Nail polish continues to move past being merely a cosmetic decoration and into the realm of an artistic movement, this time with a host of unexpected textures and finishes. I'm particularly fond of the texture trend, because it delivers nail art in a bottle, making it both more convenient and less expensive than most other manicure artistry -- I'm looking at you, Minx.
The postmodern manicure! The shatter polish is applied like a regular topcoat, but as it dries it splits and crackles for an urban, gritty effect.
From left: Black Shatter
, Lightning Bolt
, Broken Hearted
, and Cracked Concrete
, all by China Glaze
The Jason Wu collection, created in collaboration with CND, features a special effects top coat that contains silk fragments. It gives the nails a fabric-like finish, resembling tweed or suede.
From left: Brigitte
, and Miss Wu
, all shown with the Anna
topcoat. From CND
The polishes of Orly's Plastix collection dry to a pleather-like finish, making nails look as though they've been coated in rubber.
From left: Retro Red
, Viridian Vinyl
, Old School Orange
, and Purple Pleather
, all by Orly
Matte nail polish is arguably what started the trend of alternative finishes and textures. Chalkboard flat, it is the antithesis of the typical glossy nail.
From left: Mitzi, Lolly, and Phoebe
, by Zoya
. Matte Smoke
by Diamond Cosmetics
Not shown but highly recommended are the kickass matte nail polishes from indie brand ManGlaze
. Their selection includes a silver glitter matte called Hot Mess
that looks almost like velvet and is impossible to photograph. I tried and failed.
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