One of the biggest stories that came out of New York Fashion Week in 2013 was nails--as in, fingernails. As the show becomes increasingly interactive and accessible through social media, we're able to get a glimpse at even the smallest styling details; not just on the clothes, but the models' makeup, hair, and especially their nails.
And why not? Nail polish is a relatively inexpensive "luxury" item--one that always fits, which is a nice feature in a fashion accessory. Nail art tutorials and blogs are exploding in popularity, and high(-er) end brands like Zoya and Essie are now available in grocery stores. From a fashion perspective, the nail industry is nailing it--building on trends, leveraging social media, and developing salon-quality products for home use.
The E! network has a mani-cam that it breaks out at award shows (such as Monday's Emmy broadcast). It's kind of awful and stupid, but it is pretty cool to find out that celebs like Giuliana Rancic wear Revlon nail polish. In truth, there are probably a few of us who have purchased a bottle or two of polish on the strength of a starlet's mani-cam shot. Armed with that information, and the latest nail trends, there's no reason why we all can't be walking around with celebrity-level manicures.
Trend: Home Gel Manicure
Long lasting, low-maintenance gel manicures are wildly popular, but they are much more expensive than your average salon manicure. Now that brands like Sally Hansen ($50) and Sephora ($159) are making at-home gel kits, it's much easier to get the professional result without the professional price tag.
Trend: Christian Louboutin $50 Nail Polish
There is hardly a beauty blog that isn't buzzing over the new Louboutin 'Rouge nail polish. It's sold out online--everywhere, really--because it's Christian Louboutin, and if you can't afford of red-soled shoes this is the next-best (and much more affordable) thing.
Trend: Celebrity Nail Polish
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Model Alexa Chung is stamping her name on all kinds of cosmetics lately, most recently a 6-polish collection of exclusives by Nail, Inc. The model--who has already leveraged her brand to partner with Eyeko, promoting liquid liners--helped developed the fabric-inspired collection, which mimics leather among other interesting textures. Chung's line with Nail, Inc. retails for a respectable and reasonable $15 per bottle.
Trend: Nail Art Tutorials
It's not just YouTube and beauty blogs--nails are serious fashion business for the glossies, too. Harper's Bazaar has an entire section of their website dedicated to nails. Instagram is another place to find nail art, from your favorite brands to nail art enthusiasts. Arcadia Art, Cute Polish, and Pixie Polish are just a few of the most popular artists on YouTube.