Well Best City Nails doesn’t like to bitch too much, and so it’s been a while since we’ve posted in our Nail Fail category.
But this frightful sight from Allegra Mostyn-Owen – an artist and Oxford graduate most notable for her 6-year marriage to London mayor Boris Johnson – has caught our attention in the pages of the Brave Boris Promotional Pamphlet, often referred to as the Evening Standard (article here).
Ms Mostyn-Owen appeared in an interview to explain how great and funny Boris Johnson is (cheers, but we all know he’s really funny…for many people this is considered his sole redeeming feature). She also explained how into Muslims she is, and how she knows loads about Muslims, and so Boris probably loves them as well. And how she and Boris had loads of fun at university sending notes to each other and drinking wine.
ALRIGHT ALLEGRA, well we’re ALL very anti-Islamaphobia and we ALL had fun at university drinking wine….doesn’t mean we need to go around proving our fun-loving and down-to-earth credentials with a maroon manicure and a chipped, black contrast nail. WHAT THE FUCK?!
What an aggressive, classless colour combination. I mean what is this? Apart from the family jewels, this could be the hand of a scruffy rebellious teenager, swigging cider and smoking weed in the park, listening to ska punk. Which is fine, in its place.
And these sorry-looking short nails are being done no favours dressed in such dark colours. Less Avril Lavigne and more Hilary Devey, pls.
The ‘I’m an artist and I am relaxed in my own home’ is fine if executed well, but chipped nails are no friend of this blog.
HERE IS THE DIVINE DEVEY DEMONSTRATING HOW TO DO AN INTERVIEW AND NAIL-ART PHOTO SHOOT IN YOUR HOME:
CAPISCE?! Devey’s subtle pose couldn’t be further from Allegra’s ‘LOOK AT ME! Look how A) rich B) ethnic-friendly and C) nail-art-retarded I am! ALL ON ONE CASUAL-YET-VERY-OBVIOUSLY-POSITIONED HAND!’
We have to give these an epic…
I mean, what’s to like? Miley’s nails got two marks for at least not being chipped – we can’t even afford such generosity here.
Sorry Allegra; newly-appointed Evening Standard Queen of the East London Muslims you may be (lol), but a nail queen you are not.
Well, well, well this might just be the campest ‘Celebrity Contrast Nails’ post so far, with two inspirational figures from overseas recently championing the contrast cause.
Now obviously these days you can’t so much as get on the underground without spying a contrast nail nestling somewhere, BUT that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep our eyes peeled, as the gruesome saying goes, for the next big thing…
The next big thing for Joan Rivers seems to be the contrast nail being the ONLY pass-remarkable nail. Why paint ten when you can paint two? A thought-provoking look, and unquestionably a time-saving one. After all, this is a woman who constantly jokes about her proximity to death. We can see why she would opt for this.
We can’t score highly because at the end of the day, we all know this doesn’t pack much of a punch. But it makes sense. And if you’re only painting two nails, all the better that they be in this classy shade of blue which is both electric, but still dark enough to go with anything. She knows what she’s doing.
Now the VERY interesting case of Sharon Needles’s manicure. This is the man who is almost certainly about to win drag queen reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharon seems to have taken inspiration from the pink, and black’n’white check that has long characterised the promotional shots and opening credits of the show. And, indeed, so did we. A long time ago.
Now we’re not saying Sharon has had a bit of a google and copied Best City Nails.
But stranger things have happened.
As we (very generously) awarded our own original RuPaul nails a slightly ridiculous 7/10 it seems only fair Sharon gets a solid
As she has swapped the pink and the check round, so the check is more dominant – as well as it being a finer design.
Just like Joan Rivers, Sharon has thought practically about this; unlike my experience over the past week or so of gong around with garish Easter nails, these colours will go with all the looks she has to do in the course of an episode without her nails ever looking unkempt. It’s a win/win (and she will probably win).
Our main criticism is that they could stand to be a fair bit longer, in case they need re-purposing as a weapon of self-defence against the poisonous, childish, boring, and slightly racist Phi Phi O’Hara.
THE SHADE OF IT ALL.
Throughout the Born to Die video Lana Del Rey features a very acrylic-looking square-tip, with a V-shaped red at the top, giving a conventional design a very slightly sinister edge. In luxurious attention to detail, the red tips are separated from the neutrally-coloured nail with a sliver of gold.
As the video begins in an embrace (the couple’s relaxed, tender, NAKED pose perhaps suggesting post-coitus) you might be forgiven for interpreting Lana Del Rey’s crimson-tipped talons as bloodied claws, dug into the skin of her partner during the freakiest throws of intercourse. This would sit well with the passion/pain duality in the song’s lyrics, which draw more from themes of mental darkness and physical death than one usually sees in popular love songs.
I believe it was the Marquis De Sade who said “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure,” Madonna who said “There’s a certain satisfaction / In a little bit of pain,” and Lady Gaga who put it “And when it comes to love, if it’s not rough it isn’t fun.” So there’s a keen Pop tradition of exploring the sexual pain/pleasure relationship.
But Del Rey is an artist people seem be taking very seriously. In her choice of nail art perhaps she is not investigating the dynamic of pain in sex, but the more fundamental one of life and death. The French have an idiom that describes the orgasm as ‘le petite mort’ – the little death, and it is easy to expand a savage, animal sexual encounter, involving pain and the expenditure of life force, into Death at one end of the equation and, of course, a possible conception of new life at the other. The ‘blood’ on Del Rey’s nails therefore can be seen to encapsulate the paradox of the song’s title Born to Die.
It is not only in life’s creation that we may see a painful element, but in its preservation, also. The 1849 Tennyson poem In Memoriam A.H.H. contains a phrase often cited in reference to the cruelty and violence we can read into the evolutionary preservation of life: “Nature, red in tooth and claw”.
In fact, Del Rey introduces the Evolution Vs Intelligent design debate in the very first verse classically asking: “Is it by mistake or design?”
But the shock of Del Rey’s death at the close of the video over-writes much of this speculation with a new layer. How has she died? Was she really ‘born to die’ as she herself suggests, if so perhaps the earlier blood on her nails is her own, and it foreshadows her death at her own hands. Perhaps she mauls and tears at herself in a fulfilment of her destiny, and a completion of the creative process. Who can say?
We may have liked to see Del Rey’s nails in the throne scene a little more extravagant, perhaps even aping the splendour in tigers or the flowers that surround her, and contrariwise maybe a second less high-concept, standard nail bar look for the car scene would befit better befit the wayward but somehow all-American runaway couple.
But maybe this wouldn’t allow for the all the business about exploring sex, violence and the harsh realities of nature, and we all know that is what nail art is really for.
Nice going, Lana.
See the nails in motion below:
So judges’ houses (yeah, I should have got this up sooner but life as a bootleg nail diva is busy and hard)
…judges’ houses provided a little more nail intrigue for the show.
First up, 16-year-old Amelia Lily, who is now out of the show, displayed this mixed-colour manicure while she was weeping about the fact that her Dad loves her.
Why be harsh? The poor girl’s already been kicked off the show. Usually we find red and black combinations a little Dennis the Menace, and rather angry-looking, but maybe a little more anger is what’s needed these days. It goes nicely with her spooky, gothic jewelery and the nails themselves are very elegantly shaped.
Well done Amelia.
Mischa ‘B’ (Eugh – Jessie J, Katy B…give up, Mischa!) showed us all this baffling look while she was weeping about the fact that Jennifer Hudson came and stood by a swimming pool.
Not being funny but anyone will just look at an index finger nail, twice as long as the rest, and they’ll all be thinking it is for sniffing coke or picking your ears, etc.
Contrast COLOURS are fun, and look pointless. Contrast LENGTHS look as though there is some nefarious practical purpose. Contrast colours look frivolous and fun, and we’ve all just about gotten used to them now. Will be a long time before contrast length (and only on one hand, too) stops looking creeeeeeeeeeepy.
Why do you need that claw, Mischa?
This week, of course, Tulisa has outed Mischa as a cruel bully. Perhaps that single red bead on the offending nail is a symbolic drop of blood, squeezed from a puncture in the lungs of one of her fellow competitors.
If so, that is quite badass, and it is this potentially ferocious little red dot that saves Mischa from a much lower score.
Further celebrity support for the Contrast Nail can now be seen in the audition stages of the X Factor.
Our glamorous new judge from across the pond is on point with a blue/pink contrast manicure that can be seen from Episode 1!
Notice that Kelly’s pink Contrast Nail is on the traditional finger on her left hand but, controversially, on the right hand the Contrast Nail is on the INDEX FINGER!
Got to give Kelly only
…love that you’re wearing [we think] your own nails, girl, and the colours are right, but this mixed finger business bugs us out. The only thing that stops Contrast Nails looking like a mistake is that they’re in the same god-damned place.
If Kelly’s Contrasts were on the same fingers, they would nestle neatly together, adding to each other’s impact, as Kelly hides behind her hands in this oft-seen despairing/mirthful pose.
She’s a beautiful woman and full of fun, but she’s taken this too far.
The whole contrast nail situation has become a very definite thing since we first introduced you to it in our Street Style at the beginning of the year (well, early April…but we spotted the look weeks beforehand)
Since then we’ve tried our own (more to come) and now celebrities are getting in on the trend, which has sprung from Peckham and East London.
Seen on the court here with a purple set, and silver contrast.
Obviously we go for a slightly more complex design at Best City Nails, but Serena’s purple/silver look is on-trend and appropriate for sports.
Most people really aren’t into Cher Lloyd’s debut Swagger Jagger. The tune itself would be OK as a novel album track but for a debut single it doesn’t really showcase her well enough.
BUT you can’t fault the video for it’s on-point nails. A very slightly over-styled Cher sports a contrast manicure even simpler than Serena’s (which is probably for the best, as there is already so much ‘going on’).
Cher’s slightly pointed (good) black/silver nails are first seen at the beginning of the video, lining up the track:
And again, as Cher blows a kiss-kiss to the haters:
With give both Serena Williams and Cher Lloyd
…because we’re just so very into a Contrast Nail.
Hard to go wrong.
You’d have thought that with a budget about 10,000,000 x the size of Best City Nails’, she’d be able to cook up a look at LEAST as good as ours.
Nope. Proudly-pouting Miley does not impress us with these plain black, stubby eyesores.
Perhaps she had ferocious talons, fit for a queen, but they got chipped and broken during THE CLIMB – hahahahahahah.
Oh well. Pro nails are probs not the best thing for herding cattle and playing geetar.
A mark for the fact the’re painted, a mark for the fact they’re not chipped.
The generosity goes no further.