The color of the season—snowy alabaster—makes its way to nails
Spring manicures and current weather trends are converging as a snowy hue is overwhelmingly being spread over both nails and streets. “I haven’t worn a white manicure since my school days when we used to create DIY nail looks using Wite-Out!” says Nicola Louw, founder of online retailer Nailbox.co. But all that’s changing as more than a dozen of the season’s coolest runways featured models with alabaster nails—some topped with simplistic nail art. “White is versatile in that it can be used in an understated way or it can be used in conjunction with other colors to make a graphic statement,” adds Louw. “After a season of festive glitters and metallics, I think a modern, clean white mani is exactly what we should be wearing right now!”
The variety with which the basic shade was used proves her point. Band of Outsiders, Nanette Lepore and Prabal Gurung were a few who went the white-out route on trimmed, manicured nails, while Elie Tahari and Dennis Basso did it in a sheer wash. Milly’s models wore a white half-moon on a bare nail and Charlotte Ronson, Emerson and Tibi layered black dots, stripes and lines, respectively, on a blank palette. “Simple lines and solid shapes create a sporty, cool look,” says Louw, while “for something more feminine, a sheer white nail can be complemented with metallics, glitters or crystals.” Cushnie et Ochs perfectly represented the romantic look, with stiletto-shaped white nails accented by metallic silver bands.
Like with the also-hot white eye makeup look, different finishes work better for different skin tones. “Like a white bikini, I always feel white nails look best on people with dark or olive skin tones, however a sheer white or one with slight shimmer will suit most skin tones and ages,” says Louw. “I actually think white is easier to pull off than a nude.” She suggests LVX’s “classic” Fantom and Scotch Naturals’ “bold” Highland Mist for deeper or olive skin, and NCLA’s prismatic-gem-sprinkled Cookies and Gold for all complexions.
Some runways also introduced color. One of Louw’s favorite looks was the pink and navy tips at Kate Spade. Desigual, too, added a bright pop of color to moon-shaped ends. “White is fantastic for graphic nail art application as it provides a truly blank canvas and it’s easy to achieve a statement look,” says the expert. “I lean toward simplicity, so I’d experiment with half-moon shapes, metallic lines, glitter triangles and a take on the French tip where you create a diagonal sliver on the tip in an accent color, as seen at Holmes & Yang.”
And while it can be fun to blend in with the snow, Louw says “there’s something classic yet edgy about a white manicure, so I can see it being a look that lasts through summer. To me it says you’re a confident, modern girl who’s groomed and a bit of a perfectionist.”