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Nail Art: Haute or Hood?

Models' nails backstage at Nicole Miller.

New York magazine’s blog The Cut posed a very interesting question today: this nail art trend, is it just another example of “white women are doing it now so it’s cool?” Around the way, black and Latina girls have been sporting intricate, be-rhinestoned designs on their digits for ages, which has always been dismissed as hood or tacky. Suddenly, tricked-out mani’s are showing up on runways, red carpets, and strolling out of 5th avenue nail salons — and it’s glamorous! It’s kinda like when Gwyneth and Britney started wearing “extensions” in the late Nineties, to much fanfare; meanwhile black women had been wearing “weaves” for over a decade (and certainly no one was calling it chic).

SYB Babes, I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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  1. @felicity_happy
    April 12, 2012 3:13 pm 

    This has been a beauty struggle of mine for quite a while now… I grew out of the nail art thing in my early college years, but it seems like everyone around me (especially nowadays)thinks it’s hot! I admit, I love the designs and whatnot, but I just can’t see it on MY fingers… I don’t care what bombshell is rocking it.

    Overall, if you like it, I love it. Definitely not for me but I’ve seen it look fab on others. I call it hood chic.

  2. April 12, 2012 3:22 pm 

    I have been rocking nail art for the last 20 years and I love it. It does tick me off some that its considered chic now that its showing up in Hollywood but back when Jackie Joyner-Kersee was rockin’ em long and fabulously painted, it was “too much”. I’m just gonna keep doing me.

  3. April 12, 2012 3:36 pm 

    The nail art “trend” (it’s always a trend once it goes “mainstream” but filed under “rachetness” while its origin remains “urban” – I’m really trying to be P.C. here but I know my point is understood) is skyrocketing right now & it urks me a bit because like so many other things (having ass, extensions/weave, full lips), it’s been inherit to women of color since the beginning of time yet never considered in vogue until someone else does it, shameful. Nail art was never my thing but all my girlfriends rocked delicate designs over their sheer french manis during the 90’s & I find myself pinning some of the current looks I find appealing but overall, I just see it as fashion catching up to what sistas been doing forever. Nothing new. Some of it’s hood, some of it’s haute… all about what you like. ; )

  4. April 12, 2012 4:19 pm 

    I too grew out of the acrylics and nail designs in high school (for my fingers) but I love a nail art design on my big toe still sometimes. I wear a variety of colors on my fingernails but because of my professional environment not so much designs.

    I also don’t like long nails–I keep them short and natural now. I don’t think its always hood; designs are fun and can be done tastefully. I like many of the styles I see these days, even though I don’t attempt to rock them personally. At most I’ll do an accent color finger or some of the flakies/glitter top coats that are popular now

  5. Dawn Danielle
    April 23, 2012 10:11 pm 

    As a Manicurist in the Hyde Park area of Chicago I don’t think there was ever a time when nail art wasn’t hot. I was surely one of those teens rocking “ghetto fabulous” nails in the early 90s. I will say my clients who aren’t women of color are experimenting more with Minx and loud colors with embellishments as opposed to the boring Essie Mademoiselle pink they rocked year round. Economically speaking, current nail trends have been great. I’m not too concern when the “trend” does fade because my core clientele will always crave it.

  6. kia
    May 10, 2012 2:08 pm 

    all i can do is smile and do me… but the very question of once hood, now trendy? has definitely raced through my mind. love ya, tia!