A French manicure perfectly done at home, in record time and without shaking, it is now possible thanks to these dozens of Tik Tok tutorials. Explanations.
The French manicure is a timeless trend. If it has known some dark years, it made its comeback in 2020. Since then, nail artists have never stopped revisiting it. French reversed, colored, mini … If the versions are multiple, the technique remains the same. But succeeding in correctly applying nail polish to the tip of the nail requires a level of precision that is difficult to achieve. If the wisest among us entrust their hands to professionals, some beautistas like to do their manicure themselves. These women have found an unstoppable trick for a perfect French manicure in record time. The object of desire? The silicone sponge. More commonly used to blend foundation, this tool is also very practical for depositing with precision polish.
THE SILICONE SPONGE FOR A PERFECT FRENCH MANICURE
Since the various confinements, the Tik Tok application has become a great playground where the world of beauty occupies a prominent place. During these long months of quarantine, we learned how to create fake nails with raw pasta (yes…), how to get beautiful curls with a sticker or how to draw an eyeliner line without shaking. Recently, beautistas have revealed a new ingenious trick: the silicone sponge for a flawless French manicure. How to use it? Place a small amount of nail polish on the object and then gently press the tip of the nail to create the shape and thickness you want. A quick and ultra easy technique that is making the buzz on the Chinese social network. To test, therefore.
To avoid a big anger, the one that happens in a fraction of a second when the varnish that was applied with care has been stupidly but durably damaged.
Available in a shield version or better, in an incubator version so that nothing and nobody can damage your work.
Rosalía, Bad Gyal, Arca, Cardi B: since when did nail art culture infiltrate music culture?
In 2021, from Bad Gyal to Rosalía, through Billie Eilish or Cardi B, nail art is proudly carried by a new generation of artists who advocate a fluid, strong and modern femininity.
“Bad Gyal, como te lias los porros con esas uñas?” Waved by her fans at her concerts, these signs return like a running gag. “Bad Gyal, how do you roll your joints with those nails?” Indeed, these are showy, imposing, shiny, almost architectural. Without her fake acrylic nails, the look of the Spanish singer would be incomplete. On stage, they accentuate her movements, underline her assertive character, give her a feline stature. If her XXL manicure is one of her distinctive features, for the last ten years, the nails of women and men of all ages and all over the world are getting longer, more colorful, and their hands are becoming more beautiful. Reflecting social inequalities, cultural expression and beauty standards, the practice of nail art has many stories to tell.
Purple nail polish in an open glass bottle lid and nail polish color stain on a beautiful abstract background. Vector illustration of Vogue for magazine, catalog etc.
Indeed, for centuries and across different cultures, having long nails indicated a high and privileged social status, symbolizing the fact of not having to perform manual labor and leading a life of leisure. Adopted in different forms by women and men over time, the Western world really adopted nail art at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the first varnishes were marketed, then popularized by American stars like Josephine Baker, Rita Hayworth or Farrah Fawcett. Their nails are worn short, soberly painted with red, pastel colors or mother of pearl. If manicure was for a long time an expensive service reserved for wealthy women, the wave of Vietnamese immigration to the United States in the 1970s saw the opening of cheap beauty salons in mass. Nail art then took off, adopted, invented and reinvented across countries and communities: 3D nails in Japan, black nails for the punks or French manicure for the more sober.
While they became commonplace in the 1980s in the African-American community, false acrylic nails were popularized by artists such as Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, La Toya Jackson or the athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner, known for having broken world records in sprinting with, on her fingers, 10 centimeters long nails in the colors of the American flag.
For us, nail art was really a culture,” explains Bernadette Thompson, an American nail artist, who created the fake nails made of banknotes that Lil’ Kim wears in the video for “Get Money” alongside Notorious B.I.G. “In the neighborhoods, if you couldn’t afford a Mercedes or live in a mansion, you expressed yourself through your nails, your hair, your clothes,” she explains. It was also a status symbol: basically, the longer your nails and the more rhinestones, the more successful you were.”
Long associated with the underprivileged and considered too extravagant or vulgar, acrylic nails were eventually adopted by pop stars like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. By the mid-2010s, as hip hop evolved into the most listened-to music genre in Western countries, the acrylic fake nail craze conquered a wider audience, leading many celebrities to be accused of cultural appropriation. “I remember when Katy Perry wore money nails, the magazines were talking about them as something exceptional, as if she had invented them,” says Bernadette Thompson. “At no point did they talk about who started this trend.” Bad Gyal, meanwhile, admits to taking inspiration for her manicures from American female rappers. “They’re the ones who always wore their nails really long, with jewelry. At first I did not put as much, “she recalls. “It especially came when Cardi B came along with her very blinged-out style.”
Reclaiming feminine standards
In 2021, XXL glossy gel or resin false nails sculpt the fingers of a whole new generation of artists who advocate a fluid, strong and modern femininity, from Bad Gyal to Rosalía, via Billie Eilish. If Bad Gyal sees her nails as “delicate, pretty”, as “something to take care of”, Rosalía likes to describe them as “a weapon”, a tool of empowerment that helps her feel powerful. According to Maritza Paz, nail artist for both Spanish singers and owner of the Dvine Nails salon in Barcelona (to whom Rosalía pays tribute in her song “Aute Cuture”), they both “come out of the manicure with a boost of confidence, feeling invigorated and sure of themselves. This is a feeling that is shared by all the women who leave the salon.
According to Samantha Kwan, a researcher at the University of Houston and an expert on the sociology of the body and gender issues, beautiful hands and well-groomed nails traditionally convey an image of good health, youth and vibrancy. But more than just an aesthetic element, today’s nail art could be a way to reappropriate traditional Western feminine codes, as well as a form of internalized resistance to outdated beauty standards. “Internalized resistance, whether intentional or not, corresponds to the rejection of mainstream ideals and what they represent, such as a beauty ideal imposed by white people, heterosexism or simply a style deemed too boring,” explains Samantha Kwan. “Rejecting a more sober aesthetic in favor of extremely long, highly decorated acrylic or gel nails can be a way to assert yourself as unique and unconventional.”
Knowing that a false nail application can sometimes take up to four hours, when a woman enters a nail salon, it’s also about socializing. “I love the relationship with the clients. We’re face to face, we talk, we pick up the conversation where we left off…” says Maritza Paz. “A bond is forged. You end up being a bit like a shrink. Rosalía, in an interview with Clique, speaks of Maritza as a “friend”: “We talk a lot, because it takes time, you have to be patient, it’s like a ritual (…). I like to spend these moments with her. I get her energy, because she holds my hands for hours.” In many interviews, Cardi B talks about her nail artist, Jenny Bui, as her “second mother”. Bernadette Thompson also feels this special contact with her clients. “Doing someone’s nails is ultra personal. I touch this person, there is something psychological that happens,” she says. “I feel their personality, their mood, and then I know what design and color to choose to cheer them up. Sometimes, as was the case with Madonna, I have to insist. But the client always ends up thanking me and feeling good as she leaves.”
Since 2017, Bernadette Thompson’s famous money nails created for Lil’ Kim have been on display at MoMa in New York. Surrounded by other symbols of the 20th century, such as the Tiffany ring, Calvin Klein boxers or Ray-Ban glasses, they symbolize innovation, modernity, the starting point of a new fashion. After millennia of tradition and evolution, the art of the nail, in all its creativity, universality and empowerment, seems here to stay.
In the same vein, the issue 232 of Trax Magazine is dedicated to the “Radical Reggaeton”, and draws up the portraits of these new figures linking feminist emancipation, Latin culture and boiling dembow: Arca and Bad Gyal. It is available now in newsstands and on the online store.
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