Thursday, 9 September 2010

The vintage fingernail.

Nails are a curious thing, I’m not a terribly well groomed person. My deep aversion to mornings, particularly work mornings mean that I manage little more than earrings, brushed hair and clothes. But I always feel bad when my nails are bad. Perhaps it is because they are ‘in my face’ or rather right in front of it.

In terms of vintage wear they are very much a 20th century item. It makes sense really, the commercial nail varnishes were a spin off from the manufacturing and chemical industries making use of new chemical colours and substances. There is nothing remotely natural or earthy about varnish, reflecting a brash new mechanical age nail varnish is the most futurist of cosmetics.

A very late 20's style nail.

The story is that Revson, later Revlon invented it, using car paint enamel. The stuff sounds as if it was invented by Mr Burns from the Simpsons: nitrocellulose, camphor, phthalates and formaldehyde are some of the substances lurking in that jewel coloured little bottle. But it does smell appealing in its own glue sniffy way.

Initially considered highly vulgar painted nails became popular along with the emancipated woman and saw their popularity soar in the 20’s. However they always had a hint of danger, no femme fatale worth her pearl handled pistol would be without scarlet talons. Some believed they were worn to hide dirt under the finger nails and that they were tacky. This persists in the conception of long decorated fake nails as ghettotastic or chavvy. Others suggested that they were responsible for the eventual demise of the glove. I don’t agree with this as it seems the carefully removed glove revealing impeccable manicure was a staple of 50’s femininity.

Fifties elegance from Chanel.

So what of the vintage nail? well colour wise the 20’s and 30’s seem to have been the most interesting and there seems to have been a return to these shades. Chanels recent cult dark purply blacks and pale greens would have been familiar to the fashionable 20’s/early 30’s lady. Off-shades, somewhat gothic were the most popular, reflecting the affection for a perceived bright new world. At this point white moons at the base or/and the tip were the norm.

Examples of thirties 'half-moon' manicures.

The nail painted one bright colour is rumoured to have been worn for the first time by Rita Hayworth but this may be a myth. What isn’t imaginary is that sleek shiny red nails were THE nail of the late 30s,40s and very early 50’s when more candy colours joined their scarlet cousins. These morphed into the opaque pastels of the 60’s. The shape however has rarely moved away from a delicate sleek oval; squared nails are modern and I think,ugly.

I wish magnetic personality nail varnish was still on sale...

Long nails are a pain, try undoing a pin, unfastening earrings and picking coins up and threading needles whilst brandishing them. Very long nails are on the freak/tastic repellent fault line. But longish ones are lovely and drip with predatory glamorous femininity. Like shoes, hair and glasses anyone can have glam nails. But they are a faff. Whilst I think they top off a vintage look superbly, I’m not sure the chaps adore them, but since chaps adore the most peculiar things that is no reason for not growing them. So c’mon ladies, lets cover our sofas with spilt varnish!

Nails gone wrong....

Please comment: Do you have a favourite shade? Any nail hates/loves? xxx


Retro Chick said...

I tried that different coloured half moons thing recently. I did a blog post about it. It's a hell of a faff for everyday though!

I love red nail polish, deep blood red in winter and a brighter red in Summer, though I mostly wear a neutral shade on my fingers as I always chip it.

Ginger said...

Great post! I love the half moon look though have yet to properly achieve it myself.
When I wear polish I tend to wear shades of red and I'm just awful about it, I usually wear it until it's all chipped and terrible looking.

Straight Talking Mama! said...

I'm not a fan of the half moon look I'm a full nail lady, however rarely I hasten to add. I would love to be beautifully groomed everyday, but as I run my own business and am often opening boxes and unloading stock, or doing events carrying lots of stock it's impossible.

I do love when I paint my nails as I feel special, if I were a lady of leisure or didn't have manual work to do I'm sure I would be manicured all the time it just looks so finished! I'm also a red red red lady!

b. said...

~ * ♥ * ~

Love these informative posts! They are sooo interesting. ^__^

I am a fan of nail polish ~ but not in a terribly vintage manner. I do like the half moon look, although I have never tried it. I am more into painting my nails then decorating them with nail art. And any colour is great ~ I like dark purple, bright blue, baby pink and the list goes on. >__<

I also do a lot with my hands ~ I craft and have horses, {which will ruin a mani in ten seconds flat I have found!} but because I am so hard on my hands, I have figured out that to keep your manicure nice for about two weeks while doing hard work, you need to do it all.

Do your base coat, then two {at least, depending on the polish} colour coats then a good top coat. I use Sally Hensen IntsaDri top coat and found it saves my manicure from an instant chipping/beating relatively well!

bonita of Depict This!

Posted about ~ How to crochet your own strawberry charm
~ * ♥ * ~

RedlegsinSoho said...

I'm a lightweight and get my nails done, a strange experience that I will have to post on next.
Chipped nails are very frustrating! thank you for your comments! x

LandGirl1980 said...

Only just found this wonderful blog - so hello!
I am not a fan of the half moon nail either - to me it looks like a bit has been missed - or has chipped off. Full nails all the way for me. But I keep them failty short to lessen chippage :)

Anonymous said...

When it concerns choosing towel rails, everyone has got
their own inclinations and choices. Despite the kind of towel warmers that numerous individuals might such as, this
write-up will have the ability to provide you essential suggestions that ought to assist you in to picking the
very best one that will suit your necessities. When picking these products is
that the market is filled along with a range of normal
or non-heated and heated rails, the initial thing that you must understand.
By checking out the key ins that are highlighted in the complying with paragraphs,
you have the ability to make the ideal choice on the
one that pleases your requirements.

My blog: DQ Heating Siena Towel Rail

Anonymous said...

People call me Matthew and I come from Ohio in the US - I am
a fresh man who studies Medical Sciences and I also run a unique
wiki about Buy Viagra Online No Prescription, and other
related subjects like cialis tadalafil cheapest online,
oldest woman to naturally conceive & carry a child to
term, and fostering. This problem is manageable with the usage of medicines including phosphodiesterase- 5 preventions (PDE-5).
Usual labels for medicines in this group are Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, and all require a prescription
to purchase. There are no impacts from this treatment in the lack of sex-related stimulation.

Anonymous said...

The majority of loan applications by individuals with
bad credit are declined by loan providers. With a bad credit payday loan it is made
for individuals with bad credit and virtually everyone is approved.

Due to the fact that your payment is immediately subtracted from
your account on payday, Lenders are able to do this.
This suggests that the lender makes certain you are visiting have the ability to
repay the cash you have actually obtained from them.

Take a look at my homepage :: Bad Credit Credit Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

If уou wish foг tο obtaіn a
great dеal fгom this piece οf ωгiting then
you have to apply such techniques tо уour won webѕite.

Αlѕo visit mу web site; lloyd irvin

Anonymous said...

Ηi, I ԁеsire to subѕcribe foг this wеb sіtе to get latеst
upԁates, thus whеre can i do it please hеlp.

Feеl free to visit my blog post ... lloyd irvin

Anonymous said...

Hi! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog
and look forward to new updates.

Have a look at my web blog :: Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Very helpful information specifically the final part :) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thanks and good luck.

Also visit my homepage - Sac A Main Louis Vuitton

Anonymous said...

hеllo!,I likе уour ωriting so so much!
pегcеntage we communicаtе more about
yοuг article on AΟL? I гequirе an expert іn
thiѕ houѕe to unravеl my problem.
May be that's you! Having a look ahead to see you.

my homepage; Lloyd Irvin

Anonymous said...

If you would lіke to get muсh from thіs piece of writing then you have to apрly suсh mеthoԁѕ tо уοur won
web site.

Herе іs my pagе ... reputation management

Anonymous said...

Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you're working with? I've loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers
and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
Thank you, I appreciate it!

My page; helpful resources

Anonymous said...

You need to be genuine when telling concerning your web business.
It ought to convey practical details so that it has an excellent effect to your

Checkout this website for more Article Rewriter Pro.


Related Posts with Thumbnails