The New York Times Thursday Styles section ran an article on how chipped nail polish (on the fingers only, please) is the hot new look for women under 35.
Artfully worn with a $5000 handbag in tow, chipped nail polish (in a dark, plummy color), apparently says that the wearer is so financially and stylistically secure that she can break some grooming rules—or set some new ones.
I’m a devotée of boho chic; indeed, there’s nothing that makes me squirm more than feeling matchy-matchy, but I think that this look would work on very, very few women.
Remember a young Helena Christensen with Chris Isaak in the gorgeous Herb Ritts “Wicked Game” video? She wore ragged nail polish mixed with granules of sand and looked utterly alluring. Of course Helena’s natural beauty made the chipped nails cool, much like the expensive bag tries to do for those mortals who don’t look like Ms. Christensen.
But there’s a fine line between alluring and skanky here, and I’m not sure if the money bag offsets the trashiness of the nails.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a proper manicure. When I worked in Toronto, I used to treat myself to a mani-pedi at Mira Linder’s Spa in the City (is it still there, TO readers?), where motherly, round European women would vigorously massage and refine my digits.
And in New York I’d eschew the smaller joints (and am glad I did after reading in New York Magazine about the working conditions for the immigrant women) for Frederic Fekkai’s oasis in the Chanel building.
But now I favor the au naturel look for my hands, primarily because I don’t have the vigilance to keep polish neat, what with three children, etc., etc. So perhaps I should cheer the new chipped look, since neatness is now a moot point.
Chipped nail polish wouldn’t work for me, though, because it would come across as collateral damage caused by my very full, hectic life. Indeed, I think it’s those who have leisurely lives who can pull off such a look; the chipped nails can then represent an ironic beauty instead of being a mark of someone who is unable to get her grooming act together.
So what do you think? Anyone going to wear chipped polish by design—or by accident?