This season, molten metallics are the new jewelry for your hands
When Minx came out with chrome and liquid gold nail wraps almost five years ago, part of the instant appeal was the intensity of those metallics, which at the time couldn’t be replicated by normal nail polish. But this is 2012 and metallic lacquers have more than grown up. Says Rococo Nail Apparel founders (and cool Brit sisters) Ange and Vernice Walker, who just released their five-piece Modern Metallica collection, “by being full ‘liquid metal’ coverage and not too sparkly and glittery, [our metallics] are grown up and make more of a sophisticated statement.” They note even in the last year, “there is more of the solid metallic formula available.” In fact, they fought hard with their lab on the creation of one of their first-ever shades, Dollar, a full-coverage foil-esque silver.
What’s making the category even more appealing—and crowded with new formulas—is the fact they’re now so much more refined than in the past. Not only are opaque liquid metal hues (also see Essie’s Mirror Metallics line and RGB’s new Flint and Copper) popular, but so are matte metallic formulas (like Givenchy’s Enchanted Mat Grey). There’s also some focus on “complex,” high-tech holographic formulas made up of coated particles that split light into color spectrums (think Chanel’s Peridot or Deborah Lippmann’s color-changing Mirrored Chrome Flip collection). “Nail color being more of an accessory gives you the opportunity to wear bold shades like silver and gold almost instead of wearing jewelry,” they say. “They work well with any wardrobe and add a nice little detail or accent to your style.”
While there are a few rules about how to wear metallics, age doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it—the Walkers say the shape, length and color of the nails determine whether the look is dated or inappropriate. The most universally flattering shades are cooler gold tones, and they liken it to wearing a nude polish—“the shade shouldn’t drain you or highlight flaws.” Those with pale skin can wear darker, warmer metallic like Rococo’s new Mysterioso or Glam Roc. Medium to olive tones are perfect for the shades New Geisha and Alcazar. And dark skin stands out in silvers like Dollar or Glam Roc and Alcazar, but steer clear of brown tones.
As for the ever-important nail shape, the Walkers are fans of chrome lacquers on short, square nails—“it’s a statement look. Anything else would almost detract from the beauty of the shade.” Likewise, when wearing metallics as a pedicure, keep the toenails trimmed short and squared. And when nail art comes a calling, consider longer almond-shaped nails featuring a nude base (like Lab Nude 3.0 or C-Cup) with the golden metallic Alcazar on the tip. Says the girls, “It looks so sophisticated.”