Column by Jacqueline McClure
After the glory days of Tom Fordâ€™s Gucci models in the 1990s, black nail polish vanished from the style scene â€“ until this past summer. And at least for the fall, itâ€™s here to stay.
Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Keira Knightley, Jessica Simpson and other Hollywood A-list celebrities have all been photographed wearing the gothic inspired nail polish.
The seasonâ€™s trend is thanks to couture powerhouse Chanel. Since introducing the limited-edition nail lacquer Black Satin ($18) in August 2006, frenzy has been started throughout the country over the already sold-out product. This isnâ€™t the first time Chanel has created a sensation. In 1994, it launched Vamp, its original black nail polish with a color that could be described as black cherry.
The secret to wearing noir without looking morbid is to keep nails short and clean. Steer away from over matching your clothes to the polish, so you donâ€™t look overdone.
As an avid black nail polish user and someone who is unable to purchase the Chanel product, there are other more pocket-friendly alternatives. A personal favorite: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Black Out ($2.59 at Walgreenâ€™s). It lasts for about a week without chipping and delivers a great shine. The application is even and smooth, and it is easy on your wallet, too.
Whatâ€™s so fascinating about color on nails?
Maybe itâ€™s the taboo principles of the gothic world inspired by Marilyn Manson with his infamous white contact lenses and black nails. While some of us remember the trend of androgynous musicians from the 70s and 80s such as Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, the history of black nail polish dates back to ancient China when only royals were allowed to use black and red polish. Today, celebrities such as Fergie from the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas take the style a step further and personalize their black nails with a thin white line down the middle of each nail. Itâ€™s not only about keeping up with the avant-garde, but black polish can serve other purposes from creative expression to innovative ways to spark up a conversation because everyone seems to have an opinion about it.
If black isnâ€™t for you or you need some help slowly adjusting to the dark side, try some deep brown colors from Essie nail polish ($7) inspired by the latest bag trends such as Rock the Croc, Sassy Satchel and Clutch Me If You Can.