When was the last time you got a manicure? Like, a real one, at an actual nail salon? I just got one for the first time in forever—because the color and condition of my nails matters if I’m shooting and sharing the jewelry that catches my eye at Luxury and JCK Las Vegas. The natural (read: unkempt) “mom nail” alternative is not the look I am striving for (even though that’s what I’m rocking 99% of the time).
Here’s the thing if getting a manicure for Vegas is on your to-do list today or soonish—there are nail trends you might have missed. Like major shifts in terms of shape, color families, and embellishments. I’d been noticing a really pointy, talon-like shape on Instagram (and yes, fine, on the Love Is Blind: After the Altar reunion episode of the Netflix show).
It’s called the stiletto nail. To achieve the look, ask for an almond shape to start, then have your manicurist file to a pointed tip.
Speaking of the almond shape, this might be a way to ease into the stiletto trend (and my in book, an almond shape itself marks a departure from the usual “round or square”? routine). You can even DIY, says New York City nail pro, instructor, and author Julie Kandalec, founding creative director of Paintbox, owner of private nail studio Julie K Artelier, and a favorite of such celebrity clients as Camila Cabello, Emma Roberts, and Hailee Steinfeld. “First, find a spot toward the center of the nail and file inward—you should file the nail at an angle that is just off the center of the nail, leaving a flat tip to round out. After you have the angles on both sides, file the corners to smooth out the sharp angles, and blend the nail into an almond shape.”
As for colors, “we are seeing a ton of mint green, pinky red, pale pink, and light purple for summer,” says Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of membership-based nail studio Glosslab, which has three locations in New York City and more on the way—in Miami; Bethesda, Md.; Hoboken, N.J.; and Fairfield County, Conn.
If you’re tired of the usual Essie Mademoiselle and Ballet Slippers fare, a couple of new neutrals to try, says Glass, are Dazzle Dry’s Alluring Charm (pale pink) and At First Blush (off-white).
Color daredevils are encouraged to skip the mumsy-ish French manicure and make it fun and funky (see below).
And who in this jewelry-loving crowd is not into the idea of artwork or jeweled embellishments? No one I know. And according to Kandalec, they’re a hot ticket. And the look kind of throws it back to the days of Olympic gold medalist Florence “Flo Jo” Griffith Joyner for whom long and bejeweled nails were a trademark in 1980s, as they were in the 1990s for leading hip-hop artists such as Lil’ Kim.
“All the metallic shades you can think of are popular and trendy right now, from molten mercury to gilded gold to pink gold and metallic lilac,” says Kandalec. “My clients are loving tiny, micro crystals that sparkle in the summer sun.”
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