Edited by Monique Montagnese, Contributor
Painting ones nails might just be the oldest beauty trend. The Chinese have been making their nails beautiful since 3000 B.C. using a mix of arabic gum, eggs whites, gelatin and beeswax. Other ancient nail painting practices include stains from henna and massaging tinted powders into their nails. The painting of ones nails was so important to women that recipes for making your own nail varnish was included in 19th century cookbooks. Thankfully, nail polish technology and connivence has progressed.
Nail Solvent, or nail polish remover as it is now known as, was a big selling item in the first half of the 20th century. Something we now take for granted a good nail solvent was seen as a way to elevate the level of the nail polish you were selling.
The selling point of nail solvent can be seen in this ad for on the lower right side of this vintage advertisement which explains how Cutex remover is different then the others because it “contains a very special oil” that will not leave residue on the nails.
Moon manicures were popular with Hollywood starlets in the 20′s and 30′s, so it’s no surprise vintage glamour lover Dita Von Teese is bringing back this nail trend.
Mini-skirt inventor Mary Quant is less known for deciding that nail might not only match your lipstick, they could match your clothing too! Her mod aesthetic required red nails to be put on the back burner, allowing pastels nails to became all the rage.
Pastel nails lead to bright nails, and then darker nails which have been seen on the goth crowd for, well, ever. Male rock stars love this look to, seen above on Jared Leto. This love affair dates back to 60′s Lou Reed when he was fronting The Velvet Underground.
The 70′s saw the rise of the French Manicure, a term coined by Orly founder Jeff Pink and his manicure sets. This muted manicure is considered so timeless that it is often worn on important days such as ones wedding.
Minx nails are the newest big nail trend, as we wrote about last month. These metallic nail coverings have been seen on everyone from Lady Gaga to Blake Lively. Minx is basically nail stickers that are applied with heat and easy to remove.
With so many nail trends to choose from, and more popping up every day, decorating ones nails never ceases to be fun. No wonder it’s been such a long standing love affair.