Metallic nails are pretty much everywhere this autumn – and I’m not just talking about Chanel’s elusive A/W collection or Nails Inc.’s magnetic manicures, I’m talking about practically every cosmetics company, both high-street and high-end. I was a bit sceptical about this trend at first; nobody wants to look like they’ve come straight out of a casting for a sci-fi film, and while I appreciate that Lady Gaga looks incredible whilst performing, you couldn’t exactly walk down Cornmarket dressed as her without people thinking you were either doing it for a dare or pretty unhinged.
So when faced with the prospect of putting metallics on my nails in the name of fashion I wasn’t exactly enthused. But I wasn’t going to disagree with the beauty bloggers and celebrities championing this trend (Jennifer Lopez and Kate Winslet have both been photographed with metallic nails, although I understand that they’re goddesses and what works on them might not work on normal people), so I gave it a go.
I had mixed experiences. I tried out Chanel’s Peridot and fell in love – despite having to deal with a patronising sales assistant who insisted on calling it ‘perid-oh’, and my father’s aghast exclamation that it looked a bit like I’d tacked shield bugs to my fingers. It’s a greeny-gold shimmery colour which does take a while to get used to but is actually pretty easy to wear (in the sense that not only does it not clash with any of my clothes but also that I haven’t had anyone take me aside and ask what I was thinking).
Then I tried out Barry M’s silver, which is more obviously metallic, and liked that too – and saw a pattern forming. Since I started playing around with metallic colours for this article I haven’t actually stopped wearing them on my nails – and that’s not just because I’m too lazy to take the polishes off. Metallics are good if you want to try something different and experiment a little with your appearance, but don’t have either the funds or the inclination to completely overhaul your everyday style. You (hopefully) won’t look like an extra from an experimental film, but you’ll still have an extra pop of colour and some sparkle on the end of your fingertips. Just apply a base coat, a couple of coats of your chosen colour and a top coat to seal and you’re good to go!
Metallic shades go with practically any colour, so regardless of what you’re wearing they’ll still look good (although you’d have to have an insanely good eye for detail – and a tendency towards pedancy – to judge someone whose nail polish and outfit colour clashed anyway). Pile on statement jewellery (cocktail rings, detailed bracelets, jewelled cuffs) for a dramatic, maximalist look, or keep your hands and arms free to achieve an uncluttered elegance.
Chanel Le Vernis in Peridot, Quartz and Granite – £17.50 per nail polish
Nails Inc. Nail Polish – Metals Range – £5.00 per nail polish
Barry M Nail Paint in Gold and Silver – £2.99 per nail polish
And now for something completely different…
Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish in Trafalgar Square and Big Ben – £13.00 per nail polish
The description for this on the website is hilarious (and may or not include the words ‘WOW factor’) but also – embarrassingly enough – kind of makes me want to try the product out. The polish contains iron particles and comes with a magnet; straight after painting your nails you hold this magnet over your nails to manipulate these iron particles and create ‘an astonishing finish’. I’m reserving judgement for now…
(disclaimer: all opinions are my own; no sponsorship has been involved; prices correct at the time of publishing)