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The Academy Awards tend to see an overwhelming number of cropped, rounded, shades-of-pale nails. But at music shows, it’s all about the statement manicure.
“Metallic nails are hot right now,” says celebrity manicurist Mar y Soul, who was responsible for model Ashley Graham’s look. “Ashley was giving me Beyonce vibes in that dress, [so] she needed nails that made a statement!” Her gunmetal base was Essie Tribal Text-Styles, with frosted glitter tips in Frilling Me Softly.
Beyond blinged-out nails, the VMAs were also notable for the exaggerated length of the talent’s talons. Graham’s weren’t done to the extreme, but still had a strong elongated almond shape that Mar y Soul says “truly suits her hands well, keeps her nails strong, and most importantly she loves them!”
Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld took her nails to the extreme, gesticulating as she spoke and flashing hers, which were long, pointy and lacquered with pale blue polish. Ariana Grande’s were white and stiletto-sharp, though not too pointy. “I noticed a lot of stiletto nails on the red carpet this season at the VMAs,” Mar y Soul says, “and musicians do especially enjoy the length of a longer nail. It’s sexy, so why not?!” (Adele is famous for the look.)
Rihanna opted for a slender tapered nail that manicurist Kimmie Kyees shaped and painted with Red Carpet Manicure One Step Hopeless Romantic, a mauvey pink that matched her opening number outfit. “In beauty like in fashion, trends come and go, but the shape of your nail is very personal,” Mar y Soul says. “If you have a square nail bed, a super pointy shorter stiletto nail might look like an odd triangle at the tip of your nail and that means it might not be the best shape for you.” Oval, squoval and almond are other options that have the same effect without the drama. Case in point: Cassie rocked white nails with more of a squared-off length.
There’s also a case to be made for short, square nails, which Kim Kardashian wore with a pale pink paint job at the VMAs. “Fall is around the corner and who doesn’t love a deep tone with shorter nails?” Mar y Soul says. “Make sure to always take into consideration your natural shape and build on that.”
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