all the rage. And those crackle nail polishes that people are suddenly so gaga over? CoverGirl went there and did that at least 15 years ago. So what makes this evolution of nail color so different? Why is it more widespread and accepted than ever before? I attribute it to two factors.
One, the economy. In recent years, nail polish has replaced lipstick as an indicator of the economy. What Leonard Lauder coined the Lipstick Index, meaning the rise in cosmetic sales inversely correlated to economic health, is no more. Nail polish sales are growing in leaps and bounds, surpassing lipstick, due to its affordability.
A Chanel handbag may be out of your financial reach but a Chanel nail polish is a budget friendly way to bring those interlocking C’s into your lifestyle. Thanks to designers incorporating nail color into their runway looks, nails have become an accessory and an inexpensive way to inject the hottest color trends of the season into your wardrobe. The price tag on those Fendi color-block shoes you’ve been coveting may make your wallet cry, but buying blue and orange lacquers to color-block your nails is within everyone’s price range.
The second factor is our obsession with all things celebrity and the ungodly access we have to them thanks to Twitter and Facebook and all the blogs and Web sites out there. A single Twitpic of Katy Perry’s flower patterned nails caused a run on Minx nail appliqués and a number of knock-offs for at-home use. Beyoncé wearing a turquoise Chanel nail polish in a music video sold out the shade.
Tweens, teens and twenty-somethings will always be early adopters to trends, but thanks to its low price tag and celebrity support, nail art and wacky nail polish colors have worked their way into the hearts of the more mature set.