Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann reports on the latest in updated, chic and ultra-feminine lacquers and shapes for a bride
While we would never call baby pink nails in Essie’s classic shades of Ballet Slippers and Blushing Bride boring, we’re fans of slightly out-of-the-box thinking when choosing a lacquer to wear for the big day. Still, “this is your wedding day, not prom,” says celebrity manicurist and founder of an eponymous nail collection, Deborah Lippmann. “You don’t want to follow the trends on your wedding day. If you’re a girl who’s always worn gray for the last four years, then you can be true to yourself, but I wouldn’t wear gray nails just to be wearing the trend.”
Currently, Lippmann cites mauve as the shade she sees poised to overtake sheer pink. “We’ve moved into more skin tones, which are beautiful and sophisticated, but mauve I think is the newest nude nail and it’s more modern—the chicest, fashion-forward bridal nail.” Lippmann’s On the Floor and new fall Modern Love shades serve as subdued, flattering hues that won’t overshadow the ring, but will look fresh and feminine in photographs—always an important consideration. “You don’t want your nails to be the star,” says the manicurist. “They can be gorgeous, but it’s your ring’s day.”
It comes down to being authentically “you.” For example, it’s not for everybody, but Lippmann says there are times a bright red nail can be beautiful—and appropriate. “With red flowers, a nighttime ceremony and full-on glam.” More universal, the opaque beige (Lippmann’s Naked) or flesh-toned nail (accomplished easily with HIPPxRGB’s Nail Foundation) that’s been picking up speed “will continue to be something beautiful for beach and outdoor weddings, and indoors with beautiful lights—if it’s the right shade for your skin tone,” says Lippmann.
To be a bit playful, brides can experiment with metallics. Lippmann’s new collection includes varnishes with a chrome effect that change slightly depending on the angle. “But they’re not wild. If you like the trend of something that’s shiny, we make them in neutral colors so it’s still bridal, yet playing with the formula.” The optimal way to wear a metallic—or any wedding shade, for that matter—for Lippmann is on an extended stiletto or almond-shaped nail. Never short and squared, which can be aging. (“The stiletto shape makes it look modern.”)
And as for that other stalwart, the French mani, Lippmann’s of the mind that it’s hard to pull off successfully. “It’s tricky. I’m not the biggest fan of where the French manicure has gone over the years, but if you’re [truly] a really high-fashion bride you could do it with a strong, solid opaque white tip (like Amazing Grace) and something with a mauve tone over it instead of a sheer pink” that updates it. Otherwise, she recommends staying away, because “it’s not going to look modern and new.” And the two-tone French that’s been popular this year is viable if your makeup and hair doesn’t also make too much of a statement. “If you have a palette in your bridal bouquet that is two colors, you might want to reference it in your nails,” says Lippmann. “Not matchy-matchy, but referencing it might be a nice way to tie it all together.”