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Did Katy Perry Nail It with her new OPI Black Shatter Nail Polish?

22 Jan

Given Katy Perry’s wild nail style (remember her Russel Brand manicure ?) it makes sense that OPI would ask her to collaborate on a new nail polish line.

The highlight of the limited-edition collection is the Black Shatter top coat that’s generating buzz as the next nail trend. Once applied to the dried base coat of any nail polish, the black top coat begins to disappear, leaving behind a crackled, sort of leopard print pattern on each nail and transforming your manicure into nail art, Katy Perry style.

Here's what each color is supposed to look like with the Black Shatter top coat. From L-R the colors are: Last Friday Night, Not Like the Movies, The One that Got Away, and Teenage Dream.

How does it work? Two incompatible solvents in the black shatter top coat cause uneven drying, so as the top coat sets it results in the crackled pattern.

After test-driving the new shatter coat, here are some of our tips:

  • This may seem obvious, but be sure to only apply the Black Shatter top coat over completely dry nail polish–otherwise, there are gloopy consequences.
  • Because the shattering effect is almost instantaneous, you need to apply the top coat fairly quickly–as in, a once over. If you double back for a second coat then you’ll get black shatters on top of black shatters.
  • A thinner coat of Black Shatter will result in a look with smaller shards, while a thicker coat will make the crackled look more chunky.
  • The shatter top coat dries matte–really matte–with the look of old, dried-out asphalt. So, for a more “polished” look, add a top coat for a glossy finish that will make the black look more liquid.

Black Shatter top coat over Not Like the Movies, a silvery metallic shade, with a clear top coat.

What do you think?

Fall 2010 Trend Alert: Half Moon Manicure

6 Sep

Want to nail this fall’s latest trend, and look cuteicle while doing it? You’ve got to try a Half Moon Manicure.

Also known as “The Cuban,” “Moon,” or “Gatsby” manicure, this trend puts a twist on an old classic–the French Manicure–by reversing it. Instead of white tips, the inner half moon shape at the base of your nail is white or left bare. Rumor is the Half Moon was invented in the 1920s by a manicurist for MGM Studios, though I haven’t been able to find out any specifics. Popular in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, the Half Moon Manicure has  been making a comeback since it appeared on the runway in Thakoon’s 2009 collection. This Fall, expect to see this chic, clean look everywhere; according to Elsa Deslande, the manicurist for the Dior fall couture show,“It is ‘le must’ in terms of elegance.” Well, ok, Elsa. We’ll take your word for it!

Because the technique for a Half Moon manicure can take some trial and error to master, initially, you might want to go to a salon to test-drive this look. If you like it, here are some ideas for making it easier to do yourself, and for taking this trend to the next level:

  • Use a “Stencil”:
    • Get some 3-Ring Binder Stickers from your local drugstore or office supply store, unpeel the sticker, and place them on the base of your nails. Then paint 1-2 coats on the top part of your nail, and when the polish is dry, remove the sticker, and you’ve got sleek Half Moons. This idea comes from Miss Glamour Girl blog and I love it because these stickers are easy to find, easy to use, and inexpensive–they’re the perfect tool to create a neat, flawless Half Moon.

Love this idea from Fab-YOU-lous Annie for a perfect half moon mani at home.

  • Go beyond the standard “French” colors:
    • Try using the reverse French Half Moon pattern, but with non-French-Manicure-colors, for a fashion-forward look. Word on the street is that the trendiest nail polish colors this Fall will be dusty rose, khaki brown, and a subtly minty gray–but if you’re not into those shades, pick your favorite and make the Half Moon your own. Take Dita Von Teese–she’s been rocking this look in retro lipstick red:

Ooo la la!

  • If you really want a high-fashion look, do a Half Moon + French Manicure:
    • Thakoon chose this look for his runway show, and I have to say, it’s not easy to pull off. But, if you want to make a statement with your nails, this might be for you. Here’s how Thakoon did it in black and white–you can see the half moon shape of the base of the model’s nails are white, then she has a black base polish, then white French manicure “tips” on the top of her nail:

Could you say this look is too matchy-matchy since she's also wearing a white blouse with a black collar?

What do you think?