The nail look at Alexander Wang this season was a classic Wang nude with a twist; the topcoat was glossy, as opposed to their usual matte. "The nails look pretty, which is the first time I've been able to say that working with Wang over the last three seasons," says Rita Remark, global nail artist for Essie, who keyed the show. "There is this really undeniably clean, feminine finish to them." Two coats of Essie Topless & Barefoot were applied to nails and feet, followed by Essie Speed Setter Top Coat. The models own nail shapes were left as they were. "This is a chameleon colour," says Remark. "I want to keep some personality in the nails."
At Rebecca Minkoff's see-now-buy-now show, Essie nail artist Michelle Saunders created a cat eye for the nail. It has the same elongating effect on the nails as winged liner has on the eye, says Saunders. "Something happens when you look at the pupil, there is an illusion of length," she explains. To get the look, apply two coats of Girlie Grunge as the base shade. Dressed to the Nineties was used to create the "pupil" with a stippling brush, but a less-steady hand could also use tape.
"I didn't like glitter until two months ago, but now I'm obsessed," Miss Pop told us backstage at Jeremy Scott. To create the "glitter comet" look, she used spirit gum, a theatrical glue used for adhering facial prosthetics (NB: eyelash glue works just as well). "Paint each finger one at a time, applying glue up to the knuckle," she explains. Then take ultra-fine cosmetic-grade glitter, and use a brush to apply it around the cuticle, tapping it down the finger for a faded effect. "It will take a few minutes to dry," she says. The nail beds were painted in either Hot Pop Pink or Electric Orange, and then finished with a matte or glossy topcoat coming out in the CND Creative Play collection for spring 2018.
Rita Remark created this collegiate-inspired look at Monse, apropos of the collection being shown in a gymnasium.
At Oscar de la Renta, models either wore Good as Gold (a neutral gold) or Penny Talk (a copper), both metallic shades from Essie, on their nails. "It's gilded and luxurious," nail artist Julie Kandalec told us backstage. On toes, a nude colour was chosen that best-matched the model's skin tone for a seamless finish.
Backstage at Alice and Olivia, nail artist Rita Remark applied a thin stripe of Essie nail polish in Garden Variety, a vibrant teal, across the tips of models nails. "I want the nail to look like a nude nail, but capped with colour," explains Remark. "I don't want it to read like a French manicure." It's a good option if you traditionally wear a nude nail and want to try something a little out of your comfort zone, says Remark.
At Tanya Taylor, Essie nail artist Julie Kandalec was inspired by a "ribbon in motion." There were two iterations of this look: The first was a tonal neutrals-only cream using Essie nail polishes Blanc and Between the Sheets. The second incorporated Fifth Avenue, an orange-y red. "It's organic, but still very placed," says Saunders of the design.
At Kith, nail artist Alicia Torello played up the sporty designs in the collection, giving models nail art inspired by the Champion logo. She used Essie polishes in Really Red, Blanc and Butler Please to create the look.
The nail look was the equivalent of no-makeup makeup at Mansur Gavriel, where Essie nail artist Michelle Saunders swiped on two coats of super sheer polish in Skinny Dip.
To create the colourful tweed nail look at Christian Siriano, nail artist Gina Edwards used a striping brush to paint single horizontal and vertical stripes of KISS Gel Strong Polish in Touch of Lilac, Lemonade, Hot Mama, Pretty Woman and Lime Green With Envy. "The nails are versatile and can easily be worn day to night, casual or dressy and that is what I love," says Edwards. "Nail art isn’t just for special occasions, it can be part of your everyday."
At Naeem Khan, KISS nail artist Gina Edwards created intricate, gilded nails inspired by late Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The best part? Those KISS Jewel Accents are less than $12 at your local drugstore.